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Research and Intern Supervisor

Reference scientist  (Please mention Stopdodo/Environment Jobs in your application)
Sectors Nature Conservation, Ecology, GIS
Town/City Pilar
Salary Additional Information c. $5,500 per year with no expenses (full bed and board provided), and eight weeks paid holiday, plus National vacation days. Potential to earn more based on performance.
Salary (Minimum)
Salary (Maximum)
Type Fixed Term and Permanent Roles
Status Full Time
Level Mid Level
Deadline 20/12/2021
Company Name Para La Tierra
Contact Name Rebecca Smith
Telephone +595 981219957
Email rebecca@paralatierra.org
Website Further Details / Applications
Para La Tierra logo
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Para La Tierra is looking for a Research and Intern Supervisor for a diverse and challenging role based in the Wetlands of Ñeembucú, Paraguay. Based at Centro IDEAL, you’ll conduct and teach field science at a fully equipped ecological research station, contributing to our understanding of this unique ecosystem.

Role summary:

You will be in charge of developing and supervising intern projects from the moment an intern books through until the publication of their study where applicable. You will offer both intellectual and logistical support for interns carrying out projects at PLT, including project design, coordination of fieldwork, data analysis and publication in a peer-reviewed journal. You will be responsible for ensuring that internships are carried out to a high standard, are suited to the intern as well as beneficial to PLT (i.e. publishable), and result in interns leaving happy with what they have learned and achieved. You will also be responsible for the physical organization of papers, literature reviews, project proposals, results, raw data and everything else related to each intern, in the intern hard drive. You will be expected to take responsibility for organizing and running academic activities, including but not limited to, journal club, debates, and field courses. 

In addition, you will be in charge of co-leading Para La Tierra’s ongoing research based in the Neembucu Wetlands Complex. The long-term goal of this exciting project is to declare the wetlands as a protected area (Ramsar or a national protected area). This involves implementing and supervising biodiversity inventories in numerous field sites as well as ecological and habitat studies. You'll have access to expert scientific guidance in the field, as well as a strong team to work alongside you. 

Role competencies:


  1. Computer skills including excel (or other museum databasing software), word, lightroom/photoshop.

  2. Experience in carrying out field research.

  3. Experience in supervising projects and people.

  4. Good understanding of statistical analyses (preferably with experience in R, SPSS, Python etc.)

  5. Familiarity with GIS (especially QuantumGIS)

  6. Good record of scientific writing with peer-reviewed publications

  7. Experience in biodiversity survey techniques (transects/point counts, listing methods, vegetation quadrats etc.)

  8. Experience in other specific fieldwork techniques e.g. bird banding, camera trapping, radio tracking, mark-recapture etc.

  9. A postgraduate degree.

  10. Driving license with 4x4/off-road experience.


  1. Experience identifying neotropical birds, butterflies, frogs, fish, snakes, lizards and mammals.

  2. Photography skills.

  3. Bilingual (English and Spanish preferred but other languages a bonus).

  4. Specimen collection experience.

  5. Proposal preparation experience and track record of managing funded projects.


Main tasks and responsibilities

  1. Correspond by email (copying the Executive Director into the conversation) with interns before they arrive at the site, ensuring they meet all pre-arrival deadlines, and assisting in the production of a quality research proposal.

  2. Meet with each intern once or twice each week, depending on necessity, in a formal setting to discuss any aspect of their project, especially assisting with troubleshooting and data analysis. Be available at other times to answer their questions.

  3. Coordinate and contribute to the initial setup of intern project methodologies both on paper and in the field, motivating them and ensuring a strong start to their fieldwork stage.

  4. Following initial set-up, visit each internship project at least twice per month, enforcing deadlines for written and presentation aspects of project development and providing feedback and support in these assignments.

  5. Collect and collate all digital materials related to each intern in the “intern database”, including, but not limited to, literature reviews, project proposals, raw data, photographs, statistical analyses, papers consulted, presentations and outcomes.

  6. Organise and facilitate (at least fortnightly) intern/staff/expert presentations, communicating the details of presentations to all staff in advance via the shared calendar.

  7. Coordinate with the Volunteer Coordinator to ensure interns have volunteer support when necessary.

  8. Host “Journal Club” once a week and encourage all PLT visitors to engage actively in the discussion.

  9. Design and lead the Neembucu Wetland research project, fitting with Para La Tierra’s long-term goals.

  10. Conduct the Neembucu project to a high standard, applying for funding and institutional support where necessary.

  11. Submit project updates and publication progress to the Executive Director.

  12. Supervision of remote interns by organizing weekly meetings and making sure they get all the help they need through all the different steps of their project.

  13. Contributing to extra PLT projects such as developing online courses or any other ongoing or new projects.

  14. Contribute to furthering PLTs mission wherever possible, including using non-science skills to assist in project development.

  15. When necessary fulfil domestic responsibilities including but not limited to cooking meals, cleaning dishes, doing shopping, coordinating recreational activities, and managing PLT home projects.

With this position, you’ll have the opportunity to work with a young and ambitious team of conservationists within a fast-growing and unique organisation in the neo-tropics.

The post includes full bed and board, as well as monthly pay of US$450, with 8 weeks holiday across 18 months. With almost no living costs, our staff are able to save much of what they earn. 

You’ll be contributing to ground-breaking research in Paraguay. To apply, please send your CV, a cover letter, two professional or academic references and one character reference to rebecca@paralatierra.org. The recruitment process will also include a Zoom interview, and a written project proposal for the Neembucu research project. No closing date - rolling applications until the right candidate is found. Some training for the role will also take place remotely. 

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