Assistant Research Officer - Whale and Dolphin Research & Conservation - Canary Islands (self-funded)

Company : Frontier
Location : South Tenerife, Canary Islands
Duration: 3 months to 6 months
Approx Costs: 500 to 1000 £ Pound (UK)

Frontier was established in 1989 as a non-profit conservation and development non-governmental organisation (NGO) dedicated to safeguarding biodiversity and ecosystem integrity and building sustainable livelihoods for marginalised communities in the world's poorest countries.

Carrying out groundbreaking surveys in remote forest, savannah, and marine environments, our dedicated teams of volunteers set about building a comprehensive picture of areas that were heretofore ignored, despite being among the most biodiverse areas in the world.

Frontier's cetacean conservation project is stationed in South Tenerife, one of the top whale and dolphin watching destinations in the world. There are resident communities of pilot whales and dolphins which remain here throughout the year, which can be observed on  80% of the days of the year. There is also a total of 24 other cetacean species migrating through Canarian waters at different times of the year. 

The Assistant Research Officer role is an opportunity to gain overseas field experience of research, project and volunteer citizen-scientist management and training.  As we are a non-profit volunteer organization these positions are self-funded and require a quarterly substance fee of £500 to cover the costs of participation.  Self-funding staff are  considered for paid staff positions at the end of their contracts.


Primary Function

To assist with all aspects of the research programme involving daily supervision of research team, data analysis and report writing.


General Outline of the Role

  • Assist with project logistics and administration
  • Daily organisation and supervision of the survey programme
  • Supervision, management and training of volunteers/assistants
  • Assist the Project Coordinator with the development and implementation of the research programme
  • Preparation of project reports and publication of results in scientific journals


Main Duties & Responsibilities

  • Assist with the logistical operations relating to the project including administration and management of finances; production of accounts and reports; allocation, use and maintenance of project resources; management of local staff; and supervision of the activities of and ensuring the health and safety of project staff, volunteers and host country participants.
  • Assist the Project Coordinator in the management, support, motivation and development of volunteers / research assistants;
  • Assist the Project Coordinator in implementing the standard programme of research to cover each survey component, e.g. cetacean behaviour, population size
  • Assist the Project Coordinator in the accredited and non-accredited training of the volunteer Research Assistants and other project participants where necessary and supervise their implementation in the field survey;
  • Assist the Project Coordinator in managing the collection and processing of accurate field data, for all survey components;
  • Produce sections of the technical reports and scientific papers to the schedule agreed with the Project Coordinator and the Research and Development and Operations Managers (London HQ);
  • Assist the Project Coordinator in managing and supervising the maintenance of the project's scientific resources;
  • Provide the Project Coordinator with regular (minimum quarterly) progress updates and ensure that these updates are passed on to the London HQ;


Terms & Conditions

  • Contract Duration: An initial 3 or 6 month period with the possibility of extension.
  • Accommodation: Basic shared accommodation provided whilst at the field project site.
  • Travel: In-country ground travel costs to be provided. International flights to be self-funded.
  • Subsistence Fee: Subsistence fee of £500 per quarter to be paid by staff member.
  • Training: Pre-departure training provided.

For further infromation and to apply, please send a CV and cover letter.

Start Dates

Opportunities available year-round.

Costs / Benefits

The subsistence fee of 500 covers a 3 month period. All food, accommodation, equipment and in-country travel costs are included.


- Graduate in an environmental or biological science discipline
- First aid qualification
- Experience of data analysis & report-writing
- Resilient & mature, with the ability to work as a team in basic living conditions

Booking / Enquiry

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