Borneo Nature Foundation Job Vacancy: Primate Scientist for Gibbon and Red Langur Projects – Palangka Raya

Posting Job


August 7, 2019

Expired Job


August 26, 2019

BNF is looking for a new Field Scientist to help oversee its pioneering Gibbon and Red Langur research projects in the Sabangau research station in Central Kalimantan, Indonesian Borneo. The successful candidate will work together with the Project Directors and local primate project Coordinators to help maintain and improve the scientific integrity, relevance and impact of our primate research. This will include ensuring the quality of data collected by yourself and our Coordinators and other personnel; collecting, analysing and reporting upon data as required; and training, supervising and generally supporting Coordinators, plus local and international Research Assistants, Interns, visiting students and/or volunteers working on our primate projects. The position involves both field and office duties, with the balance between these dependent upon the needs of the project at the time.

We are looking for a primatologist, with a scientific mind and aptitude, excellent coordination and management skills, primate field research experience and experience of training (local) people in this, and a dedication to wildlife conservation. The candidate needs to be flexible, patient, amicable (good social skills), well organized, a good communicator, and physically and mentally fit.  Applicants must also have the ability to cope well under stress and to readily master new skills.

Duties include:

Working together with BNF’s supervisory staff, Directors and any relevant external parties, you will:

  • Maintain and improve the scientific integrity, relevance and impact of BNF’s gibbon and red langur research. This includes keeping abreast of current developments in the field.
  • Ensure that field data are collected according to protocol and are of high quality, that field data are entered correctly into electronic databases, and that the integrity of all data collected by yourself and all others on the primate projects is maintained and improved.
  • Train and supervise local gibbon and red langur project Coordinators, plus local and international Assistants, Interns, visiting students and/or volunteers working on the primate projects, providing pastoral care and support where necessary.
  • Assist in defining gibbon and red langur research objectives and working together with the Directors, Coordinators and other relevant personnel to ensure that these objectives are achieved.
  • Work with local coordinators to set and review monthly objectives.
  • Provide motivation and support for the whole field team, actively engaging in all tasks.
  • Become confident in leading meetings, presenting updates, publications and new projects to the BNF team.
  • Prepare and execute activities for and local and international school groups alongside education and outreach teams.
  • Be confident in the field and about the projects to be able to assist with hosting stakeholders such as funders and visiting scientists.
  • Plan, design and coordinate both novel and ongoing research.
  • Assist with the analysis and reporting of data, and production of outputs, as required and directed
  • Contribute to reports and compile photos for donors as directed; for the BNF website and other BNF communications, and for BNF reports and other publications as directed.
  • Assume responsibility for the behaviour, conduct and safety of all volunteers, interns, field assistants and other persons that are working under your supervision.
  • Ensure that all research tasked to the Research Team is carried out successfully, are scheduled properly and that there are sufficient personnel for fieldwork.
  • Maintain effective communications with BNF Directors, Managers and other personnel, plus CIMTROP and the Community Patrol team.
  • As appropriate, delegate tasks to Research Assistants, Interns and other Project personnel under your supervision, to ensure that they fulfil their role and support you in the above responsibilities.
  • Assume responsibility for all equipment used by you and the Research Team (including field equipment and office equipment, both in camp and Palangka Raya).
  • Maintain a record of all your project-related expenditure and provide this to the Accounts Manager at the end of each month.
  • Provide monthly reports on work progress in all areas assigned to you, which will be distributed to the Project Directors through the Sebangau Programme Manager.
  • Work closely, collaborate and coordinate with the Orangutan Scientist.
  • Work closely, collaborate and coordinate with the Sebangau Programme Manager.
  • Comply with all reasonable requests from the Board of Directors regarding your schedule of work and that of your team, research activities, data management and any other activities.


  • Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in primatology or related discipline
  • Experience in tropical primate field research projects (min. 2 years preferred)
  • Staff management, coordination and training experience
  • Excellent computing skills (including Access, Excel, Word, etc)
  • Excellent spoken and written English
  • Proven record of research outputs preferred
  • Physical fitness
  • Readiness to live in fairly basic conditions

Reports to: Sebangau Programme Manager and BNF Field Director

Salary and benefits: Dependent on qualifications and experience

Support provided:

  • Accommodation in the Research camp in Sabangau and BNF Office/House in Palangka Raya, with all associated facilities.
  • All meals when based at the Research camp, and associated travel costs between Palangka Raya and the Research camp.
  • Field Equipment

Term of the contract: One year (extendable upon agreement by both parties)

Application deadline: August 26th 2019 

Interviews will be conducted at the end of August 2019, with short-listed candidates notified of exact dates in due course. The post is anticipated to begin in October 2019.


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