Research and Intern Supervisor

Fundación Para La Tierra

Pilar, Neembucu, Latin America

Job Type Permanent
Salary Details US$450/Month
Required Experience 2 - 6 years

Research and Intern Supervisor Wanted for a diverse and challenging role based in the Wetlands of Neembucu, 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, carrying out of analyses 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 organisation 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 organising and running academic activities, including but not limited to, journal club, debates, and field courses. 

In addition, you will be in charge of your own project related to PLT's scientific priorities. Over the next two years this is likely to involve declaration of protected areas and wetland management projects, as well as ecological studies of flagship and umbrella species. You'll have access to expert scientific guidance in the field, as well as a strong team to work alongside you. 

Role competencies


  • Basic computer skills excel (or other museum databasing software), word, lightroom/photoshop.
  • Extensive experience in carrying out field research.
  • Experience in supervising projects and people.
  • Good understanding of statistics (preferably with experience in R, SPSS, Python etc.)
  • Familiarity with GIS (especially QuantumGIS)
  • Good record of scientific writing with peer-reviewed publications
  • Experience in biodiversity survey techniques (transects/point counts, listing methods, vegetation quadrats etc.)
  • Extensive experience in other specific fieldwork techniques e.g. bird banding, camera trapping, radio tracking, mark-recapture etc.
  • Educated to post-graduate degree level.
  • Driving license with 4x4/off-road experience.


  • Experience identifying neotropical birds, butterflies, frogs, fish, snakes, lizards and mammals.
  • Photography skills.
  • Bilingual (English and Spanish preferred but other languages a bonus).
  • Specimen collection experience.
  • Proposal preparation experience and track record of managing funded projects.

Main tasks and responsibilities

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Organise and facilitate (at least fortnightly) intern/staff/expert presentations, communicating the details of presentations to all staff in advance via the shared calendar.
  • Coordinate with the Volunteer Coordinator to ensure interns have volunteer support when necessary.
  • Host “Journal Club” once a week and encourage all PLT visitors to engage actively in the discussion.
  • Design a research project which fits with Para La Tierra’s long-term goals.
  • Conduct the approved project to a high standard, applying for funding and institutional support where necessary.
  • Submit project updates and publication progress to the Executive Director.
  • Contribute to furthering PLTs mission wherever possible, including using non-science skills to assist in project development.
  • 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 The recruitment process will also include a Skype interview, and a written project proposal for the project of your choice. No closing date - rolling applications until the right candidate is found.

Start date will be determined when travel bans are lifted post-Covid 19. Some training for the role may also take place remotely. 

When you apply, please indicate that you are responding to the posting on Conservation Job Board.