VOLUNTEER POSITION: Researcher (Tanzanian citizens only)

APOPO is currently seeking inquisitive and motivated scientists or statisticians with prior research experience.


SSUA-APOPO is a research project at the Sokoine University of Agriculture that trains African giant pouched rats (Cricetomys ansorgei) to detect Landmines and Tuberculosis. SUA-APOPO is currently seeking inquisitive and motivated scientists or statisticians with prior research experience to volunteer with our research team conducting animal behavior research relevant to the rats’ scent detection abilities. Current projects include training the rats to detect illicit wildlife products, contaminated soil, and pathogens, and developing novel techniques for optimizing scent detection performance.

Job Summary

Volunteer research technicians will be primarily responsible for supporting APOPO’s management, research, and training teams 4 hours per day, 5 days per week. Activities include assisting with the design, execution, and analysis of behavioral research studies, including research session planning, laboratory preparation of odor samples, data collection and analysis, and documenting results in manuscript format, as well as animal training, handling, and feeding. Opportunity for more long-term research involvement is possible following successful completion of the volunteer assignment.

Essential Functions

  • Support ongoing research by working as part of the larger training and research team
  • Actively participate in research team meetings
  • Apply laboratory techniques to precisely prepare odor samples
  • Assist with planning and execution of behavioral experiments with rats
  • Feed, handle, and conduct experiment and exercise routines with rat subjects
  • Collect and analyse relevant quantitative and qualitative data in a timely manner, including computing appropriate statistical analyses
  • Draft research manuscripts detailing experiment methods, results, and conclusions
  • Critically evaluate controlled experiment designs and help form and test new hypotheses
  • Manage research material inventory

Education, Skills, and Experience

Applicants must hold a Master’s Degree in a relevant field of Science, (such as Biology, Biomedical Engineering, Psychology, Animal Science, Zoology, or equivalent) or Statistics from a recognized institution. The ideal candidate will have prior experience conducting original research, be proficient in the use of Microsoft Excel and Word, and be able to independently conduct statistical analyses using relevant software. Candidates with strong verbal and written English are especially encouraged to apply.

The successful candidate must possess strong organizational, planning, and time management’s skills with the ability to oversee multiple tasks. We also expect strong problem-solving skills with the ability to be resourceful, proactive, and seek assistance as needed.

How to apply

The application letters, certified copies of academic certificates, transcripts, curriculum vitae indicating names and addresses of three referees and other relevant supporting documents should be submitted by August 12th , 2020.