The Kalahari Meerkat Projects offers positions for research volunteers. During their time at the project volunteers learn a range of valuable skills and field techniques including observation, radiotracking, research design, and some data handling and analysis. They also have the opportunity to carry out a supervised project of their own.
Volunteers usually have a degree or diploma in Biology, Ecology, Psychology or a related subject, and many go on to post-graduate training in a related field.
On average the project employs nine to twelve volunteers per year, each of which spend twelve months in South Africa monitoring and collecting detailed data on our study population. Due to the nature of the work we have a volunteer starting about every month.
Accommodation for volunteers is provided, and volunteers are paid a monthly allowance to cover their food and a contribution to their travel costs (at the end of their stay). Since it takes several weeks to acquire the necessary field skills, we only take volunteers who are prepared to stay for at least 12 months.
Volunteers should be prepared to work hard! The typical day of a meerkat volunteer is split into a morning observation session starting at sunrise and continuing for about 4 hours into the heat of the day, and an afternoon session lasting of 2-3 hrs and ending at sunset. Volunteers process their data at the end of each session, and are encouraged to become involved in additional duties. Initial training will be provided, and volunteers usually work alone or in small groups. You may also work with visitors to the project.
In general, volunteers will have a degree in Biology, Zoology, Conservation biology, Psychology, or a related subject. Volunteers must be physically fit and able to commit to 12 months of field work in demanding conditions in the southern Kalahari. Volunteers must have a driving license.
Volunteers of any nationality are welcome to apply, but applicants should have a good command of English.
How to Apply
There are usually two application deadlines per year, around February and October. The exact deadlines will be published here. When there are additional application deadlines, they will be advertised here as well.
Applications can also be submitted early, during the year, they will be evaluated at the next application deadline. If there are early openings these applications will also be considered. Interviews will take place shortly after the application deadline via video Skype. Decisions about positions will be made later that month. Accepted volunteers will have a period of several weeks to months to apply for a South African VISA before their start date.
Please read our FAQ information before making your application – click here.
When you are ready to apply, please send a cover letter and your CV as one PDF document named in the following convention: “Surname_Firstname.pdf”. The cover letter must state whether you would be able to stay for the full 12 months; that you have a driving licence and your driving experience; and when your first possible start date is; and, of course, it should list your relevant experience and motivation for joining the KMP.
Send this PDF document to: meerkat . volunteers @ gmail . com (please remove all spaces from the email address, this is to prevent automated spam emails) with ‘volunteer application’ as the email subject.
For informal pre-application enquiries concerning questions not covered in our FAQ information, please contact us via the form below.