Volunteer Research Assistant

Volunteer Research Assistant

Needed: Volunteer Research Assistant

Ukutula Conservation Centre & Biobank is looking for a volunteer research assistant to help with all aspects of research. We are looking for an enthusiastic individual, aspiring for a career in conservation, that can commit for 6 months to start as soon as possible. You will gain hands on experience in research and veterinary procedures. This position will have a large focus on reproductive physiology.


  • 6 months hands-on experience in research and conservation, mainly working with cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus), but also other large felid species;
  • Opportunity to work towards your own project, such as final year projects, but this is not essential;
  • Association with University of Pretoria research projects;
  • Opportunity to participate in big cat experiences, outings, game drives, safaris and others;
  • Hands-on experience in veterinary procedures;
  • Networking opportunities with specialists in conservation.

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Assist with all aspects of research at Ukutula Conservation Centre, more specifically sample collection, analysis and processing;
  • Assist with behaviour observations of animals;
  • Assist with positive reinforcement conditioning training of animals for sample collection;
  • Assist with laboratory work at the Ukutula Conservation Centre & Biobank;
  • Assist with some aspects of animal husbandry;
  • You will be mainly working with an University of Pretoria collaboration project but will have the opportunity to assist with other research projects.


  • Undergraduate degree or working towards an undergraduate or post graduate degree in any veterinary or para-veterinary field, biology, zoology or any other relevant field;
  • Ideally you will already have knowledge of basic laboratory work (how to process blood samples and cytologies, use of a microscope and knowledge of laboratory biosecurity) and an understanding of reproductive sciences, however training will be provided to the right candidate;

You will be staying on-site in purpose built volunteer accommodation and 3 meals a day will be provided. Unfortunately, this is a volunteering position as the research budget is not able to provide a stipend. A small fee will be applied to cover board and lodging.

The work schedule is not fixed as it depends on the research requirements, however generally you will be required to assist for an average of 8h a day and will have 1 to 2 days off per week – the time off may be split into half days.

If you are interested, please send your CV and a cover letter to info@ucc-biobank.org.