Employment Opportunities

WCS Health Programs Job Openings



Two Post-doc Positions for the SARS-CoV-2 Participatory Animal Surveillance in Alaska (SPASAK) Project starting October 2023

The overarching objective of the SPASAK project is to pilot participatory SARS-CoV-2 animal surveillance with underserved Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities in Alaska using approaches that empower these communities to fully participate in disease surveillance (hunted animals, peri-domestic small mammals, domestic dogs, and wastewater), investigations, result communication, and potential response measures. Integrating social science methods will support the co-development of a scientifically, socially, and culturally acceptable surveillance system, from sampling to communication of findings, to participatory investigations on spillover mechanisms and interventions. Combining Indigenous Knowledge with scientific understanding improves wildlife surveillance and advances Indigenous Peoples' self-determination in research, while creating mutual animal and human health benefits. Given past negative impacts on health determinants of Indigenous communities as a result of poorly designed outreach and communication on contaminants in traditional foods, attention will be given to safeguarding the cultural, socioeconomic, and nutritional dimensions of Indigenous rights and food security when discussing, studying, and addressing zoonotic risks.

We are seeking:

1: A  Postdoctoral Surveillance Coordinator, SPASAK Project, ideally a biologist, wildlife disease ecologist, epidemiologist, environmental health or One Health specialist, or veterinarian, to lead the implementation and coordination of fieldwork, data collation, and analyses for the SARS-CoV-2 Participatory Animal Surveillance in Alaska (SPASAK). This position will work closely with the Social Science Investigator, SPASAK Project.

2. A Social Science Investigator, SPASAK Project, ideally a social scientist with expertise in co-production of research, integrating Indigenous and Western science approaches, qualitative and quantitative social science data collection, and application of social science expertise in a conservation context to lead on a participatory community research project focused on wildlife disease surveillance in the Alaskan Arctic for the SARS-CoV-2 Participatory Animal Surveillance in Alaska (SPASAK).

Applications will be accepted via the WCS Career Website. We will begin reviewing applications August 18. 

APPLY HERE for the Postdoctoral Surveillance Coordinator, SPASAK Project

APPLY HERE for the Social Science Investigator, SPASAK Project


Regional Researcher Specialist

Regional Researcher Specialist (Colombia, Global Conservation Full-Time)

WCS is partnering with the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (IZW) on the project, which is supported through a Volkswagen Foundation initiative "Global Challenges - Preventing Pandemics: The Role of Human-Environmental Interactions”. The overarching objective of the SIMPEL project is to characterize the socio-ecological mechanisms of pathogen emergence in response to land-use change through 1. Understanding human-nature relations in communities across changing landscapes; 2. Analyzing effects of land-use change on the distribution and population dynamics of wild and domestic hosts in key sites in Bolivia and Colombia; 3. Identifying wild host physiological and immune response to environmental changes that may contribute to mechanisms of pathogen emergence; 4. Characterizing pathogen diversity and dynamics along land-use change gradients.

Job Summary:  support the implementation and coordination of fieldwork, and lead standardized scientific approaches, data collation, and analyses for the SIMPEL project: Addressing Wildlife Risk Knowledge Gaps At the Environment-Health Nexus of the Andes-Amazon-Orinoco: Socio-ecological Impacts and Mechanisms of Pathogen Emergence in Changing Landscap. 
This position requires a range of skills, including disease surveillance in various wildlife species, project management, multi-disciplinary team coordination, scientific leadership, diverse data collection, management and analyses, and an understanding of drivers of emerging infectious diseases of wildlife origin, including the importance of integrating the social sciences, and public health implications.

Major Responsibilities: 

  • Lead strategic research (including design, implementation, and analysis) to meet the 4 sub-objectives of the SIMPEL project to elevate understanding of the mechanisms of pathogen emergence in changing landscapes. 
  • Contribute to the development of technical protocols for sample and data collection and submission of related IACUC and IRB applications.
  • Lead coordination between in-country teams, IZW, and WCS Health, and effectively leverage the designated project management tool. 
  • Support in-country leads in coordination with local laboratories to ensure they have the equipment and capacity to conduct the sample analysis according to protocols developed by IZW and other lab partners.
  • Oversee standardized approaches and participate in implementation for field activities in Bolivia and Colombia to ensure the best ethical and biosafe practices for animal capture, handling, sampling, sample management, storage, labeling, and transport. The sub-project lead staff in both countries will supervise their respective field teams. The sub-project lead staff will report to their respective Country Program Directors, and the reporting and management structure will be reviewed quarterly or as needed by the Scientific Director, Director of Health Research, and Regional Director, to ensure progress on all technical, administrative, financial and logistical aspects of the program.
  • Ensure human survey implementation follows the highest international standards in ethics and social safeguarding mechanisms for IPLCs.
  • Oversee and ensure standardization for data collection and management with sub-project lead staff in Colombia and Bolivia, and facilitate data analyses to ensure project deliverables are met. 
  • Contribute scientific and lay publications / other media products regarding this project, wildlife health, public health, and conservation.
  • Support technical reports relevant to the project in a timeframe and format as required by the donor, IZW, and WCS
  • Participate in project coordination calls, and project-related public speaking and public relations work
  • Develop and build on collaborative relationships in WCS Colombia and Bolivia, and the AAO region, to promote multidisciplinary approaches to wildlife conservation and meet wildlife health challenges.
  • Other related duties as assigned.

Qualification Requirements

Minimum Requirements:

  • Graduated as biologist, wildlife disease ecologist, epidemiologist, veterinarian, environmental health or One Health specialist. 
  • Postgraduate qualification (Ph.D.) in biology, wildlife disease ecology, epidemiology, environmental health or One Health, veterinary medicine, or another related field - post-doctoral researcher 
  • 3 to 5 years minimum Project management experience 
  • Spanish and English fluency (written and spoken).

Desirable experience: 

  • Experience conducting independent applied scientific research on health and disease (preferably including wildlife populations) and experience with epidemiological tools
  • Ability to multi-task and coordinate in a multidisciplinary international team.
  • Experience working with wildlife, livestock, or community health programs in Latin America

Other Competences:

  • Strong organizational and coordination skills
  • Comfortable working in complex traditional and diverse cultural settings; an ability to adapt approaches to local cultures and project situations, while maintaining a high professional standard.
  • Familiarity with the ecology of emerging diseases pertaining to land-use change preferred but not essential. 
  • Strong interpersonal skills.
  • The willingness to work flexible hours that may include weekends and public holidays.
  • The willingness and ability to travel to field sites in both countries, and occasionally other locations e.g. laboratories or conferences, as needed to meet project deliverables

Salary Range

Competitive salary according to the hiring country











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