Announcing the M. Phil Kahl Postdoctoral Fellowship

Marvin Philip Kahl – Phil as he liked to be called – was born September 28, 1934 in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Marvin Philip Kahl – Phil as he liked to be called – was born September 28, 1934 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

The International Elephant Foundation (IEF) supports conservation, awareness and scientific programs that enhance the survival of elephants and protect their habitats worldwide.

Background: Elephant range countries need more well-trained professionals with the knowledge and skills to address threats to wildlife, work in multi-disciplinary teams, and assist in country-wide wildlife policy recommendations. Fundamental science-based information about elephants is necessary to assure that effective conservation efforts can be put into place. The overall goal of this program is to contribute to the scientific knowledge of African and Asian elephant biology, such as inter- and intra-specific behaviors, and how the species interact with their environment. Therefore this program supports the advancement of credible scientific research that can support subsequent long-term elephant conservation initiatives.

Research Description: IEF desires to support up-and-coming scientists from range countries interested in conducting ecological, behavioral, physiological and/or genetic research on free-ranging elephants. No prior experience studying elephants is necessary, but the applicant must demonstrate how his/her skills/expertise can be applied to field research on elephants. Research proposals to conduct policy or management related projects (e.g. those directly mitigating human-elephant conflict or combating poaching) will not be considered. Additionally, research on ex situ elephants will not be considered unless it is a minor portion of a longer-term, in situ study. Studies involving a laboratory component (e.g., genetic or endocrine) are welcomed, but the emphasis should be on the field work.

Qualifications: We are seeking a highly motivated individual who should have:

  1. A Ph.D. in ecology, animal behavior/ethology, physiology, conservation biology, or related discipline or other terminal degree of equal status;
  2. Experience conducting field research, with the ability to work outdoors in a variety of conditions;
  3. Strong writing skills and demonstrated publication experience;
  4. Excellent oral communication skills; and
  5. Scientific project management skills and ability to work independently as well as part of a team.

Applicants will be judged on whether the individual has the capacity and experience to perform science-based research at the highest level that will provide useful information for future science and policy decisions about elephants. Preference will be given to applicants who are citizens of an African or Asian elephant range country and have demonstrated an in-country support network for conducting fieldwork.

Duration: The position is a 1-2 year appointment dependent on the research plan and a favorable annual progress report and review. The applicant must conduct fieldwork and reside within the elephant range country during the majority of the appointment. Award recipient must fully commit to the fieldwork for the duration of the stipend; he/she will not be able to take classes, teach or perform any other jobs concurrent with the award.

The award amount will be based on the project budget provided with the application. This funding may be used towards the awardee’s stipend, equipment purchases, field or laboratory expenses, publication fees, as well as travel-related costs to and from the study site and approved conferences. This funding cannot be used for indirect costs, overhead or contingencies.

Application deadline: Application deadline August 1 and February 1 annually.

Applicant should present:

  1. letter of interest detailing their qualifications for the position;
  2. curriculum vitae;
  3. project narrative (6 pages maximum) – must include rationale, objectives, methodology, justification;
  4. time line;
  5. budget – must be itemized and in US currency; and
  6. three professional references with contact information (institution, email address, phone number).

Applications must be submitted electronically to: Deborah Olson