This could be a fun job with WCS Congo – if you know French.


Research Manager, Lac tele Community Reserve


Global Conservation Full-Time


Job Description

Location: Epena, Headquarters of the Lac Tele Community Reserve

Reports to: Lac Tele Community Reserve Director

Start Date: ASAP

Position Type: Full-time



Organization Background: 

The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) is a US non-profit, private organization established in 1895 that saves wildlife and wild places by understanding critical issues, crafting science-based solutions, and taking conservation actions that benefit nature and humanity. With more than a century of experience, long-term commitments in dozens of landscapes, presence in more than 60 nations, and experience helping to establish over 150 protected areas across the globe, WCS has amassed the biological knowledge, cultural understanding and partnerships to ensure that vibrant, wild places and wildlife thrive alongside local communities. Working with local communities and organizations, that knowledge is applied to address species, habitat and ecosystem management issues critical to improving the quality of life of poor rural people whose livelihoods depend on the direct utilization of natural resources.

Republic of Congo Program Overview:  

Over the past 25 years WCS Congo has been the government’s principle conservation partner, assisting the Ministry of Forest Economy (MEF) in managing wildlife and its habitat in several of the country’s national parks, reserves, and protected area buffer zones. Within these sites WCS is developing and implementing actions for effective wildlife protection; community based natural resource management; ecological monitoring; scientific research; and environmental education. The program is the largest in WCS’s global portfolio and reports to the Regional Program for Central Africa and Gulf of Guinea. WCS Congo’s current portfolio of programs includes the management of the Nouabalé-Ndoki National Park through a Public-Private Partnership with the Government of Congo, wildlife management in the substantial buffer zones of the Park, co-management of Lac Tele Community Reserve, a national program to support reform of marine conservation and resource management and a substantial policy support program to the central government in Brazzaville.

Lac Tele Community Reserve  

The Lac Tele Community Reserve (LTCR) comprises over 70% of swamp and seasonally inundated forests. It is part of the world’s largest transboundary Ramsar site (together with the Democratic Republic of Congo/DRC) and sites upon the single largest tropical peatlands Africa’s second largest wetland. Around 20 000 people live in the LTCR, and these communities depend heavily on the Reserve’s natural resources for fish, agriculture, construction materials. The impact of this region on the Congo Basin’s climate regulation, river flow, and carbon sequestration is likely highly significant though poorly understood.

WCS has been working in the LTCR since 2001 and currently supports the management of the LTCR in the framework of a Memorandum of Understanding signed in 2008 with the Ministry of Forest Economy (MFE). It comprises five departments: Surveillance, Community Conservation, Research & Monitoring, Logistics and Administration & Finance. WCS is thus supporting a wide range of activities, including strengthening protected area management and law enforcement, strengthening community governance of forests and resources and promoting livelihood and enterprise development, and conducting applied research and ecological surveys.

Research and Monitoring at LTCR 

The LTCR’s Research and Monitoring service works in close collaboration with Community Conservation service in the field on the monitoring of natural resources use by local communities (fish, bushmeat).  The reserve also regularly receives research missions from national and international research institutions. Over 20 scientific papers have been published over the last 15 years on the reserve’s biodiversity.  Examples of research activities carried out in 2023 include :

  • Annual water bird census (conducted each year since 1997);
  • Five-years large mammals (apes, elephant, ungulates) census survey in the Ndoki-Likouala landscape)  (implemented conjointly with Nouabalé-Ndoki National Park);
  • Monitoring of forest clearings in the reserve;
  • Monitoring of forest crocodile density and assessment of the impact of hunting;
  • Diet regime of gorillas and tree phenology in different forest habitat types (PhD student from Yale University, USA);
  • Historical anthropology of local communities (PhD student from Marien Ngouabi University, Congo);
  • Perception of climate change by local communities (PhD student from La Sapienza Univerity , Italy).


We are looking for a rigorous and dynamic Research Manager who will be responsible for the management and implementation of a coherent and scientifically rigorous research program, for the supervision of research assistants, students, and volunteers. S/He will mainly work closely with the LTCR coordination team. The successful candidate will provide programmatic and coordination support to the WCS LTCR Director.

The successful candidate will be highly organized, with a strong scientific background, excellent interpersonal relationship, and management skills.


Working closely with the LTCR Director, the Research Manager will:

  • Identify research priorities and define the mid-term LTCR ‘s research program and strategy. The program will include two main pillars: internal (activity implemented for and by the LTCR’ research staff) and external (activities implemented by partner research institutions)
  • Implement the LTCR research program:

As for the internal pillar, this includes in particular:

  • Ensure regular collection, analysis, entry, cleaning, storage, and back-up of high-quality accurate data per existing protocols
  • Review and improve existing protocols
  • Develop new research protocols for new research topics
  • Provide training, evaluation and oversight to LTCR research staff
  • Ensure necessary research equipment is well-maintained and correctly used, advise on procurement of (research) equipment
  • Ensure communication of (scientific) results to the scientific community, to relevant conservation applications, and to the general (inter)national public
  • Assist with developing fundraising proposals and donor reports.

As far as the external pillar is concerned, this includes: 

  • Extend the scope of the LTCR through the development of research projects and the establishment of collaborations with external research institutes and/or independent researchers, especially on peatlands
  • Support and supervise the implementation of research activities by research partners in the reserve
  • Ensure that research activities implemented by research partners follow WCS policy, particularly in terms of accountability, restitution and publications.



Qualification Requirements

WCS is looking for a candidate who has:

  • 1+ years postdoctoral experience in relevant field of research; research experience in tropical forest is an asset
  • Proven track of tutoring and research dissemination experience
  • Project management experience (1+ years)
  • Fluency in both  French and English; knowledge of Lingala is an asset
  • Previous experience in living and working independently in isolated, physically and psychologically challenging environments
  • Work experience in international settings

How to Apply 

Interested candidates, who meet the above qualifications, skills and experience, should apply through the application tab below no later than February 24,2024 .

WCS is an equal opportunity employer dedicated to hiring and supporting a diverse workforce. We are committed to cultivating an inclusive work environment and look for future team members who share that same value.


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Charles Foley

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