Operations Manager: OuTrop, the Orangutan Tropical Peatland Project

10 July 2014 Jobs

Hiring Organization:

OuTrop (the Orangutan Tropical Peatland Project)

Position Description:

OuTrop is looking for a new Operations Manager to manage its field project in Sabangau, Central Kalimantan, Indonesia (Borneo). OuTrop’s main field project is based in the Sabangau Forest located in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia (Borneo) and includes: three primate behaviour projects (orang-utans, gibbons and red langurs), biodiversity surveys, camera trapping, forestry research, regeneration research in our seedling nursery, numerous student and short-term research projects, and supporting a variety of on-the-ground conservation initiatives implemented by our local partners.

The successful candidate will provide overall management support to the Project Directors, Scientists and other staff, to help ensure the successful delivery of all Project objectives. You will have overall responsibility for the OuTrop field research project and all staff, students, volunteers, interns and visitors that work on the Project. Working together with our Primate Scientist and Accounts Manager, you will be responsible for daily research team schedules, personnel management, project financial management, health and safety, all project facilities and equipment, coordinating with the CIMTROP camp manager and kitchen staff, and working with the Field Director to help further our conservation objectives. You will provide an in-country advisory role to the Communications Manager, write monthly reports for the Board of Directors and contribute to the development of the OuTrop project both in-situ and to a wider audience. You need to familiarise yourself with all OuTrop projects, including accompanying research and volunteer teams in the forest, and maintain regular communications with the Project Directors and all field team members, plus our partners and collaborating researchers, as relevant. If you are suitably qualified, provision of scientific support/advice to non-primate field research activities may also be required.

We are looking for a highly organized person, with excellent coordination and team management skills, and preferably with tropical research experience and a dedication to wildlife conservation. The candidate needs to be motivated, flexible, empathetic, patient, amicable (good social and political skills), well organized, a good communicator, and physically and mentally fit. This role requires the ability to integrate multiple tasks, responsibilities and staff supervision as it's a transverse role across the project. Applicants must also have the ability to cope well under stress and readily master new skills. Previous experience of similar projects in Indonesia and ability to speak Bahasa Indonesia to conversational level are strongly preferred. Note that this is a full-time position mainly based in our field station, and that flexibility is needed to work both at weekends and frequently during evenings, as needed.

Duties include:


  • To ensure the overall smooth operation of the OuTrop project in Sabangau and improve wherever possible, working together with the Directors and all Project members. This encompasses a wide range of responsibilities, some of which cannot always be anticipated in advance, and so a willingness to accept flexibility in duties (sometimes at short notice) is required.

  • To assume primary responsibility for managing daily research schedules and Project personnel, working together with the Primate Scientist, Volunteer Coordinator and other managerial personnel as appropriate.

  • To be the primary point of contact between the Project Directors and all other Project personnel (Indonesian and international), plus and our local counterparts at the University of Palangka Raya to ensure good communications and relations, that instructions are carried out, tasks are properly implemented, and problems are identified and resolved in a timely and profesional manner.

  • To prepare monthly in-country accounts projections, plus pay staff wages and others bills, and oversee project accounts together with our Accounts Manager.

  • To assist the Project Directors in defining the objectives, strategies, responsibilities and tasks of the Field Team and its members.

  • To work together with the Project Scientists and other team members to ensure that all work is carried out according to protocol and that data quality is maintained and, where possible, improved.

  • To support the Project Directors in implementing OuTrop’s policies and protocols, particularly regarding health and safety, and in dealing with human resources issues.

  • To prepare and lead at minimum monthly staff meetings, to assess overall Project performance, and identify and resolve any performance-related issues. This includes both group and individual meetings, and may include instigating disciplinary procedures.

  • To contribute towards the development and ensure the effective implementation of OuTrop’s Staff and Intern Development Programmes.

  • To manage project logistics and equipment, both in camp and the Project offices in Palangka Raya. This includes ensuring equipment is properly stored and inventoried, that equipment is repaired or replaced when broken, that work and leisure areas are kept tidy and in a state presentable to guests, and that camp/office infrastructure is maintained and repaired where necessary.

  • To support OuTrop’s Directors and Communications Manager in generally promoting the Project and furthering our communications, including providing regular communications materials, assisting the Communications Manager in obtaining such materials through others, providing advice and feedback on OuTrop/s communications, and assisting with arrangements for Project visitors/guests.




  • Essential personal traits include good social and organisational skills, high motivation, an attention to detail, flexibility and ability to cope under stress, a focus on identifying the solutions to problems as well as the problems themselves, plus the ability to manage and prioritise multiple tasks.

  • Personnel and project management, and team coordination experience essential; administration and financial management experience preferred.

  • Training in and/or experience with team work development strategies, conflict resolution and leadership on small projects/organizations essential.

  • A minimum 1 year’s experience in tropical field research projects preferred, ideally in areas of active OuTrop research.

  • Undergraduate or higher Biology or other relevant university degree an advantage, ideally in ecology/conservation/primatology.

  • Good computing skills essential (including Access, Excel, Word, etc.)

  • Good spoken and written English essential.

  • Previous experience of working in Indonesia and a minimum conversational level of Bahasa Indonesia are strongly preferred.

  • Possession of an emergency first aid certificate, or willingness to obtain such a certificate either before or immediately after appointment, is expected.

  • Both Indonesian and foreign nationals meeting the above criteria will be considered. OuTrop is an Equal Opportunities employer.




  • GBP 300/month or the equivalent in IDR for Indonesian applicants.

  • Local stipend of IDR 500,000 to cover basic food and other minor costs in Palangka Raya.


Support provided for positions:


  • Accommodation in the research camp in Sabangau and OuTrop office/house in Palangka Raya, plus food at research camps.

  • For Indonesian applicants, one set of flights and/or other transport from your place of current residence to Palangka Raya will be provided.

  • For international applicants, one set of international flights up to GBP 700 and one set of domestic flights from Jakarta to Palangka Raya will be reimbursed for each 12 month contract period, and all visa-related costs will be covered.

  • Health insurance up to GBP 25/month or the equivalent in IDR.

  • Note that all of the above extends only to the worker and not any accompanying family members.


Term of Appointment:


1 year, extendable upon agreement by both parties.


Application Deadline:


Friday 25th July 2014, with completed reference letters to be received by Friday 1st August 2014. Interviews are expected to be held within the first half of August, with the successful applicant then starting work in Indonesia as soon as can be arranged thereafter (anticipated October-November 2014).


Please send a covering letter detailing why you believe you are suitable for the position, an up-to-date CV to and two completed written references to OuTrop’s Managing Director, Dr Mark Harrison: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with the job title as the email subject. Reference letters and CVs may be provided in Bahasa Indonesia or English, but cover letters must be written in English.



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