Before reading the information about the position, I would like to state it clearly that the group provides equal opportunity for anyone who is interested in animal behaviour and cognition and that has the best capacity to conduct high-level of scientific studies. Our decision will not be based on ethnicity, race, sex, age, sexual orientation, religious, disability etc – but your ability to do good and open science.

Afterall, living (and not just existing) a life needs insights from new experiences and new information. If you join the group, we would like you to keep an open mind, meeting new people, voicing out your ideas, showing respect and understanding to group members. Information in the group is transparent (i.e. open and effective communication) and we do not accept any kind of bullying happen in the group (i.e. encourage calling out bullies).

We also prioritise animal welfare as one of the key ways to do good science. Welfare include basic husbandry, enrichment and interaction with animals.

If you are still interested in the position, please read on….



Comparative Cognition Research Group, Max-Planck Institute for Ornithology, Tenerife, Spain

The Max-Planck Comparative Cognition Research Group (CCRG) https://www.orn.mpg.de/Comparative-Cognition-Research-Group-von-Bayern

invites applications of Masters students and volunteer research assistants. The CCRG forms part of the collaboration between the Max-Planck Institute for Ornithology, Seewiesen, Germany, and the Loro Parque Fundación (LPF), Tenerife, Spain. We are currently running various comparative research projects on social and physical cognition in parrots. Interested candidates are encouraged to contact us to enquire about the ongoing projects. We particularly welcome international candidates to join the team and are willing to provide required documents for visa application. Successful applicants can expect to gain a solid insight in the field of Animal Cognition/Experimental Psychology and gain experience in working with psittacids in a dynamic, international research environment. The research is carried out on captive parrots of the LPF, which holds the largest parrot collection and gene reserve in the world (ca. 350 subspecies) for conservation and research purposes.


Voluntary research assistant position/Master project starts between March and May 2021. The position requires a minimum of 4 months, but ideally 6 months (could be extended), continuous commitment at the research station in Tenerife, Spain. Free accommodation in a shared student apartment can be provided. However, we require volunteers to pay for 50 euros to cover some maintenance costs (e.g. water, electricity). Successful applicants will be responsible for their own transportation expenses to and from the research station (Puerto de la Cruz, Tenerife, Spain).

Important skills/qualifications:

Successful candidates will have to demonstrate:

  • A completed degree in Biology, Psychology or any related field (essential)
  • A strong interest in comparative cognition or behaviour and cognition (essential)
  • High motivation and commitment to the project (essential)
  • Basic use and understanding of statistics (essential)
  • Reliability, initiation, efficiency and independence in carrying out a research project (essential)
  • Effective Team work communication, and an open mind (essential)
  • Confidence to interact with animals (desirable)
  • Previous relevant laboratory or field research experience (desirable)
  • Good verbal and written English skills (desirable)
  • Initiative to develop a project (optional)
  • Good social skills (shared accommodation between 3 students) (desirable)

To apply:

This is an ongoing recruitment until the position is filled. For further information on how to apply for the position, please email Dr. Pizza Chow (pizza.chow@orn.mpg.de) and Dr. Anastasia Krasheninnikova (akrashe@orn.mpg.de). Contact details of 2 referees may be requested.