Employment Opportunities

REU Program Coordinator (two contract positions available)

The Organization for Tropical Studies (OTS) is a nonprofit consortium of about 50 universities and research institutions worldwide, with operations in three countries and research and education stations in Costa Rica and South Africa.

The organization seeks two Program Coordinators for the OTS LSAMP Research Experience for Undergraduates program to lead all aspects of the program, one each at either the La Selva or Las Cruces Research Stations in Costa Rica.  Work would be completed both in the United States and within Costa Rica. Coordinators are responsible for creating a supportive and professional research experience for underrepresented minorities (URM) in STEM, working with field and home mentors to complete an 8-week research project.


  • Assist with the process of selecting field mentors.
  • Assist with the process of selecting students.
  • Assist in the organization of workshops and orientation sessions.
  • Work with the staff of OTS to handle and oversee logistic matters related to curricular needs, including transportation, lodging, and meals within the country; program research permits; and transportation of resource persons.
  • Coordinate program planning and activities.
  • Coordinate and invite guest lecturers to assist during the program.
  • Deliver lectures and conduct discussion sections.
  • Design and oversee field exercises.
  • Assist students with independent research projects.
  • In the case of student illness or injury, facilitate student access to appropriate medical attention, and complete an Incident Report immediately after the incident.
  • When appropriate, provide counseling and mentoring support for students; inform the Academic Director and the REU grant PI of special counseling needs and refer students to outside counseling support when necessary.
  • Participate in staff meetings as assigned by the Academic Director and/or REU grant PI.
  • Inform the Academic Director and/or REU grant PI of the program progress on a regular basis, including any and all issues that arise with respect to faculty interests, faculty-student relationships, group moral, field site accommodations, etc.
  • Coordinate and maintain a log of student disciplinary issues.
  • Supervise the work of Teaching Assistants, including reviews of job performance.
  • Within one week of the end of the program, submit the following to the Academic Director: final evaluative report, and program book.

Qualifications and Experience

  • PhD in Ecology of related area with extensive research experience in the tropics; preference given to candidates that have worked at OTS research stations in Costa Rica.
  • At least 5-years of experience leading student groups in an international setting; preference will be given to candidates that have led multiple REU groups.
  • Demonstrated experience working with URM students in STEM
  • Demonstrated experience with NSF reporting
  • Fluency in spoken and written Spanish
  • Multicultural experience
  • Familiarity with best practices in risk management topics as related to tropical field work.

To Apply

This is contract work.  A resume and a cover letter are required.  Applications received without a cover letter will not be considered.  Please include the expected level of compensation for your services.  Send both documents (in PDF format) to jobs@tropicalstudies.org including “REU Program Coordinator” in the email subject line.

The Organization for Tropical Studies is an affirmative action and equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, age, protected veteran or disabled status, or genetic information.