The Alpine Marmot Project

Welcome to the Alpine Marmot Project

Working with us


We welcome applications to join the research group from potential post-docs at any time, but cannot provide funds so post-docs visiting the group will need to make their own plans to fund their time in Lyon. We will be happy to provide support in writing up applications. Prospective post-docs should initially write a letter, enclosing a CV, telling us where their research interests lie. Please send us CV’s or other material  as attached e-mail files in an e-mail entitled “post-doc”.

PhD Students

Prospective PhD students should apply before the end of February. We usually enter one candidate in the doctoral school competition for studentships open to members of all countries, having discussed their prospective projects with them first. We seek to finalize who we are entering for the competition by 30 April. , final decision is done by the doctoral school the first week of July after writing up of the PhD project and an interview. Phd student starts the following September. We are also glad to consider applications for PhD places from qualified students from non-EU countries, but students will not be accepted unless they can guarantee their own funding for the duration of their period as a student. Prospective students should initially write a letter, enclosing a CV, telling us where their research interests lie. We may follow this up by asking them to produce a two-page outline of a project that they would like to do . We may then ask them to come into Lyon for an initial interview since We are seldom prepared to support applications unless we have met the people involved.

Anyone applying to join the research group should realize that the group has no formal secretarial support. Consequently, we cannot help with raising funds, finding accommodation and making travel arrangements. Please send us CV’s or other material  as attached e-mail files in an e-mail entitled “phd student”.

Field assistant positions

The Alpine Marmot Project offers positions for field assistant volunteers.During their time at the project field assistants learn a range of valuable skills and field techniques including observation, research design, and some data handling.


The project employs 4 to 6 field assistants per year, each of which spend two months in the French Alps monitoring and collecting detailed data on our study population.

Accommodation and food for field assistant are provided, and volunteers are paid a monthly allowance to cover their food and accommodation expenses (at the end of their stay). Since it takes times to acquire the necessary field skills, we only take field assistants who are prepared to stay for 2 months.

Field assistants should be prepared to work hard! The typical day of a field assistants start at 7:30 am with the waking up of the marmots and end up at 10:00 pm with the marmots going to bed. Of course marmots are not aware of Saturdays or Sundays. Initial training will be provided, and field assistants usually work alone or by two. Field assistants will also work with Earthwatch teams.


There is usually strong competition for these places. In general, volunteers will have a degree in Biology, Zoology, Conservation biology, Psychology, or a related subject. Volunteers must be physically fit and able to commit to 2 months of field work in demanding conditions in the French Alps. Volunteers must have a driving license.

How to Apply

Places are available from the 15th of May to the 15h of July. If you are interested in a field assistant position, please contact Sylvia Pardonnet with an e-mail entitled “field assistant” sent to the following e-mail address: with a letter explaining your motivations and a CV as attachments before December.

Once selected

The selected field assistants will be asked to send as quickly as possible:
– a convention of stage from their university
– a copy of their ID card (two sides)
– a copy of their social security card
– a copy of their civil insurance
– a copy of their driving license (two sides)
– a copy of their IBAN/RIB
– electronic copies in an e-mail entitled “marmot student” to: (with copy to and

– hard copies in two separate letters for Sylvia Pardonnet and Aurélie Cohas sent at the following address:

“Biométrie et Biologie Évolutive”
UCB Lyon 1 – Bât. Grégor Mendel
43 bd du 11 novembre 1918
69622 VILLEURBANNE cedex


We are always glad to welcome academic visitors to the group for periods of up to a year, but cannot provide funding to cover their visits.