Bern, Switzerland

The Mountain Research Initiative (MRI) is looking for a Student Assistant to begin as soon as possible (no later than 1 July 2020). Deadline to apply is extended to 8 June, 2020.


The MRI, supported by the Swiss Academy of Sciences, is an international network that connects researchers and promotes global change research in mountain regions worldwide. The MRI Coordination Office, hosted at the Centre for Development and Environment at the University of Bern, Switzerland, serves as a central and enabling hub whereby flagship activities, synthesis workshops, working groups, events, and online platforms bring researchers and stakeholders from diverse disciplines and backgrounds together. 


The MRI is seeking to recruit an enthusiastic and motivated Student Assistant to support the MRI Coordination Office with various tasks, including the maintenance of datasets and databases, research and publication bibliographic information, as well as assist with the transition to the new MRI Experts Database that is currently under development.

The contract is a temporary (approximately 3-month) term at 20% FTE, starting as soon as possible and no later than 1 July 2020. Working days are negotiable, and there is some flexibility in the distribution of hours during that timeframe. Salary is set in accordance with University of Bern terms, with office space provided at MRI for the duration of the contract, however remote home office may be needed at times given the current Covid-19 measures in place.

This position would suit a methodical and independent student, with a keen eye for detail, and who is looking for a temporary work position for the summer months.

Key Tasks

The Student Assistant is expected to support the MRI Coordination Office with the following key tasks:

  • Update and maintenance of online bibliographies, publications databases and records for various MRI projects, which may include online searches and basic information gathering;
  • Update and maintenance of the current MRI Experts Database, which currently has over 11,000 entries;
  • Assisting with tasks related to the development and transition to the new MRI Expert Database;
  • Where possible, other tasks may also include general support for the MRI Coordination Office team, as needed.

Desirable Skills and Qualifications

  • Bachelor or Masters student enrolled in Geography or a related field for the duration of the 3-month contract;

  • Basic spreadsheet skills and the ability to create and modify tables and graphs using MS Excel;

  • Familiarity with bibliographic databases such as Mendeley or EndNote;

  • Excellent organizational skills, with the ability to work autonomously but support and contribute to a team environment;

  • Experience with large datasets and databases and/or basic programming skills are an asset, but not a pre-requisite;

  • Fluency in English (spoken and written) is a prerequisite for this role.


Please send a letter of interest with a two-page max. summary CV, including the names of 2 referees, as a single PDF to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., with Student Assistant (20% FTE) in the subject of the email. Applications are open until Monday 8 June 2020, or until a suitable candidate is found. Shortlisted candidates must be available to attend a short virtual interview to be scheduled in mid-June 2020.

For any questions, please contact Dr Aino Kulonen (MRI Scientific Officer) at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Download the Job Description as a PDF

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