Marine Research Assistant Internship in the Philippines

Take your first steps into a career in marine science studying biodiversity in the Coral Triangle

This is a unique opportunity to assist with the furtherment of Marine Science studying coral reefs in one of the most biodiverse marine regions in the world. Receive practical and theoretical training in marine science research, gain experience, whilst being able to earn your PADI Open Water and Advanced Open Water SCUBA Certification.

This organization operates in a site of unique potential for marine science research in the Coral Triangle. They conduct critical research on coral reef systems, surrounding habitats, and the marine life within them. Their findings are published in high-quality scientific papers orientated towards the scientific community and also used in community outreach programs. They are on a mission to transform global marine ecosystems through locally-led conservation strategies.

As an intern you’ll work alongside marine scientists and assist with the attainment and processing of all data collected from their Dauin Long-Term Reef Monitoring Project. You’ll go on regular underwater research dives and learn to use a range of Marine Research equipment, tools, and software. You’ll also develop a wealth of practical, theoretical, problem-solving, and analytical skills in a marine science context.

Learning objectives:

  • Gain practical marine science research experience conducting underwater research dives
  • Develop a detailed understanding of coral reef systems in the Indo-Pacific region
  • Underwater field training in 3-D reef modeling, diver-operated Stereo Video System, and reef impact protocols
  • Learn and practice data-analysis of images using up-to-date software systems
  • Build communication skills relaying scientific findings to community through outreach programs
  • PADI Open Water SCUBA Certification
  • PADI Advanced Open Water SCUBA Certification


Taking a holistic approach to marine conservation, this nonprofit organization operates on three levels: to research marine life and identify threats; to develop locally led conservation strategies; and transform global ecosystems through community-led initiatives. Institute for Marine Research (IMR) is based in Dauin, Philippines, and conducts long-term, fine-scale marine science research with a special focus on coral reefs.

IMR is a valuable resource to the Philippines, and marine science worldwide, conducting critical research on how to best protect coral reefs and marine habitats. As well as publishing their findings in high-quality papers orientated towards the scientific community, IMR uses what they learn to protect marine life. They collaborate with local coastal communities to develop sustainable conservation solutions, running community outreach programs to teach the importance of marine conservation and encourage locally led conservation strategies.


Your duties as an intern will revolve around assisting the Science Staff with collection, processing, and analysis of data from their Dauin Long-Term Reef Monitoring Project. You’ll also work to corroborating findings to develop information packages and educational resources for their community outreach programs.

What you’ll do
  • Assisting with the data collection, processing, and analysis
  • Conducting underwater research and survey dives
  • Using up-to-date software systems to analyze data from images obtained on survey dives and from other reef monitoring methods
  • Putting together information packs and educational resources for use in community outreach activities
  • Attend a series of lectures and workshops on reef ecology and Indo-Pacific marine life identification

Training and lectures during your internship:

  • If applicable: PADI Open Water and/or Advanced training
  • 10 day coral reef ecology & physiology lecture series
  • Workshops on Indo-Pacific coral, fish, benthic, invertebrate and disease identification
  • Underwater field training in 3-Dimensional reef modeling, diver operated Stereo Video System (SVS), benthic assays, and reef impact protocols (coral bleaching, coral disease, drupella spp. and crown of thorns starfish outbreaks
  • Data analysis of images using the most up to date software systems (CPCe, EventMeasure, and AgiSoft)
  • ~50 training training and survey dives per month (weather permitting)
  • No SCUBA Experience necessary
  • Medical evaluation clearing you for SCUBA diving
  • Studying towards a Bachelor’s degree in Marine Science or relevant field is preferable but not necessary
  • Passion for marine conservation science
  • Willingness to learn methods, tools and skills of marine science research
  • Minimum age of 18 years old


This organization operates from Bulak, Dauin, Philippines. Home to a diverse range of marine ecosystems, including coral reefs and seagrass beds, Bulak is a location of unique potential for marine science research. These ecosystems are located in the Coral Triangle, one of the most biodiverse marine regions in the world, populated by a stunning variety of marine life (fish, invertebrates, and algae). This makes Bulak an ideal location for studying the effects of climate change, pollution, and other human activities on marine ecosystems.

Your accommodation will be at the IMR base, located within a Resort right on the oceanfront, and five minutes from the vibrant town center of Dauin. You’ll stay in a shared room with shared bathrooms, and have the base’s a well-equipped kitchen, dining room, classrooms and a dive training pool at your disposal.
For pictures and more information about the resorts’ location please visit


This internship begins at the first of each month. Those requiring Open Water and/or Advanced Open Water training will be required to arrive one week prior to the start of the internship for their dive training. Fees vary depending on your current diving certification.

Program dates
1-28 Feb
1-28 May
1-28 Aug
1-28 Nov
1-28 Mar
1-28 Jun
1-28 Sept
1-28 Dec
1-28 Apr
1-28 Jul
1-28 Oct
1-28 Jan


What you’ll pay (2023 rates)

Uncertified USD 3,430
Open Water USD 3,012
Advanced USD 2,708

What you are paying for:
  • Careful matchmaking. It takes time to find the right internship for each person, and we take this process very seriously.
  • Initial interview with one of our team to gauge your skills, interests, and desired learning outcomes.
  • Accommodation in shared room with shared bathrooms and 24hr internet access
  • Three meals a day from Monday to Saturday
  • Airport / ferry pick-up from Dumaguete
  • Assistance with your visa arrangement & other preparations
  • On the ground support during your stay
  • All training and workshops and crewpack as mentioned in the ‘What you’ll do section’
  • Marine sanctuary fees
  • SCUBA equipment (tanks, weight belt and weights only)
  • All necessary field equipment
  • Regular check-ins during your internship with you and your supervisor.
  • Access to free workshops with a focus on career development
  • 24hr in-country support and troubleshooting if needed
  • A reference letter at the end of your internship
  • Flights
  • Visa, medical and travel insurance costs for the duration of your placement – must include cover for diving and repatriation
  • Meals, drinks, snacks, and items of personal nature (f.e. curios, gifts, clothing)
  • SCUBA equipment (gear hire available)
Bulak, Dauin, Philippines
Marine Conservation nonprofit
Data analysis, Research, Reporting, Education
4 Weeks
From USD 2,708
  • Gain practical experience on marine science research dives
  • Learn a wealth of data-processing and analytical skills
  • Earn up to a PADI Advanced Open Water SCUBA Qualification
  • Contribute to the furtherment of marine conservation science at a local level and worldwide
  • Receive career guidance and job placement training in in marine science fields and professional diving
Uncertified USD 3,430
Open Water USD 3,012
Advanced USD 2,708

See Detailed Rates



If you’re ready to apply for this internship, here’s what to do:

Fill in the application form (it will show in a new screen) which includes sharing your CV with us.

We’ll set up a call with you to go through your application.

If we feel it’s a good match, we’ll set up a call between you and the supervisor for this internship.

If everyone’s happy, we’ll provisionally confirm your placement! We’ll then send you  all the information you need.

We’ll then send you the invoice for the deposit. Only once we receive payment of the deposit your placement will be confirmed.


Or if you’d just like to ask us some questions about this internship first, just fill in the contact form below. We’ll be happy to assist!


two divers underwater reading a map

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