Marine Research Fellow Internship in the Philippines

Gain comprehensive training and practical experience as a professional Marine Scientist

This is an advanced program for those ready to take those first steps into a career in marine conservation science. Travel to the Coral Triangle, where you’ll receive expert career development whilst gaining in-field research experience and leading up teams on marine research projects.

This organization’s mission is to transform global marine ecosystems through locally-led community based conservation strategies. They achieve this by conducting innovative research on Coral Reef systems and marine biodiversity, publishing their findings in scientific papers and reports, and channeling research to encourage locally-led evidence-based marine conservation initiatives.

As an intern, it will be your responsibility to lead, maintain, and develop current research projects. You’ll also have the chance to devise and coordinate your own independent projects. What’s more, not only will you gain practical experience in innovative fine-scale research techniques of marine science research, you’ll experience lecturing and leading training programs on it too.

Learning objectives:

  • Expert knowledge of coral reef ecosystems and Indo-Pacific marine life
  • Leaderships skills and the confidence to develop and run independent research projects
  • Comprehensive understanding of marine research tools, equipment, and software systems
  • Experience lecturing on coral reef ecology and teaching marine research techniques
  • Well-developed skills in the collection, processing, tracking, and analysis of data collected from research projects
  • Learn and practice data analysis of images using high-end software systems


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.


Research Fellows will work leading research programs. This includes devising your own independent research projects, facilitating pre-existing long term projects, and corroborating findings for publication. You’ll also be responsible for educating and mentoring research assistants

What you’ll do
  • Conducting underwater research dives to collect samples, conduct surveys, and observing marine life
  • Working in the lab, analyzing data and conducting experiments
  • Collaborating with other researchers by attending conferences, presenting work, and pooling research findings for publication
  • Lecturing research assistants on marine ecology and teaching research techniques
  • Mentoring students, such as leading research projects, providing feedback, or writing letters of recommendation
  • Communicating their research to the public, such as writing articles for the press, giving presentations, or creating educational materials

Training and lectures during your internship:

  • 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)
  • Enrolled in or completed a Bachelor’s degree in marine science or a related field
  • A strong academic background in marine science and prior professional experience is preferred
  • Dive Master certification
  • Ability to conduct independent research
  • Advanced communication and public speaking skills
  • Capable of working independently and as part of a team.


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


Program dates
1 Feb – 28 April
1 May – 28 July
1 Aug – 28 Oct
1 Nov – 28 Jan
1 Mar -28 May
1 June – 28 Aug
1 Sept – 28 Nov
1 Apr – 28 June
1 July – 28 Sept
>1 Oct – 28 Dec


What you’ll pay (2023 rates)

3 months USD 4,513

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)
  • Costs for additional excursions, recreational dives (available on Sundays) or activities
Bulak, Dauin, Philippines
Marine Conservation nonprofit
Data analysis, (Lab) Research, Reporting, Mentoring, Education
3 Months
From USD 4,513
  • Gain practical experience devising, coordinating and leading marine science research projects
  • Comprehensive training in innovative, fine-scale marine research techniques and career guidance
  • Get work published
  • SCUBA dive in and study an area of unique potential for marine research
  • Contribute to the furtherment of marine conservation at a global and local level
3 months USD 4,513

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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