Medicinal Plant Research Internship in Brazil

Help to protect the Atlantic Rainforest by promoting the conservation and sustainable use of its medicinal plants.

Travel to Brazil’s Atlantic Rainforest, study endemic species of medicinal plants, and share traditional knowledge about their uses. You’ll work to stimulate production of medicines and cosmetics from native plants and demonstrate the economic benefits of conservation to local communities.

This long-standing organization works to restore the Brazilian Atlantic Rainforest and develop prosperous communities in a flourishing landscape. They run a range of projects in biodiversity and sustainability taking a multi-faceted approach to promoting a sustainable, income-based relationship between local communities and the forest. This project aims to establish a new paradigm among the Atlantic Forest communities showing that the forest’s native medicinal plants can be a vital source of health, income and economic empowerment.

As an intern, you’ll work with local community members, inviting them to share traditional knowledge of medicinal plants, as well as conducting independent research. Your work will help develop new ways to distill essential oils, create natural cosmetic products, produce aromatherapy remedies, and find viable ways for locals to profit from these products.


Founded in 1999, Iracambi is an accomplished conservation and sustainability focused non-profit organization located in one of the world’s most biodiverse regions: the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. Their mission is to help reverse the effects of the climate crisis by restoring the rainforest.

They take a multi-faceted approach to this mission. Not only do they proactively plant their trees, they also work with local communities to create a paradigm shift by which the preservation and sustainable use of the forest is more attractive than its destruction. Among their projects are research into medicinal plants, huge-scale reforestation, and educational programs in local schools and communities. They’ve also hosted thousands of researchers, volunteers and interns and their alumni can be found in academia, business, the arts, and government across the world.


This is a small project fronted by a deeply passionate team. You’ll be helping to maintain and develop their numerous ongoing projects, so you can expect a great scope for variety in tasks. As such you’ll need to be adaptable, innovative, and a great team player.

What you’ll do
  • Conducting independent or supervised research into medicinal plants, holistic therapies and other forest products.
  • Collaborating with local community members to gather traditional knowledge of indigenous plant species
  • Helping to maintain and manage the medicinal plants laboratory.
  • Working on the medicinal plants garden.
  • Helping plan and deliver the workshops in rural communities
  • Producing informational resources on the socio-economic benefits on sustainable use of forest plants
  • A passion for biodiversity conservation and sustainability
  • Adaptability, resilience, and innovation
  • Academic background or prior experience in biology, botany, or a related field
  • Experience with business development is a bonus
  • English language skills with excellent verbal and written communication
  • Portuguese language skills is not necessary but will help with community involvement
  • Willingness to get involved with hand-on work


You’ll stay at the Iracambi Research Center, located in the outskirts of the Serra do Brigadeiro State Park 12 kilometers from the nearest city, Rosário da Limeria. Facilities at the center include accommodation for researchers, interns and visitors, a computer lab, field laboratory, their multi-use Forest House, forest nursery, and systems of forest trails. You’ll either be in the main house or in one of their cozy cabins and take all your meals at their on-site restaurant.

The center is located in the Atlantic Forest of Brazil that lies between Rio Grande do Norte and Rio Grande do Sul, stretching from the coast to the inland mountains. At an altitude ranging between 800 to 1300 meters, the forest’s vegetation and biomes have a great diversity including humid tropical forest, semi-deciduous tropical forest, low montane forest and mangrove swamps.


Internship start and end dates are flexible and will be discussed with your during the selection process.

What you’ll pay (2023 rates)

8 weeks USD 2,032
12 weeks USD 3,048
16 weeks USD 4,064
20 weeks USD 5,080
26 weeks USD 6,604

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.
  • Shared accommodation in the main house or one of the cabins
  • Wifi
  • Three meals a day
  • Assistance with your visa arrangement & other preparations
  • An orientation program with your supervisor
  • Supervision & support during your stay
  • Regular check-ins during your internship with you and your supervisor
  • Access to workshops with a focus on career development
  • Troubleshooting if needed
  • A reference letter at the end of your internship
  • Flights to Sao Paolo / Rio de Janeiro (recommended)
  • Bus & taxi transfers to the research centers
  • Visa and medical/travel insurance costs for the duration of your placement – must include cover for repatriation
  • Drinks, snacks, and items of personal nature (f.e. curios, gifts, clothing)
  • Costs for additional excursions or activities
Serra do Brigadeiro State Park, Brazil
Nature Conservation NGO
Research, conservation, community outreach, lab work
Min. 8 Weeks
From USD 2,032
  • Gain practical experience in the lab and the field
  • Join and learn from a team of dedicated, accomplished experts
  • Develop a comprehensive understanding of rainforest conservation and sustainability
  • Work on innovative projects on the sustainable use of medicinal forest plants
  • Live and work in the Brazilian Atlantic Rainforest
8 WEEKS USD 2,032
12 WEEKS USD 3,048
16 WEEKS USD 4,064

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 to 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 the invoice for the deposit, getting started with the booking process and all the info you need.


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!


girl with millipede on her hand

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