Research Assistant and Divemaster Internship in the Philippines

Career development in Marine Science and professional diving, and a chance to make an impact

Gain practical experience in marine science research and receive comprehensive training for a career in marine conservation whilst studying one of the most biodiverse regions in the world. This is an ideal internship for talented marine scientists to use their expertise for the furtherment of marine conservation.

This organization conducts critical research on marine ecosystems in the Coral Triangle. They study coral bleaching, corallivorous invertebrates, pollution, with special focus towards developing community-based marine conservation strategies. Their primary function is publishing their findings in scientific papers and journals to involve the scientific community in finding conservation solutions. As well as this, they use what they learn to conduct outreach programs to inspire locally-led, evidence-based, conservation strategies.

As an intern role will revolve around leading underwater surveys monitoring the biodiversity of marine ecosystems. In this, you’ll expand and deepen your understanding of marine science, marine conservation, and the role of a research assistant. At the same time, you’ll be gaining valuable experience and career guidance for work as a professional diver.

Learning objectives:

  • PADI Divemaster certification with experience leading dives
  • An intimate and expansive knowledge of coral reef systems and marine life in the Indo-Pacific region
  • A practical understanding of Marine research tools and methods including 3-D reef modeling, diver operated stereo video systems, and the most up to date software systems
  • Experience leading underwater training and research dives
  • Communicating scientific findings on two levels: through scientific publications and through community outreach programs
  • International work experience as a marine scientist working in the nonprofit sector


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.


Day-to-day your duties and responsibilities will revolve around conducting underwater research dives, analyzing your findings and tracking data. You will also have a fairly packed schedule of lectures and workshops to get you up-to-speed on Indo-Pacific coral, fish, benthic, invertebrate and disease identification.

What you’ll do
  • Conducting underwater research dives
  • Surveying marine ecosystems, cataloging marine species,and monitoring biodiversity
  • Processing, tracking, and analyzing data
  • Practicing scientific research using innovative techniques, various methods and an array of marine science tools
  • Utilizing state of the art image analysis software to collect data
  • Writing reports and papers for publications orientated towards the scientific community
  • Putting together information packages and educational resources for community outreach programs
  • Leading training dives
  • Teaching marine science research knowledge and skills

Training and lectures during your internship:

  • Divemaster 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)
  • PADI Rescue Diver and Emergency first responder qualifications
  • Medical evaluation clearing you for diving
  • Passion for marine conservation science
  • Data-processing and analysis skills
  • Willingness and aptitude to learn about marine species and scientific research methods


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 6,356

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
  • PADI Divemaster Positive Identification Card (PIC)
Bulak, Dauin, Philippines
Marine Conservation nonprofit
Data analysis, Monitoring, Research, Reporting, Education
Min. 3 Months
From USD 6356
  • Gain practical, in-field experience researching marine conservation science
  • Practice data processing and analysis using professional equipment and softwares
  • Develop an detailed knowledge of marine life and coral systems of the Indo-Pacific area
  • Scuba-dive up to 50-times per month (weather permitting) in one of the most biodiverse marine regions in the world
  • Earn a PADI Divemaster qualification
3 MONTHS USD 6,356

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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