Becoming an Academic Intern

On top of our regular volunteer programs, we also allocate time and resources for dedicated students who want to become an intern in marine conservation and research.

Once you apply to become an intern, we will provide you with tutorship and academic advice. In return, we expect you to specialize in one of the areas of marine conservation and contribute to the scientific and/or local fishing communities.

If you simply want to gain hands-on conservation experience under one of our current projects, consider becoming a volunteer instead.

You can see some of our Archived research documents and publications here.

Steps to become a successful intern

Step 1: find your research topic

You can look at our ongoing projects and see if they coincide with your field of interests. Otherwise, you can also develop your own research questions. You can see our list of suggested research topics to get started.

We have 10+ years of experience with marine biologists, ecologists and environmental scientists. We can train you in the areas below even if you have no prior experience.

  1. Fish Species ID and Abundance Assessment
  2. Invertebrate Species ID and Abundance Assessment
  3. Substrate Identification and Health Assessment
  4. Seagrass Density and Species ID
  5. Seahorse Species ID, Behavior and Distribution
  6. Marine Mammal Monitoring, Abundance, Distribution and Behavior
  7. Community Socio-demographics
  8. Marine Fisheries Resources Management
  9. Marine Protected Area Management and Policy
Step 2: apply

Once you have your proposed research topic, fill out the application form.

Then, we will review your application and reply to you through email. We may ask you for more supporting documents or an interview.

If we approve your application, we will guide you through the preparation work (e.g., visa, payment, transportation, etc.). Stay in close contact with us until you arrive on the island.

Step 3: begin your work on the island

Once you have arrived on the island, we will introduce you to your tutor(s).

The tutor is there to provide you with some initial training. When you start to specialize in your area of research, the tutor will also stay with you and guide you through the process.

Step 4: present your findings to us

Regardless of your institution’s requirement, we ask all interns to present their research to us (as well as other interns and volunteers) at the end of their stay.

This is to train your ability to compile and organize your findings, as well as your science communication skills. At the same time, it will inspire the audience to explore other areas of research and conservation.

Step 5: create a written report

For outstanding research work that can contribute to Cambodia’s marine environment, we may invite you to submit a written report to the Cambodian Department of Fisheries Conservation.

If successful, they will publish your work in their yearly fisheries publication. We will also promote your work and offer you a 1-month free stay.

Step 6: publish in a peer-reviewed journal

Sometimes, an intern will produce research-grade papers that are publishable in a peer-reviewed journal.

For those who can get their paper published, we would like to offer you to continue your research with us. We may also financially assist you in your continued research work in Cambodia.

Bonus step: become part of our team

We are constantly scanning for outstanding work. If we find you helpful to our projects, we may propose full-time offers or other collaboration opportunities to you. We are also happy to assist you in other suitable ways.

Requirements/ Eligibility

Academic internship focuses on training future leaders in the field of marine conservation and research. This is more intense than our volunteer programs and is reserved for prospective students with a strong background and passion only.

If you want to gain hands-on conservation experience under one of our current projects, consider becoming a volunteer instead.

Basic requirements
  • Be available for at least 3 month
  • Be able to work in early mornings and late evenings
  • Willing to help with daily upkeep outside of normal working hours (e.g., washing dishes and cleaning the communal area)
  • Be dedicated, motivated and hard-working
  • preferably, but not necessarily, university students or recent graduates
Diving requirements

If your research consists of any underwater component, we prefer that you are a certified SCUBA diver. Otherwise, we can also train you on the following qualifications and skills on site.

  • SSI Open Water
  • SSI Advanced Open Water
  • Rescue Diver and Diver Master
  • Extra buoyancy and navigation training
  • Marine survey skills