Research Assistant Program

Get Involved in Marine Conservation: Join Our Research Team!

Are you looking for the ultimate holiday adventure in Indonesia? Join our shark conservation team on Gili Air and become a research assistant! We’re a dedicated group of marine biologists, instructors, social media experts, and entrepreneurs, taking care of marine conservation and shark research around the Gili Islands in Indonesia. Our passion is to give people who are curious about marine conservation a unique experience. We are proud to share with you that our Research Assistant Program won multiple awards and GoOverseas even rated us as the best marine conservation program in the world!

What to Expect

During your stay with us, you will learn how to dive / improve your dive skills, become a certified scientific diver and shark & turtle specialist. We teach you everything you need to know about our research methods including; remote underwater video (RUV), roving survey dives, photographic identification of sharks and turtles, Reef Check surveys, Coral Health Index surveys, Coral Watch surveys, photogrammetry, fish belt transects, invertebrate belt transects, coral restoration, Dive Against Debris, land & marine based time-lapse projects, how to analyze and input data, and much more!

Investing yourself in a conservation project that you care about will change your life forever! Being part of our research team provides you with the opportunity to network and connect with a variety of inspiring individuals. You get to meet people from all different backgrounds who share your passion for the ocean. Bonding with these like-minded individuals is easy, and you’ll immediately become part of a strong community.

You will also become an advocate of the ocean and gain the power to educate and empower others. Your newfound knowledge will be a force to be reckoned with, especially at a time when the ocean, more than ever, needs (y)our help.

Ready to make waves? Apply today for our research assistant program and take the next step towards a career in marine conservation or the diving industry under the guidance of our experienced marine biologists and researchers to guide you along the way.

Explore our program

Learn to dive / Improve your dive skills

Our research assistant program is open to everyone, from total beginners to experienced dive instructors. We are proud partner of  PADI and Conservation Diver, who both offer a full range of training and certifications related to marine research, protection, restoration, and conservation which is recognized worldwide. Depending on which package you choose, you will receive one or more of the following courses:

As a prerequisite for our 2-week package, you should already have a diving certification. However, when you extend your stay to 3 weeks or beyond, we’ll include the next level of diving certification in your program at no extra cost.

If you wish to pursue additional dive (specialty) courses beyond our program, our partner, 5-star PADI career development center Blue Marlin Dive, will be delighted to assist you. Their experienced instructors will ensure that your experience is not only enjoyable but also a truly unforgettable memory.

Get ready for an exciting and intensive diving adventure as we explore the wonders of the underwater world together. Learn more about all the PADI dive (specialty) courses and Conservation Diver courses here.

Accommodation

During your program you will be staying at our HQ on Gili Air. We’ve put a lot of hard work and love in creating a place for you that feels like a home away from home. Click here to read more about our HQ and facilities. 

Coral Catch

Did you know we run an award winning scholarship program for Indonesian women called Coral Catch? Our mission is to empower 100 local women in the next five years to have a career in marine conservation.

How does Coral Catch works?

In nine weeks we give local women who have the dream to work in marine conservation, the knowledge, tools, experience, and network to set up and monitor a coral restoration project. Our Coral Catch Superwomen live and work together together with you in our HQ and they are the first completely local female coral restoration team in Indonesia.

Joining Forces
In 2024, we’ll be training an additional 12 Coral Catch Superwomen, providing you with the opportunity to collaborate with them during your visit. Here are the scheduled training periods for 2024:

  • Batch #6: January 7th – March 9th, 2024
  • Batch #7: April 21st – June 23rd, 2024
  • Batch #8: September 8th – November 7th, 2024

Packages

We have carefully crafted various packages to accommodate your schedule and passion for marine conservation. Our program includes comprehensive training in our research methods, which typically takes about a week.  After completing the training, we offer you the exciting opportunity to work alongside the research team of NGO Gili Matra Bersama. To ensure a meaningful experience, we require a minimum commitment of staying with us for 2 weeks.

The longer you stay, the more benefits you’ll receive. For example, you’ll receive more dive specialty courses, and you will be able to join more workshops.  If you choose to stay with us for five weeks or longer, we’ll focus on helping you develop your career in marine conservation, which is especially valuable for those aspiring to work in this field.

We are open all year round and you can start your program every Sunday.  Please know we only got 12 spots available in our research team so make sure don’t miss out.  Pick your package below and apply today!

CertificationsResearch & DivingLivingExtras
PADI Scientific Diver Course8 dives a weekIn country transportFree t-shirt & tote bag
Conservation Diver ‘Shark Ecology & Population Studies Course’70 project hoursShared accommodation @ HQ 
 2 workshopsBreakfast on project days 
 Entry to the marine parkFree use of our kitchen @ HQ 
Price$ 2,299 USD
CertificationsPADI Scientific Diver Course

Conservation Diver ‘Shark Ecology & Population Studies Course’

Research & Diving8 dives a week70 project hours2 workshopsEntry to the marine park
LivingIn country transportShared accommodation @ HQBreakfast on project daysFree use of our kitchen @ HQ
ExtrasFree t-shirt & tote bag
Price $ 2,299 USD
CertificationsResearch & DivingLivingExtras
Your next level of certification8 dives a weekIn country transportFree t-shirt & tote bag
PADI Scientific Diver Course35 project hours per weekShared accommodation @ HQ10% discount on SPA treatments
Conservation Diver ‘Shark Ecology & Population Studies Course'</a > Minimum 3 workshopsBreakfast on project days 
Conservation Diver ‘Sea Turtle Ecology & Monitoring Course’Attach your own coral to our restoration structuresFree use of our kitchen @ HQ 
 Entry to the marine park  
Price for 3 weeks$ 3,149 USD
Price for 4 weeks$ 3,899 USD
CertificationsYour next level of certificationPADI Scientific Diver CourseConservation Diver ‘Shark Ecology & Population Studies Course’Conservation Diver ‘Sea Turtle Ecology & Monitoring Course’
Research & Diving8 dives a week35 project hours per week3 workshopsAttach your own coral to our restoration structuresEntry to the marine park
LivingIn country transportShared accommodation @ HQBreakfast on project daysFree use of our kitchen @ HQ
ExtrasFree t-shirt & tote bag10% discount on SPA treatments
Price for 3 weeks: $ 3,149 USD
Price for 4 weeks: $ 3,899 USD
CertificationsResearch & DivingCareer DevelopmentLivingExtras
Your next level of certification8 dives a weekHow to write a scientific reportIn country transportFree t-shirt & tote bag
Conservation Diver ‘Marine Ecology & Monitoring Course’Minimum 175+ project hoursHow to plan the next step in your careerShared accommodation @ HQ10% discount on SPA treatments
Conservation Diver ‘Shark Ecology & Population Studies Course’Minimum 6 workshopsWeekly coaching sessions with lead scientistBreakfast on project daysFree rashguard
Conservation Diver ‘Sea Turtle Ecology & Monitoring Course’ Attach your own coral to our restoration structuresTraining and involvement in social mediaFree use of our kitchen @ HQ 
 Entry to the marine park Free upgrade to private room if available 
Price for 5 weeks$ 4,649 USD
Price for 6 weeks$ 5,399 USD
Price for 7 weeks$ 6,149 USD
CertificationsYour next level of certificationConservation Diver ‘Marine Ecology & Monitoring Course’Conservation Diver ‘Shark Ecology & Population Studies Course’Conservation Diver ‘Sea Turtle Ecology & Monitoring Course’ 
Research & Diving8 dives a weekMinimum 175+ project hoursMinimum 6 workshopsAttach your own coral to our restoration structuresEntry to the marine park
Career DevelopmentHow to write a scientific reportHow to plan the next step in your careerWeekly coaching sessions with lead scientistTraining and involvement in social media
LivingIn country transportShared accommodation @ HQBreakfast on project daysFree use of our kitchen @ HQFree upgrade to private room if available
ExtrasFree t-shirt & tote bag10% discount on SPA treatments
Price for 5 weeks: $ 4,649 USD
Price for 6 weeks: $ 5,399 USD
Price for 7 weeks: $ 6,149 USD
CertificationsResearch & DivingCareer DevelopmentLivingExtras
Your next level of certification8 dives a weekHow to write a scientific reportIn country transportFree t-shirt & tote bag
Conservation Diver ‘Marine Ecology & Monitoring Course’Minimum 280+ project hoursHow to plan the next step in your careerShared accommodation @ HQ10% discount on SPA treatments
Conservation Diver ‘Shark Ecology & Population Studies Course’Minimum 10+ workshopsWeekly coaching sessions with lead scientistBreakfast on project daysFree rashguard
Conservation Diver ‘Sea Turtle Ecology & Monitoring Course’ Attach your own coral to our restoration structuresTraining and involvement in social mediaFree use of our kitchen @ HQ 
 Entry to the marine parkGaining a leadership position in one of our research projects / #plasticfreeparadise campaign / community outreach programsFree upgrade to private room if available 
 Learn how to build coral restoration structures   
Price for 8 weeks$ 6,699 USD
+ per week$ 750 USD
CertificationsYour next level of certificationConservation Diver ‘Marine Ecology & Monitoring Course’Conservation Diver ‘Shark Ecology & Population Studies Course’Conservation Diver ‘Sea Turtle Ecology & Monitoring Course’ 
Research & Diving8 dives a weekMinimum 280+ project hoursMinimum 10+ workshopsAttach your own coral to our restoration structuresEntry to the marine parkLearn how to build coral restoration structures
Career DevelopmentHow to write a scientific reportHow to plan the next step in your careerWeekly coaching sessions with lead scientistTraining and involvement in social mediaGaining a leadership position in one of our research projects / #plasticfreeparadise campaign / community outreach programs
LivingIn country transportShared accommodation @ HQBreakfast on project daysFree use of our kitchen @ HQFree upgrade to private room if available
ExtrasFree t-shirt & tote bag10% discount on SPA treatmentsFree rashguard
Price for 8 weeks: $ 6,699 USD
+ per week: $ 750 USD

Workshops

* depending on your length of stay

Introduction to GSC

  • History of GSC
  • Welcome to the Team and Island
  • GSC Mission and Vision
  • GSC Scientific Goals and Methods
  • GSC Results

Coral Reef Formations & Zones

  • An Introduction to Coral ReefEcology and Global Importance
  • Coral Reef Formation
  • Reef Zones and How This Impacts Biodiversity

Turtle Ecology

  • Turtle Species of the Gili Islands
  • Turtle Ecology
  • Introduction to GSC’s Photo ID Project
  • What To Do If You See A Nesting Turtle or Turtle Hatchlings

Shark Ecology

  • Shark Species of the Gili Islands
  • Shark Ecology
  • Introduction to GSC’s Photo ID Project
  • How We Aim To Make A Shark Nursery

Coral Restoration

  • Coral Reproduction
  • Coral Nursery Techniques
  • Coral Outplanting Techniques

Substrate ID

  • Substrate ID for the Gili Islands

Invertebrates and Impacts ID

  • Invertebrate ID for the Gili Islands
  • How to Identify Negative Impacts on the Reef

Plastic and Pollution

  • The History of Plastic
  • Marine Plastic
  • Threats to the Marine Ecosystem What Can We Do?
  • Introduction to Coral Health Index
  • Methodology for the Benthic and Fish Components of Coral Health Index

What’s not included

Indonesian VISA
Your flight ticket
Spending money
Travel & dive insurance
Rental of Dive Computer 1
Refresher Course 2

1 All dive equipment rentals are included in your package except for a dive computer.  We highly recommend that you buy your own dive computer as you need to have a dive computer or underwater timing device to take part in our research dives.  You also have the option to rent a dive computer from us for 50.000 IDR per day.

2 If you haven’t been diving for 6 months or longer and you have less than 10 dives, we strongly recommend you to do a Refresher course.  The price of a Refresher Course is 900.000 IDR.  Experienced divers who have not been diving in over six months are usually their own best judge if they need a formal course to regain their scuba skills.  However, every diver who had not dived in two years should seriously consider the course. You can read more about the PADI Refresher Course here.

Understanding your Program Fees

You might wonder why you have to pay to participate in our conservation project. Let us explain…

We are only a small organization and are not in a position to cover all the costs involved in your stay. Your program fees are covering a large number of factors, such as food, tanks, rental of scuba gear, accommodation, courses, visa support and transport.

Your hard work and passion are valuable, but unfortunately, motivation alone doesn’t keep our projects alive. As a participant, your fees have just as great an impact as your actions. By contributing to our project, you are helping to support our mission, and ensure that our programs are efficient and beneficial in the long run. You are also investing in your own training and development, so you can continue making changes in the world long after you’ve finished our program.

Where your fees go

Based on our 3 week black tip reef package. For longer stays percentages regarding diving and courses might slight change.

Requirements

You are 18 years or older
You speak English
You love the ocean and feel comfortable in the water
You are reasonably fit to cope with tasks on land, in the tropical heat and the lifting of dive tanks

Join and become a research assistant

Ready to dive into action and make a real impact on ocean protection? Would you like to learn different research methods in the field of shark, turtle and coral conservation and practice how to collect and analyze data? Would you like to make your next trip count while having fun along the way? Apply today for our Research Assistant Program and let’s make a difference together in protecting our precious marine ecosystem!