About the Divemaster / Research Internship

In partnership with certified and award-winning dive centers across Indonesia’s top diving destinations, we offer a specialized intensive conservation focused divemaster and research diver training programs and internships. Take on the role of research diver intern at one of our project locations and complete your divemaster and multiple scientific specialty courses related to our in-house research projects. Take the next step towards a career in marine conservation or the diving industry with our team of experience dive professionals and marine biologists to guide you along the way.

Join our Indo Ocean Project community of eco warriors from around the world!

Introduction and Application Guide

Need help organzing your application? We have put together this short guide to help you decided which project to join and what the application process looks like.

Why Us?

Indonesia has been ranked as the number one shark fishing nation for the last 3 decades. Geographically, Indonesia should have some of the highest biodiversity of shark, ray, and predatory species in the world, but the high demand for shark fins and mobula gill rakers has caused severe overfishing across the country, combined with bycatch this has forced populations of many species to the brink. These are the front lines of marine megafauna conservation efforts.

Due to the difficulties of studying elasmobranch abundance in the wild, different techniques had to be invented in order to address different ecological questions. One of these techniques is the Baited Remote Underwater Video (BRUV). This shark study method has been used in numerous studies around the world and has been shown very successful.

Divemaster and research interns with Indo Ocean Project are crucial to successful BRUV deployments, retrievals, and analysis. It takes a team to get everything done in the limited time available to us. As a member of the research team you must be ready to work efficiently together in a fast paced environment to unsure a success.

About The Internship

Why Become a Divemaster?

The divemaster course is your first level of professional training. Working closely with your mentoring Dive Instructor, you’ll fine tune your dive skills, like perfecting the effortless hover, and refine your rescue skills so you anticipate and easily solve common problems. You’ll gain dive knowledge, management and supervision abilities so you become a role model to divers everywhere.

Before you can be a good research diver, you first must be a good diver. The PADI/SSI Divemaster and Research Diver Internship will give you the skills needed to work either in marine conservation/research or the diving industry. You will meet like-minded individuals and be able to network with experienced and aspiring marine biologists and organizations from around the world.

What Will You Learn?

The Divemaster course teaches you to be a leader and take charge of dive activities. Through knowledge development sessions with your mentoring instructor, watermanship skills exercises and workshops, and hands on practical assessment, you develop the skills to organize and direct a variety of scuba activities. In partnership with your research diver internship you will be able to conduct and lead various marine research. It’s a packed course with a huge amount of knowledge to absorb and new skills to learn so you shouldn’t be bored for a single minute!

Conservation Workshops
    • Species Identification I & II Workshops – Become an Elite IOP Survey Diver and help us collect data on our survey dives by participating in these workshops. You will be introduced to the species we are surveying, scientific terms, how to record, size and sex the animals you will see underwater and improve your fish identification ten fold.
    • Shark Conservation Workshop – It’s all about Sharks! The attributes that make them unique, the threats they face, marine policy and the changes that can be made to help save these incredible animals.
    • Manta Ray Conservation Workshop – It’s all about Mantas! The attributes that make them unique, their fascinating behaviours, the threats they face, marine policy and the changes that can be made to help save these incredible animals.
    • Turtle Conservation Workshop – It’s all about Turtles! Learn about the seven species of sea turtles, the attributes that make them unique, their fascinating behaviours, the threats they face, marine policy and the changes that can be made to help save these incredible animals. Lead our Nusa Penida and Bira Turtle ID projects through photographic identification and recognition software.
    • Coral Ecology, Taxonomy & Restoration Workshops – Coral reefs face ever growing threats every day. Learn about them in this 3 day mini course during your internship, along with what you can do to help restore and protect them. Plus tips on how to identify the amazing array of species that we have around our project locations. Gain hands on experience by growing, monitoring, and maintaining our coral nursery sites.
    • Mola Conservation Workshop – It’s all about Molas! Learn about the species of molas, the attributes that make them unique, their fascinating behaviours, the threats they face, marine policy and the changes that can be made to help save these incredible animals. Collect and submit photographic identification photos of Nusa Penida’s resident population of Mola alexandrini.
    • Nudibranch Workshop – Explore the fascinating world of Nudibranchs, learn what they are, how they feed, reproduce and all the other things that make them AWESOME. Plus start to learn about the species found around Nusa Penida, how to find them and get involved in the hunt for new species!
    • Mangrove Conservation Workshop – Mangroves are arguably the most diverse and important habitats on the planet. They are a nursery to most reef fish, creatures, and corals and provide essential support to other near by marine and land ecosystems. They are also one of the best “Carbon Sinks”! In essence, mangroves is natures answer to climate change , and contribute towards the global reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. In this workshop learn more about mangrove conservation and restoration and take an active roll in maintaining and building our mangrove nursery.
    • BRUV Workshop – Learn how to participate in our research with a hands on practical session that looks at how we deploy our Baited Remote Underwater Videos (BRUVs), what we are looking for and what we’ve seen so far!
    • BRUV Viewing Workshop – In this workshop we will teach you how to analyse our BRUV videos and contribute to our growing BRUV database.
    • Citizen Science Workshop – In this workshop we will also introduce you to citizen science and the various citizen science databases we collaborate with including; Elasmobranch Project Indonesia, Thresher Shark Indonesia, eOceans, MantaMatcher, ID The Manta, Internet of Turtles, Match My Mola, Wildbook for Whale Sharks, CoralWatch & Dive Against Debris.
Divemaster Workshops
  • Lift Bag and SMB Workshop – In this practical session we will go through how to safely deploy your Delayed Surface Marker Buoy (dSMB) and how to use a Lift Bag. This workshop is sometimes combined with Fin Kicks and Buoyancy Workshop. 
  • Fin Kicks and Peak Performance Buoyancy Workshop – This underwater workshop is to show the different types of fin kicks and to practice them in the water, alongside working on your buoyancy, making sure you have the perfect weighting and trim. 
  • Skill Demonstrations Workshop – Participate in at least three confined sessions where you are taught how to demonstrate skills from both PADI and SSI courses by our highly experienced PADI Master Instructor/SSI Assistant Instructor Trainer, with additional video sessions and practice time. Divemaster candidates often find this one of the most enjoyable aspects of the course as it is one of the first steps to becoming a great diving teacher!
  • Briefings & Assisting Dives/Courses Workshop – Learn how to give fun, thorough boat  briefings, with the opportunity to practice and fine tune in the classroom before giving them to customers. Also understand how to behave and help when assisting one of our experienced divemasters or instructors with customers and students.
  • Knots/Search and Recovery Workshop – This part classroom but mainly hands on practical workshop will refresh your compass skills, teach you how to tie knots, get ready for those search patterns!
  • Gas Planning Workshop – As a future dive professional and scientific diver you should be able to plan a dive properly by creating a dive plan based on your gas consumption. This workshop focus on enforcing awareness underwater and pushes you to consider a more safe approach to deep dives and/or dives that requires you to perform complicated tasks underwater, all in preparation for your Divemaster Deep Scenario. 
  • Rescue & O2 Workshop – We revisit the rescue scenario of locating, surfacing and assisting an unconscious diver in the classroom, together going through the steps required as part of a team rescue. We also revisit the practice of CPR with the aid of a mannequin and how to setup and administer O2 to accident victims. All in preparation for the Divemaster Rescue Scenario.
  • Leading Dives & Tides Workshop – Another major part of the Divemaster program is learning how to lead dives and eventually guide customers. In this workshop we look at how this can be enjoyable, safe and fun.
  • Mapping Workshop – You are expected to be able to produce a relatively accurate dive site map as a Divemaster. This workshop will give you the full briefing on the mapping project, in a team you will complete a full guide to a designated dive site / or specific conservation dive around Nusa Penida including; Dive Site Map, Dive Briefing, Site Description and Species List.
  • Recreational Dive Planner Workshop – Many Divemaster candidates have never used the RDP/eRDPML or SSI Dive Tables, and if they have they may have only spent 15 minutes years ago going through it quickly as part of the Open Water course. This workshop is designed to make sure you know all about it, how to use both, and also how you can go on to teach it in a way that your future students will understand. 
  • Basic Reg Maintenance & Equipment Workshop (Bira Only) Learn the different types of SCUBA gear that you can find at the moment in the diving industry. So you know the equipment that keeps you alive underwater better, we will also give you the knowledge to perform some basic maintenance on personal regulators or the regulators of your guests.
  • Instructor Development Course Workshop (Penida Only) – Get a taster of the instructor development course (IDC) with one of Penida’s resident PADI Course Directors.
  • Introduction to Freediving Workshop (Penida Only) – Get a taster of the world of freediving in our training pool with one of Penida’s resident freedive instructors. 
Topics and practical Assesments / Scenarios include:
  • The role and characteristics of the Divemaster
  • Supervising dive activities and assisting with student divers
  • Diver safety and risk management
  • Divemaster conducted programs and specialized skills
  • Business of diving and your career
  • Awareness of the dive environment
  • Dive setup and management
  • Mapping an open water site
  • Conducting recreational and research dive briefings
  • Organising a search and recovery and how to conduct a deep dive


The following scored assessments and practical scenarios will be conducted during your Divemaster to confirm you are ready to be a certified dive professional;

  • Deep Dive Scenario – How to conduct dives to the deeper depths (30m maximum) and notice signs of narcosis. 
  • Search & Recovery Scenario – How to conduct search pattens and organise teams in order to locate a missing object/diver. 
  • Watermanship Skills – 400m timed swim, 15 minute survival float, 800m timed snorkel, 200m tired diver tow, and 25m underwater swim (SSI Only) to be completed on a single day.
  • Equipment Exchange – Tackle a novel challenge whilst on SCUBA in confined water with a trusted dive buddy. 
  • Rescue Assessment – Locate, surface and provide support to an unconscious diver underwater. 
  • Skills Circuit – Assessment of your ability to professionally demonstrate all skills from the open water course. 
  • Exams – Testing your newly acquired Divemaster knowledge as you progress through the course. 
  • Professionalism – Your ability to act as a dive professional and be a team player. 

**You may be able to get college credit for the Divemaster course – ask your instructor and professor for more details**

What Scuba Gear Will You Use?

As a dive professional, you’ll want to have all your basic scuba equipment, including a mask and snorkel, dive computer, a dive knife, and a surface signalling device. During practical skills exercises, like underwater mapping and search and recovery, you’ll use a compass, floats, marker buoys, life bags, and slates. This is your time to start building your personal set of gear. All equipment purchased here in Indonesia and Indo Ocean Project receives a 10% discount. Ask us for more information.

Typical Day 

The project runs 6 days a week and all interns are entitled to 1 day off per week or 4 days off per month. 

Your first few weeks are dedicated to dive, methodology, and fish ID training and workshops. Each practical task is paired with a workshop where you will receive in depth training with an instructor before applying this knowledge in the field.

The days are flexible according to weather and tides, scheduling, and course work. The typical day begins at 7:30am and finishes around 4:30pm with an average of 6-8 hours of work per day.

With a goal of 6-8 dives per week, you will be in the water most days – whether on the boat, in the pool, or both! You will assist staff members and each other throughout the day with their daily tasks changing daily on demand. You will alternate between staff so you can see different diving and teaching styles to start creating your own.

Your time will be split between the following tasks:

  • GOING DIVING! – A lot of the divemaster is just going on dives, this is the longest training course you will ever do in diving and the one that contains the most in-water time. We do a mixture of scientific and fun diving to keep it fresh!
  • Divemaster and Dive Guides – Learning how to assist and guide certified divers (under supervision).
  • Instructors – Assisting courses from Discover Scuba Diving to Rescue Diver in the pool, classroom, and open water.
  • Research Team – Take an active role in the research team as a research diver and field scientist contributing to many data sets including; collecting abundance data on dives, placing and retrieving the BRUV’s, Dive Against Debris surveys, CoralWatch surveys, and helping with our coral restoration efforts. 
  • Data Entry / Workshops – Help the dive team in the office with scientific equipment maintenance / repair / preparation, data entry and analysis, project development, and enhancing your knowledge in the various conservation divemaster workshops.
  • Independent Study Time – Use this time to complete theoretical or independent projects including the knowledge reviews for your certification courses, study for exams, or work on independent research projects.
  • Independent Projects – If you would like even more there is the opportunity to take on an Independent Project, such as being responsible for uploading our data to the relevant citizen science databases, or using your creative skills to create our amazing bimonthly video logs. At Indo Ocean Project – there is always more to do!




Project Highlights: BRUV, coral restoration and Penida Turtle ID

Diving Highlights: Manta rays, molas, turtles, thriving coral reefs, occasional pelagics like hammerhead and thresher sharks.


Southern Sulawesi

Project Highlights: BRUV, shark ID, coral restoration, MPA development

Diving Highlights: Reef sharks, turtles, incredible coral reefs, occasional pelagics like hammerhead and thresher sharks.


West Papua

Project Highlights: BRUV, shark and manta ID, biodiversity

Diving Highlights: Reef sharks, manta rays, biodiverse coral reefs, macro critters, occasional whale sharks and marine mammals.

Want To Join The Team?

Applications are accepted year round for any start dates. However with limited spaces available you may have to be flexible. High season is from June – October and spots fill up quickly during these dates. You can apply online here or contact us for more information.

Project News

Diving Deep into 2023: An Activities Review by Indo Ocean Project

Diving Deep into 2023: An Activities Review by Indo Ocean Project

As we reflect on the past year, we are humbled by the progress at Indo Ocean Project. In this initial overview of activities conducted in 2023 we must acknowledge the hard work of the entire IOP community of staff, interns, and partners. Join us as we delve into the highlights of this extraordinary year, celebrating the dedication and impact of this community of ocean warriors.