Marine Research Fellowship

Thinking of doing your fellowship in Indonesia?

Indo Ocean Project provides thesis support for undergraduate and post graduate level independent research requirements from application through to publication. Our team of mentors will be able to assist you with logistical considerations, planning, translation and permits required to conduct your independent research at our three locations in Indonesia. Gain access to our in-house data base for independent research analysis, propose a specific independent project, or choose from our topic ideas.

According to Indonesia law you must obtain a permit to conduct research with the intention of publication prior your project start date. This application must be submitted in Bahasa Indonesian. Done individually this can be a long and daunting process, however Indo Ocean Project manages the translation and permit processing. Please allow for up to 1 month to complete the process and obtain the permit.

Avoiding “Parachute Science”

Parachute science’ (also referred to as “colonial science”) is a term describing how researchers sometimes drop down from an ivory tower in the wealthy Western world into a foreign community for field work. They gather their data, and then zip off home without engaging with or acknowledging the contributions of the local researchers in that community

– Science Friday

What we offer

Conducting your independent research with Indo Ocean Project allows you to have access to local experts while planning and executing your field work.

  • Indonesian research and publication permit and translation English to Bahasa Indonesian
  • On site mentor scientist providing support from application to publication
  • Collaboration and feedback in authoring and editing stage
  • In depth knowledge of areas logistics to develop an achievable research plan
  • One on one planning sessions with mentor
  • Pre arrival and VISA support
  • Guided proposal and application process
  • Assisting in building and managing realistic budgets and timelines with local considerations 
  • Access to our ecological baseline data sets for supportive analysis
  • Accommodation, in country travel, meals (if working remotely), and logistical organisation
  • Access to scientific and dive equipment rental
  • Research assistant (dive buddies)

Areas of Study

Nusa Penida (Bali) – Opened 2017

Tanjung Bira (South Sulawesi) – Opened 2019

Raja Ampat (West Papua) – Opened 2022

Indo Ocean Project’s Data Sets

Gain access to Indo Ocean Project’s catalogue of ecological monitoring and ongoing baseline data sets as supportive or statistical analysis for your short-term project.

  • Roving Survey Data – data available from 2018 in Penida, 2019 in Bira, and 2022 in Raja Ampat
  • Baited Remote Underwater Video (BRUV) Data – data available from 2018 in Penida, 2019 in Bira, and 2022 in Raja Ampat
  • UNITE Citizen Science Data – Data available from 2018 in Penida, 2019 in Bira, and 2022 in Raja Ampat
  • CoralWatch Data – Data available from 2018 in Penida, 2019 in Bira, and 2022 in Raja Ampat
  • Dive Against Debris Data – Data available from 2018 in Penida, 2019 in Bira, and 2022 in Raja Ampat
  • Beach Cleanup Data – Data available from 2022 in all locations
  • Coral Restoration Growth Data – Data available from 2021 in Penida, 2022 in Bira and Raja Ampat
  • Water Quality Analysis – Data available from 2019 in Penida and Bira and 2022 in Raja Ampat
  • Benthic and Coral Coverage Surveys – Data available from 2023 in all locations
  • Photographic Identification (Turtles and manta rays) – Data available from 2019 in Penida, 2019 in Bira, and 2022 in Raja Ampat

Fields of Study

We can host a variety of different topics of interest and open to exploring proposals depending on the researchers interests and degree requirements.

  • Marine ecology
  • Marine molecular biology
  • Marine policy and management
  • Marine conservation biology
  • Statistical analysis
  • Other (please contact to request)

Types of Projects

It is Indo Ocean Project’s policy that before you can be a good research diver you must first be a good diver. Of course you will never dive alone but we do require a level of watermanship competence. Due to legal and liability considerations you must have either your Dive Master rating or Rescue Diver with a minimum of 100 logged dives to be considered for our underwater fellowship topics.

If you do not meet these requirements we suggest combining your research with our Dive Master and Research Diver training program.

Dive Master & Research Diver Internship

Complete your dive master and 8 ecology specialty courses while taking an active role as a research diver on our team. Choose to compelte your course in one of our three locations in Indonesia. Combine this program with your independent research.

Independent Research

For marine researchers looking to conduct independent research for their personal or professional development with or without publication goals.

Total minimum time: 4-9 months

  • 1 month for application and proposal approval
  • 2 months for preparation
  • 1-6 months of field and analysis

Undergraduate Thesis

For undergraduate students requiring a placement or internship with an independent research thesis with no intent to publish.

Total minimum time: 4-9 months

  • 1 month for application and proposal approval
  • 2 months for preparation
  • 1-6 months of field and analysis

Postgraduate Thesis

For postgraduate students who need to structure their own thesis, conduct field work and manage analysis with the intent to publish.

Total minimum time: 9-12+ months

  • 2+ month for application and proposal
  • 3+ months for preparation
  • 6+ months of field and analysis

*Timeline will vary depending on topic idea and field work required. To be determined during the proposal stage of your application.

Application Process

Your research proposal is an important part of the application process. It summarizes the question you want to answer and the goals of your project. It demonstrates your knowledge of the subject and shows the methods you want to use to complete your research.

To be considered for a research collaboration with Indo Ocean Project you must submit an application form directly to so we can get to know you and your research goals better. During this time, we will review your proposed topic and engage you in critical thinking required manage expectation and effectively plan your research in Indonesia for greatest success.

Our application process is broken into 4 stages:

Stage 1 - Application Form

Download and complete our application form to initiate the discussion process between you and your Indo Ocean Project research mentor. Send your completed form to

This includes your personal information, academic affiliation, and introduction to your preferred area of study and topic ideas. Explain to us what stage you are at in planning your project and why you would like to collaborate with Indo Ocean Project.


Stage 2 - Communication & review

In this stage we will discuss more about the specifics of your research proposal, assist in finding appropriate research topics in line with Indo Ocean Projects mission and goals (see CMP 2023 for more details), and discuss the limitations of practicalities on an individual basis. In this time, we will be able to establish our process for communication and manage expectations. Once the structure of your topic is clear, and we have answered any logistical questions you may have at this time, we will send you a template for our Research Proposal.

Stage 3 - Research Proposal

Complete Indo Ocean Project research proposal. Think critically about the resources, time and sampling design of your project. Develop and propose your overall budget and general timeline from preparation, field work, and analysis. Submit for review.

Please note that Indo Ocean Project holds the right to approve or deny research proposals.

Stage 4 - Approval & Confirmation

If your research proposal is approved, we will send you an MOU (memorandum of understanding) to solidify the collaboration between institutions and individuals. At this time a 50% deposit of your proposed budget is required to secure your spot and begin the preparation for your arrival. 

Budget & Availability

Prices can vary greatly depending on your topic and research requirements. For example, intertidal research will require little to no SCUBA diving and will be much cheaper overall compared to a dive heavy proposal.

Base program fees are 12,000,000 IDR for successful proposals. This includes Indo Ocean Project’s services, mentor, pre arrival support, research permits, translations and complete access to our data sets. We advise on individual budget proposals using a price list of activities from each of our locations which is used by the applicant to develop your own budget. A-la-cart research!

Prices will vary depending on your research requirements and resources needed. We can help to facilitate in country travel, VISA and permits, accommodation, meals (if remote), diving and additional equipment. During your application phase we will  provide you with a complete price list for each of these activities. Using that list you can create your own budget for your project during your proposal stage of your application. A-la-cart research budget to cover only the costs you need and making it clear on additional costs required if you go over your proposed budget.

Maximum of 12 independent researchers per year. Places and topics are subject to availability and weather conditions.

Our Partners

Reeflex Divers (Nusa Penida)

Scuba Republic (Raja Ampat)

Ready to Apply?

Join the team and applying online today to start your marine research application.

You can apply online or contact us for more information.

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