Intro and Application Guide

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Conserving the marine environment through research, education, and sharing of knowledge

Founded in 2017, Indo Ocean Project is a marine research and conservation program in the heart of the coral triangle, training the next generation of ocean professionals through our award-winning divemaster and research diver internship program

Our field expeditions in Indonesia hosts international and local research projects on a variety of marine conservation issues and research techniques

We are constantly seeking hardworking and enthusiastic people to take part in our research diver-training program and join the research team

You don’t need to be a diver or a scientist to take part!


Conserving Indonesia’s marine environment through research and education whilst training the highest quality dive professionals through our conservation divemaster internship program.


At Indo Ocean Project we envision a healthy and profitable marine ecosystem throughout Indonesia to benefit multiple industries and stakeholders to help protect the livelihoods of local coastal communities for generations to come


At Indo Ocean Project we use our data to produce peerreviewed scientific journal publications, which in turn is used to help enforce policy change in our regions of study


In partnership with award-winning dive centers in Indonesia’s top diving destinations, we offer an innovative conservation focused divemaster and research diver training program.

Assume the role of research diver at one of our project locations and complete your divemaster and multiple ecology and scientific specialty courses related to our in-house research projects.

Take the next step towards a career in marine conservation or diving with our team of experienced dive professionals and marine educators to guide you along the way.


Indonesia is at the forefront for some of the oceans most important conservation issues including elasmobranch conservation, plastic pollution, coral and coastal ecosystem restorations, and overfishing. High demand on endangered species products globally combined with IUU and bycatch fishing has forced populations of key marine species to the brink.

Divemaster and research interns with Indo Ocean Project are crucial to successfully conducting our long term ecological monitoring and restoration projects such as BRUV (baited remote underwater video), benthic surveys, underwater visual census surveys, coral restoration, mangrove restoration and more.

It takes a team to get everything done with our limited time and resources. As a member of the research team you must be ready to work together efficiently in a fast-paced environment to help us reach our scientific goals.


The Divemaster course teaches you to be a leader and take charge of dive activities. Through workshops, watermanship exercises, and hands on practical assessment, you develop the skills to organize and direct a variety of scuba and marine researchactivities.

Conservation Workshops: Species identification I & II, surveying & sizing, shark conservation, manta conservation, turtle conservation, coral ecology, taxonomy and restoration, mola conservation, nudibranchs, mangrove conservation, marine debris and ocean plastics, BRUV deployment, BRUV viewing,citizenscience, whatnext(CV&careers).

Divemaster Workshops: Lift bag, knots & search and recovery, fin kicks and peak performance buoyancy, skill demonstrations, assisting divers & briefings, gas planning, rescue & O2, leading dive & tides, mapping, recreational dive planner & science of diving, basic equipment maintenance*, instructor development course intro**, introduction to free diving**

Practical Assessments & Scenarios: Deep dive, search and recovery, watermanship skills, equipment exchange, rescue assessment,skillcircuits, exams,professionalism.

*Bira only.**Penida only.

Divemaster and Research Diver Training Divemaster and research internship


The project runs 6 days a week and all interns are entitled to 1 day off per week / 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 diving data

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 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!


Wondering what kind of field work you will be involved in?


We focus on three categories of activities

1 2 3

Ecological monitoring

Direct conservation efforts

Marine education and awareness

Conservation Management Plan 2023

All of our locations take part in our standardised research projects Interns undergo workshops, testing, and training dives before taking on a leadership position in our field research activities

BRUV (Baited Remote Underwater Video)

Using a GoPro mounted to a baited structure, 1 hour of video survey is collected throughout the marine protected area to assess indicator species abundance and population dynamics


Roving Survey Dives

roup of 4 or more certified surveyors conducting a roving survey dive over a 30 minute period at redetermined locations to contribute to our overall ecological monitoring 03

Benthic Survey

Using a modified quadrat a time lapse photo is taken across a transect line to survey sessile creatures including coral and invertebrates


Coral Restoration & Monitoring

Adopting the Ocean Gardener methodology, interns take part in a 3 day Coral Diver course complete with a planting and maintenance of our coral nursery sites Combined with CoralWatch reef assessment technique to track disease and coral bleaching events

05 Lots more....

Citizen science, water quality assessments, photographic identification of marine megafauna,, education programme in local schools, mangrove restoration and optimal growth assessment, marine debris assessment, and developmental and experimental research We also host independent research projects for post graduate level who run short term projects with varied field work assisted by interns

Become a Research Diver and Divemaster at one of our three projects in Indonesia

Nusa Penida Bali

Raja Ampat West Papua

Bira Southern Sulawesi

Although the foundation of our training program is the same across our different locations each project has something special!

Locations were chosen based on varying degrees of MPA status, from no marine park in Bira to well established and managed marine park in Raja Ampat

The project headquarters is located on the island of Nusa Penida in the Penida Marine Park Penida is a diver, surfer, and yogi paradise only a 30-minute boat ride from southeast Bali and ideally located only 1 hour away from the Denpasar International Airport

Located at Reeflex Divers, this diving destination boasts multiple manta ray, mola, and turtle interactions with research focused on manta and turtle conservation and the care and development of our coral nursery

This is the first project and the home of all our head office team You will get to contribute to baseline data running since 2017 with more established research projects



Established in 2017

From 5,900,000 IDR / week

Project highlights

BRUV, the most developed coral nursery and restoration site, mangrove restoration, the science hub of IOP

Diving highlights

Reef manta rays, seasonal mola (ocean sunfish) & wobbegongs, bamboo sharks, sea turtles, thriving coral reefs, occasional pelagics such as hammerhead and thresher sharks,

Diving conditions

High currents year round bring a constant flow of nutrient rich waters

July - October (dry season) bring in colder thermoclines with water temperatures from 13 °C to 28°C NovemberJune (rainy and shoulder seasons) water temperatures are 25 °C to 30 °C

Number of Interns

10 - 12

Number of Staff


Life at the Penida Project

Due to its proximity to main land Bali, Nusa Penida is often a bustle of tourism and activity. The project headquarters is located around 15 minute drive from the main harbour area of Toya Pakeh in the quiet local village of Sakti, out of the main action but close enough to jump down for a nice meal or enjoy the social atmosphere


The Penida Project boasts the most comfortable living conditions as it is the most developed area The accommodation is a 4-bed mixed dorm at Namaste Bungalow, right across from our partnering dive centre, Reeflex Divers The room has air conditioning and a shared bathroom with hot water The facilities also include pool, kitchen, and restaurant overlooking Penida's jungle landscape

Who should choose the Penida Project

This is a great destination for novice travellers who want to keep their creature comforts and not venture too far into Indonesia's wilder destinations For those who prefer a larger social scene and more varied organised activities on days off


Southern Sulawesi

Established in 2019

From 5,500,000 IDR / week

The Bira Project welcomed it's first interns in 2019 and after a short closure due to the pandemic was reopened in early 2022 Bira is located on a peninsula in Southern Sulawesi around 200km away from Makasar. It is has some of Indonesia’s most stunning beaches and untouched reefs Far away from the hustle and bustle of cities, this sleepy ship building village has only just started to attract the travellers eye

The project is located on the main beach, Bira Pantai Pasir Putih, which translates to White Sand Beach, and it could not have a more appropriate name! This beautiful beach stretching over 2 km along Sulawesi’s southern peninsular and home to the Bira Project headquarters

Project highlights

BRUV, shark identification, coral restoration and nursery development, marine projected area development, community outreach and education

Diving highlights

Whitetip, blacktip, and grey reef sharks, sea turtles, beautiful coral reefs, occasional pelagics like hammerhead, thresher, and whale sharks

Diving conditions

Predominantly wall and drift diving or sandy sloping bottoms There isn't a defined dry or rainy season in this region and rain fall can happen sporadically.

Average water temperature is 23°C to 30°C

Number of Interns

8 - 10

Number of Staff


Life at the Bira Project

Communal beach side living in this remote but developing region in Indonesia. The local village of Bira has a population of 4,000 and is famous for its traditional boat building yards found on several near by beaches Travelling to Bira can be long, with a 4-5 hour drive from the capitol city (and nearest airport) Makasar Local weekly events are a real highlight here, don't miss out on Taco Tuesday's at Sea Scapes or Banana Leaf Friday's at Teevanah


Everything is centralised at the project headquarters at Blue Planet Dive Resort The rooms are wooden bungalows with 4 bed mixed fan dorms, shared with your fellow interns The area also features a communal kitchen and living space, yoga chalet/extra classroom, and shared cold water showers and toilets The beach is around 50 steps down, which means 50 steps back up, and although there is an equipment elevator to assist in bringing up gear be prepared for a workout!

Who should choose the Bira Project

This is the most economic way to complete an IOP program It is also a dream spot for adventure travellers with the beach beach access facilities. Grab a paddle board, explore the areas caves and beaches, cliff jumping, or grab the climbing gear. You will get the most local Indonesian culture immersion at the Bira Project with our education programme at the local kindergarten and small community who always know when the "Blue Shirts" are coming.

The Raja Ampat Project is the newest addition to our research locations Known as the world's most biodiverse marine ecosystem it is our most remote project It is located in the north of the marine park on the infamous Dampier Strait.

Raja Ampat is comprised of over 1500 small islands surrounding 4 main islands of Misool Salawati, Batanta, and Waigeo These large islands is where Raja Ampat get’s it’s name from, which means The Four Kings

The project headquarters are located at ScubaRepublic's RajaAmpatBaseCamp, a beachside resort on the island of Waigeo around 20 minute’s drive from the regions capital, Waisai.

*Due to it's remoteness the Raja Ampat Project packages are higher and includes full room and board


West Papua Established in 2022

From 7,000,000 IDR / week

Project highlights

BRUV, project development, coral restoration site, shark and manta identification

Diving highlights

Reef sharks, reef and oceanic manta rays, biodiverse coral reefs, macro critters, occasional dugongs, whale sharks and marine mammals

Diving conditions

Drift, wall, and coral diving. Raja Ampat has it all. Healthy shark populations, reef and oceanic manta ray cleaning and feeding grounds, and is the birthplace of muck diving (critter hunting) Currents can be strong and prevailing south winds from July - September makes parts of the southern park unreachable Water temperatures are between 27°C and 30°C year round

Number of Interns

10 - 12

Number of Staff


Life at the Raja Ampat Project

Welcome to the jungle! Raja Ampat is the "Last Paradise" and it lives up to its name in every way. Life at the project is focused around around the ocean and the jungle The headquarters are located around 20 minute drive to the nearest town where you can find all your basic needs met (toiletries, snacks, etc ) All staff from the project and resort live together and interns will experience an authentic remote dive resort working environment Everything is more expensive in Raja

Expect to pay 30%-50% more for items then on main land Indonesia But everything is provided for you, 3 local meals per day, drinking water, coffee and tea


Your home away from home is 6-bed traditional wooden bungalows with fans and bug nets The outdoor classroom converts into our main social area in the evenings The ocean is at your doorstep and the jetty extends to the reef crest, which is where you will typically spend your sunsets

Who should choose the Raja Ampat Project

This is our most remote location and is not recommended for new travellers or those who expect a 'Bali Instagram' experience. Life can be challenging but also the most rewarding. This is the most biodiverse region in the world, above and below. A true naturalist's playground. Be ready to encounter incredible creatures on the daily.


Packages depend on your current diving experience

Projects like this rely on the generosity of our partners and volunteers to develop and grow In order for us to create an awesome adventure for you we do require a tuition to cover your expenses The price of each package depends on the location you choose





For applicants who have completed their Rescue Diver certification

Courses Included: PADI/SSI Divemaster, Species Identification, Shark Conservation, Manta Conservation, Turtle Conservation, Mola Conservation, Mangrove Conservation, Nudibranch & Macro Specialty and, Ocean Gardener Coral Diver certification

02 Rescuer

For applicants who have completed their Advanced Diver certification

Courses Included: All from 01 DIVEMASTER plus Rescue Diver, EFR CPR/First Aid & Oxygen Provider



For applicants who have completed their Open Water Diver certification

Courses Included: All from 02 RESCUER plus Advanced Open Water Diver

zero to hero

For applicants with no diving certification



Courses Included: All from 03 ADVANCED plus Open Water Diver

05 Researcher

For applicants who are certified Dive Professionals


Courses Included: Species Identification, Shark Conservation, Manta Conservation, Turtle Conservation, Mola Conservation, Mangrove Conservation, Nudibranch & Macro Specialty and, Ocean Gardener Coral Diver certification


Diversity makes us strong!

Our interns come from every corner of the world Everyone has a different background but we share one thing in common, our love for the ocean!

Our community is made up of ocean enthusiasts gap year travellers career changers and university students from ed to be a diver or a t involved Around 60% nts join us from a formal ground and 40% just volved and learn more aring to land a job in the or using IOP as part of c journey, others just served break

elves on being a career and CV builder You will ands-on experience and recognised courses and


Start your application online

First step is to apply online!

Complete the online application, our admissions officer will contact you within 48 hours to confirm your start date and location and will send over your application package.

Application package

Complete a short interview questionnaire and submit your CV, copies of your diving certifications, and medical questionnaire within 2 weeks

We will review your application and send you a response within 5 days.


If you are accepted the next step is to review your Welcome Guide with all the information about planning your arrival At this time a 50% deposit is required to secure your start date


There is limited availability and our projects tend to fill up around 6-8 months in advance We work on rolling start dates, that means when one intern leaves another one will come to take their place We offer around 2-3 starting dates per month so having more flexibility with program dates means you have a better chance of getting what you want

Contact for questions and find out our next availability.


Find our what our interns think about us


India - Graduated July 2022


USA - Graduated June 2022


UK - Graduated July 2023


Australia - Graduated July 2023


Hong Kong - Graduated Feb 2022


Italy - Graduated Dec 2021

The training staff are true educators They are patient, kind and enthusiastic about diving and conservation They instill their passion and love for the ocean into their interns They are always available for any issue and are truly compassionate people that I am humbled to have known

My experience with Indo Ocean Project was absolutely magical This program taught me not only how to be a dive professional but how to care for our ocean on a extremely deeper level I was always supported and encouraged There was never a time where I felt I was alone IOP is a family full of amazing people that look out for each other They cheer for you and hope for your success!

I have spent the last year taking part in various marine conservation internships, I can honestly say my time with Indo Ocean was unlike anything else- in the best possible way!

I can't even begin to express how good this internship was, I went to the Nusa Penida for the Zero to Hero program (14 weeks), and if I could do it all again I would without question I have made lifelong friendships with people all across the globe and will always have a little dive family in Penida

The way that Indo Ocean Project combine divemaster training and conservation work gives meaning and purpose to your dives here You are not trained to just be a dive professional, you are trained to be a conservationist with impeccable diving skills

The program is very complete and detailed, doesn'tmatter what is your starting point, they build you up to be a confident and competent diver while enhancing your knowledge about conservation and ecology

Interested in coral reef restoration? Indo Ocean Project is partnered with Ocean Gardener, an Indonesian NGO offering intensive coral reef ecology and restoration internships and courses

Join a course: Coral Diver Advanced Coral Diver Specialty Course

Or sign up for their 2 or 5 week internship program.

Dedicated to teaching people about corals