Scientific Field Placement

This exclusive and unique program is intended for those currently involved in marine science and conservation, and who are aiming to dramatically enhance their prospects as future scientists and conservationists, through an intensive and thorough professional development program. As a SORCE Scientific Field Placement (SFP) student, not only will you gain experience in the field working with innovative and fine-scale research techniques, but you’ll also gain the opportunity to engross yourself in the knowledge and responsibilities required to lead each component of our many research and conservation programs. We train our SFP students to become our field leaders, maintaining, monitoring and developing current projects, processing and analyzing data collected, and assisting in the supervision of our Eco-Venture (EV) students, Conservation Research Assistant (CRA) students and Research Thesis Placement (RTP) students. Alongside this you will be taught how to create new research projects from scratch. From planning through to implementation, you will be given the opportunity and responsibility of setting up your very own initiative that will build on the programs we already have in operation here at SORCE, allowing you to put your project development knowledge into practice, whilst also developing your project management skills.

During your time here you will become mentors to our other students and will be given the tools and experience to develop into a professional and well-rounded Marine Scientist. By the time you are ready to leave, you will not only have gained a wealth of practical and leadership experience in a wide variety of marine-based projects but you will have acquired the knowledge and confidence to develop independent research projects and work with Institutes around the world to develop and communicate our current understanding of coastal ecosystems.

In order for our SFP students to take complete leadership and responsibility over each of our research and conservation project areas, we have a limit of two spaces at a time. Suitable applicants must attach their Curriculum Vitae (CV) with their application form, and be available for a Zoom interview.

▼ Skills Acquired

The skills you acquire during your Scientific Field Placement will depend to an extent on the duration of your stay and where your particular interests lie. However, to give a general indication of the project areas that are covered during our Conservation Research Assistant Expedition please see the list below:

  • Project leadership and management skills
  • Project planning, implementation, reporting, and troubleshooting skills
  • Experience in data processing and analysis techniques
  • Teaching and mentoring experience
  • A detailed appreciation of NGO and field site operations
  • Experience leading underwater and terrestrial training and research activities
  • Intimate knowledge of coral reef ecosystems and processes
  • Intimate knowledge of Indo-Pacific coral, fish, substrate, invertebrate and megafauna species Identification
  • In-depth understanding of coral reef threats, impacts and conservation
  • Hands-on experience in coral restoration processes and techniques; coral reef survey and monitoring techniques; and reef impact protocols (coral bleaching, coral disease, fishing or boat damage, pollution, drupella spp. and crown of thorns starfish outbreaks)
  • Underwater field experience with 3-Dimensional reef modelling, diver operated Stereo Video Systems (DOVs) and Baited Remote Underwater Video Systems (BRUVs)
  • Detailed knowledge of shark and ray biology and behaviours
  • Detailed knowledge of turtle biology and behaviours
  • Field experience in turtle Identification methodologies, turtle population analysis and turtle conservation
  • Intimate knowledge of mangrove ecosystems and processes
  • Thorough understanding of mangrove threats, impacts and conservation
  • Hands-on experience in mangrove restoration processes and techniques and mangrove survey and monitoring methodologies
  • Intimate knowledge of seagrass ecosystems and processes
  • Thorough understanding of seagrass threats, impacts and conservation
  • Active experience in seagrass restoration techniques and seagrass survey and monitoring methodologies
  • In-depth knowledge of habitat fragmentation and the importance of restoring connectivity
  • Experience with historic ecological assessment and habitat reconstruction protocols
  • Comprehensive understanding of recycling and waste management techniques
  • Detailed understanding of Microplastic analysis and chemical sampling techniques
  • Extensive experience scuba diving in a variety of condition and whilst conducting a range of activities
  • Capability development in buoyancy control and eco-aware diving
  • Experience working with Marine Scientists in a professional environment
  • Detailed understanding of grant application processes and reporting requirements
  • Experience lecturing to undergraduate and general public level students
  • The ability to communicate science through community outreach and cultural exchange activities

▼ Prerequisites
  • You must hold an undergraduate degree or higher in a relevant subject (Biology, Marine Biology, Oceanography, Conservation, Ecology, Zoology, or related)
  • You must be a minimum of 18 years of age
  • You must hold a PADI Advanced Open Water Dive Certification or equivalent OR book to complete your PADI Advanced Open Water Certification with us when you arrive on site.
  • Medically evaluated and cleared for diving by a physician within 12 months
  • Minimum 12 week commitment (up to a maximum of 25 weeks)
  • Available to begin Scientific Field Placement Expedition on a Monday

▼ Tuition Fees
  • 12 weeks – £4100
  • Each additional week after the 12th week is charged at £200

If you require training for your PADI Open Water Certification and PADI Advanced Open Water Certification at the start of your Expedition, please see PADI Courses for details and pricing.


▼ What’s Included

We offer our Scientific Field Placement as a package program and have worked hard to include as much as we can so that you really get the most out of your time with us. Please note that the duration of your stay will impact which and how many of our lectures and workshops you are able to experience, as well as how many of our projects you are able to participate in.

  • Field training in all of our projects, techniques and methodologies
  • Leadership training in all of our projects, techniques and methodologies
  • Introductory Marine Biology and Conservation lecture and workshop series’ (Coral Reef Biology and Conservation, Indo-Pacific Identification – Fish, Substrate, Coral, Invertebrate and Megafauna, Coral Restoration Techniques, Coral Reef Impact Assessment and Survey Methodologies, Mangrove Biology and Restoration, Seagrass Biology and Restoration, Turtle Identification, Population Analysis and Conservation, Recycling and Waste Control, Buoyancy Control and Eco-Aware Diving, Community Outreach and Cultural Exchange)
  • Advanced Marine Biology and Conservation lecture and workshop Series’ (Coral Reef Ecology and Physiology, Mangrove Ecology and Physiology, Seagrass Ecology and Physiology, Habitat Fragmentation and Rehabilitation, Community Reconstruction Assessment, Microplastic Analysis Techniques and Applications, Chemical Sampling and Assessment)
  • Underwater field training in 3-Dimensional reef modelling, diver operated Stereo Video Systems (DOVs) and Baited Remote Underwater Video Systems (BRUVs)
  • Data analysis of images using the most up to date software systems (CPCe, EventMeasure, and AgiSoft)
  • Training in GIS mapping techniques and applications for aerial monitoring and assessment of ecosystems
  • All necessary field equipment
  • Training in project leadership and management as well as project development, including: planning, implementation, reporting, and troubleshooting
  • Training in grant application processes and reporting
  • Career guidance and job placement training
  • SCUBA equipment rental (Tanks, BCD, Regulator, weight belt and weights – you will need to provide your own mask, fins, snorkel and wetsuit. Dive computers must also be worn and can be rented separately on a week by week basis from SORCE)
  • Unlimited training and survey dives – typically 2-3 dives per day 5 days a week (weather and tides permitting)
  • Sunday Funday – including additional fun dive and end of week party with a special dinner
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner, seven days a week
  • Unlimited drinking water and hot drinks (tea and coffee)
  • Complementary private accommodation in traditional bamboo lodges (double rooms and dormitory style rooms can be accommodated on request)
  • Complementary use of outdoor gym, basketball court and yoga equipment
  • 24hr in-country support
  • Visa and travel advice

Not Included:

  • Flights and transfers
  • Visa costs
  • Travel and Diving Insurance
  • Additional drinks, food and excursions
  • Dive computer rental (available to rent on-site)
  • Fins, Mask and Wetsuit/Rashsuit
  • Internet (sim cards and data can be purchased locally)

If you are interested in booking onto our Conservation Research Assistant program please download and fill in the appropriate booking form: Booking Form and return it to or contact us to ask about availability.

Click below to discover other ways to get involved

Back to get involved