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Research
Internships


Enhance your internship with additional opportunities for data collection, research and analysis.
Collaborate with other research interns and work towards writing up your research paper, thesis or dissertation.

GVI Research Internships

Are you in the process of completing a research paper, thesis or dissertation? Our research internships will guide you in your data collection in the field. And thanks to GVI’s involvement in global conservation and sustainable development, you’ll be able to supplement your research with insights from existing datasets that were 20 years in the making.


So, what are research internships? A research internship is an internship that supports the partial fulfilment of your research thesis, dissertation or other academic or independent research paper. The main focus of a research internship is to support you in collecting and/or analysing the data that you’ll use to write up your paper. Research internships also help you to prepare for your future career in the industry by giving you experience with field research methodologies.


So, what if you already have a specific research topic in mind, or you’re well into your dissertation and you’re looking to complete the practical component of your research on a research internship? Our award-winning research internships offer a range of research topics to choose from that could fit into your existing research. Your enrolment manager will provide you with information on all the research opportunities available to you.


What do GVI’s research internships have to offer? 

Meet your academic requirements


Research internships make it easy to collect the data you need to complete your thesis, dissertation or research paper. Thanks to our academic support staff, expert local staff and remote internship supervisors, you’ll be supported all the way through your research internship: before, during and after your program. 


GVI has been working in the conservation and sustainable development space for over twenty years. We have decades of expertise in facilitating research expeditions, as well as hundreds of programs and research topics for you to choose from. And our enrolment staff are on hand to make sure you select the perfect topic to match your research goals and academic requirements. 


Once you’ve been matched with your topic and program, our support and academic support staff will make sure you have everything you need until you’ve wrapped up your data collection and are ready to get started writing up your thesis. 


Remote research internship supervisor


GVI’s research internships are conducted outside of a traditional university setting. Our in-field research-based internships involve hands-on practical work. Although you probably already have a university supervisor overseeing your thesis work, you’ll need support on the program and an understanding of how your thesis research fits into the research internship program that you join. 


So, if you’re looking to complete your dissertation abroad, you can rest assured that we’ve got you covered. When you join one of our research internships, you’ll be paired with a remote research internship supervisor. Your remote research internship supervisor will guide you on your research, methodology and data collection.


If you’re doing conservation research on, say, predator kill preferences in a South African reserve, you might study the leopard slinking across the safari plains of Limpopo hunting for its prey, the slender antelope. 


On a wildlife conservation internship like this one, you might be paired with a remote research internship supervisor with research experience in statistics; spatial analysis; spreadsheet modelling; satellite image processing; remote sensing; as well as using geographic information systems like ArcGIS, IDRISI, QGIS. Your remote internship supervisor will also guide you on how to use other forms of research methodologies like interviews, surveys and data analysis.


Your remote research internship supervisor will have sample research topics and data sets ready for you. And, if you’re worried about whether or not your research will fit into one of our programs, your remote research internship supervisor will be able to pre-approve your research topic during your enrolment process with us and even suggest alternative topics or locations to carry out your internship.


Add to your academic qualifications


When you join one of GVI’s international research internships you’ll boost your academic and professional development with our pre-program, online leadership course and a specialisation course in wildlife conservation, marine conservation or community development. 


And, you can add to your academic qualifications even further by completing GVI’s post-program Careers in Sustainable Development online course. All of our online courses are accredited by the University of Richmond and are offered at no extra cost to your standard program fees. 


The best part is that once you’ve successfully completed your research internship, you’ll have four weeks to complete your post-program online course. And, if you successfully complete the course, you’ll receive a certificate of completion to add to your resume. 


Remote career mentor


GVI’s research internships have a lot to offer, but how do you prepare for your future once you’ve completed your internship? GVI will assign a remote career mentor to you, and you’ll have access to two online mentor sessions. 


Your career mentor will assist you with preparing for your future career by:



  • giving you feedback on your CV

  • assisting you in communicating your GVI experience on LinkedIn and your CV

  • helping you to practise for interviews

  • assisting you in mapping out your career goals

  • providing advice on job searching

  • giving you general career advice.


So, after you’ve completed your research internship, you’ll be equipped with everything you need to begin a successful career in the industry.


Receive a professional reference


With a completed research internship and your future career plan under your belt, all you’ll need is one more boost to add to your resume. 


Your remote research internship supervisor will give you a professional reference to impress your future employers. This reference will highlight what you’ve learnt on the program and outline the skills you’ve developed during your internship. They will also add a summary of this reference to your LinkedIn profile, along with relevant skills endorsements.


Job guarantee


Job hunting has never been this easy. GVI’s research internships offer all qualifying interns a job guarantee in the sustainable development industry within 18 months of successfully completing a 6 month program.  


We’re so confident that you’ll land a job in the sector after your internship with us that we promise to give you a 50% refund of your program fees if you don’t. 


And, after successfully completing one of our research internships, you’ll also become an alum of GVI. This means that you’ll be eligible for preferential recruitment if a GVI role becomes available. And that’s not all we have to offer. 


After successfully completing your research internship, you’ll also have access to an online job portal that’ll collate vacancies in the sustainable development industry. 


Online internship opportunities


Are you interested in gaining practical experience for your internship dissertation, but you’re unable to travel? Well, you can still complete your research internship abroad, without having to go anywhere.


GVI’s virtual internships are the perfect opportunity to hone the practical skills that you’ll need in the field you’re researching. Can’t wrap your head around it? Well, our virtual internships will allow you to learn valuable skills, like how to analyse photos of target species like baby sea turtles, or how to work with real drone footage of coral reefs. And, you’ll also complete a project to help an organisation to find solutions for a real-world scenario.


This will add to your knowledge of real-world contexts and teach you how to apply your theoretical understanding to on-the-ground project-work. Our virtual internships offer some of the same online training as our on-the-ground research internships. And, they also offer certificates, accredited by the University of Richmond upon successful completion of your virtual internship. So, which subject areas can you choose from for your virtual internship?


You can do one of the following virtual internships:



Some questions to ask when you join one of GVI’s research internships

WHAT DOES MY RESEARCH INTERNSHIP FEE COVER?


Your research internship fee will cover your pre-departure support and materials, food, accommodation, training and orientation, long-term GVI field staff, 24-hour in-country support, and project equipment. As well as:



  • pre-program training

  • three GVI online courses endorsed by the University of Richmond

  • training on GVI’s ethics and work with the UN SDGs, your internship location and project focus

  • practical experience working in the field alongside local and international experts

  • a remote internship supervisor who’ll provide you with one-on-one support and guidance

  • support with completing a research paper or thesis

  • a professional reference upon successfully completing your internship

  • a LinkedIn reference and skills endorsement upon successfully completing your internship

  • access to a job portal of available roles in conservation and sustainable development

  • preference regarding opportunities to work for GVI

  • a six month minimum job guarantee.


Not to mention unforgettable, off-the-beaten-track, life-changing experiences.


How old do I need to be to join a research internship?


You need to be 18+ years old to complete one of GVI’s research internships.


How long are GVI’s research internships?


We offer flexible duration options so that you can find the right fit for the goals you would like to achieve from your internship. Our on-the-ground research internships run between 4 and 24 weeks, depending on the research data and work you would like to take part in at the GVI base.


DO I NEED ANY EXPERIENCE OR QUALIFICATIONS?


No, our trained field team will provide you with all the training you need when you join your internship. Some of our diving programs do require interns to be PADI Open Water certified prior to joining; please contact us to speak to an enrolment manager for more information.


I CAN’T DECIDE WHICH INTERNSHIP I WOULD LIKE TO DO, CAN I CHAT WITH SOMEONE TO GET MORE INFORMATION?


Our team of enrolment managers are here to answer any and every question you have about our internships.


Your enrolment manager will guide you through choosing the program that best suits your field of research. We have hundreds of programs and research topics for you to consider.


To speak to us, submit a call back request and we will call you, otherwise, you can contact us directly.


WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE THREE TYPES OF INTERNSHIPS THAT GVI OFFERS?


RESEARCH INTERNSHIP

A research internship is best suited to participants who are looking for advanced experience in field research, or who are in the process of completing a thesis or research paper. In addition to all core internship activities, participants who opt into a research internship will have opportunities for more in-depth experience in research, data collection and analysis.


CAREER INTERNSHIP

A career internship is best suited to participants who are looking to gain additional experience collaborating on impactful initiatives with our global partners. As a career intern, you’ll be paired with GVI partners, either locally or virtually, to complete a range of project work. This means that you’ll gain a breadth of experience across projects and learn how project implementation differs according to the local context.


CORE INTERNSHIP

If you’re looking for a less specialised internship, but still want to gain experience and training on the ground, then the core internship might be the best choice for you. You’ll complete the same pre-and post-program training as you would on any other internship type. However, as a core intern, you’ll take on additional responsibilities at the GVI base. This might include leading surveys, program activities or workshops, or organising beach cleanups, fundraising, and providing marketing support.


How safe is it to join a research internship during COVID-19?


GVI takes the health and well-being of all our participants and staff very seriously. We regularly revise and update our comprehensive Health and Safety policy and have strict COVID-19 protocols in place on the ground. 


We stay informed by following updates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organisation (WHO). We also follow travel advice from the UK, US and Australian governments, and are guided by health advice from local governments in the locations we operate in, to provide you with the safest way to travel.


Can I apply for a bursary to pay for my research internship?


GVI does not provide any academic bursaries for our programs, but you are welcome to apply for independent financial aid such as student loans to cover the program fees. This is because the fees from our programs provide important funding to sustain our projects on the ground.


GVI may award a scholarship to high-performing participants on a program, or allow a participant to stay on their program for a longer duration at no extra charge.


CAN I GET A JOB WITH GVI AFTER MY RESEARCH INTERNSHIP?


Our collaboration and equal partnerships with communities, organisations and universities across the world have given us an understanding of what it takes to successfully forge a career in sustainability. Our internships provide you with career support, during and after your program.


Once you’ve completed your internship abroad, you’ll receive two career coaching sessions led by a remote career mentor.


Additionally, you’ll gain access to GVI’s online job portal, where you’ll find the latest job postings for a variety of international development work. And you’ll have preference for any GVI role you apply for.


CAN I DO MY OWN RESEARCH TOPIC?


Your research project proposal will first need to be submitted and approved by your GVI Academic Mentor before you conduct your research. We do however recommend that for research that is part of a university degree, you submit a research proposal to GVI prior to finalising your booking so that you can get the most out of the experience.


CAN I KEEP MY RESEARCH AND DATA COLLECTED?


Because data is such a vital part of the work we do, any historical data, as well as any new data, reports, photographs and documentation collected by you on your GVI program remains the property of GVI or our in-country partners. This is also so that it can be used to inform our programs and help us to establish long term community and conservation goals that will make an impact.


CAN I SPEAK TO AN INSTRUCTOR OR LECTURER TO HELP ME CHOOSE THE RIGHT RESEARCH TOPIC?


Yes, our experienced staff are on hand to assist you in choosing the right topic for your research.


CAN I PUBLISH MY PAPER OR DATA?


While not required, we encourage our participants to publish their papers. Participants are however required to obtain approval from GVI and our project partners prior to publishing their paper.


WHAT APPROVAL AND PERMISSION DO I NEED TO PUBLISH MY PAPER?


You will need to get permission from GVI and our in-country partners before any data can be used (e.g. before you can include it in a research or scientific paper). Data may not be released to a third party without GVI’s or our in-country partners’ prior approval. Please note that no monetary compensation will be provided to you for any data or research you collect.


Overview

Research internship benefits

FAQs

Research Topics

CHIANG MAI

WILDLIFE CONSERVATION
Research topics

Birds, Amphibians, Mammals, Reptiles, Environmental awareness, Medicinal plants and more.

CURIEUSE

ISLAND CONSERVATION
Research topics

Turtles, Palm endemic species, Marine species, Lemon sharks, Mangroves, Sea urchins and more.

DAWASAMU

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
Research topics

Health and wellbeing, Skills development, Women’s empowerment, Teaching and more.

Research Supervisors

MICHAEL MUSGRAVE

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Sustainable Development, 2014
University of St Andrews, Scotland, UK

About MICHAEL

Publications

Conferences

GABRIELLE JOHNSON

Doctorate in Marine Science, 2004
University of California, Santa Barbra

About GABRIELLE

Publications

Conferences

Previous Research

Kira Van Reusen
April 2021
 Jalova, Costa Rica
Jaguar Conservation in Costa Rica

“In Jalova we learn about biodiversity and how to do the little things that help with world conservation. The first week in Jalova is training week where all of the volunteers and interns are taught the most important species and how to spot them. This knowledge was so important for the work that we did. I participated in forest surveys and beach surveys daily to collect info about the animals in Tortuguero National Park. All of the info goes to park management and the Costa Rican government.”

Kira Van Reusen
April 2021
 Jalova, Costa Rica
Jaguar Conservation in Costa Rica

“In Jalova we learn about biodiversity and how to do the little things that help with world conservation. The first week in Jalova is training week where all of the volunteers and interns are taught the most important species and how to spot them. This knowledge was so important for the work that we did. I participated in forest surveys and beach surveys daily to collect info about the animals in Tortuguero National Park. All of the info goes to park management and the Costa Rican government.”

Omar Ibrahim
June 2019
 Puerto Morelos, Mexico
Mexico Community Development Internship

“I began looking for internships abroad that focused on the UN developmental goals as these were of particular interest to me as it has a lot of relevance to my future career path. When I came across the GVI program in Puerto Morelos, Mexico, it was like a match made in heaven, […] and I was extremely excited about undertaking this adventure. […] Teaching the children and working with the other staff was an eye opening experience that taught me many important lessons.”

Omar Ibrahim
June 2019
 Puerto Morelos, Mexico
Mexico Community Development Internship

“I began looking for internships abroad that focused on the UN developmental goals as these were of particular interest to me as it has a lot of relevance to my future career path. When I came across the GVI program in Puerto Morelos, Mexico, it was like a match made in heaven, […] and I was extremely excited about undertaking this adventure. […] Teaching the children and working with the other staff was an eye opening experience that taught me many important lessons.”

What's Included

Included

Exclusions

Choose an Internship