Published: May 15, 2024

Location: Indonesia


Closing Date: Ongoing

Divemaster and Research Diver Internship

Programme overview

Why become a Dive Master? Before you can be a good research diver, you first must be a good diver. This Dive Master 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.

Join Indo Ocean Project’s award-winning program in Indonesia and take the next step in your ocean career.




About the organisation

Indo Ocean Project was founded by marine biologists, dive instructors, and ocean enthusiasts from around the globe to create a nation-wide standardized data collection and research diver training program in Indonesia, the heart of the coral triangle. We have been working together with dive operators, universities, and the local communities to carry out scientific research to provide ecological monitoring and address marine conservation issues in the Indo-Pacific region.

Our field expeditions in Indonesia hosts international and local research projects focused on impact research. This includes ecological monitoring, direct conservation efforts, and education and communication outreach initiatives.

At Indo Ocean Project we envision a healthy and profitable marine ecosystem throughout Indonesia to benefit the growing tourism industry and help protect the livelihoods of local coastal communities for generations to come. Through the publication of our research and sharing of knowledge, we contribute to local legislation and policy to support the creation and maintenance of marine parks and promote the protection of our oceans biodiversity.

You don’t need to be a diver or scientist to apply! Our project relies on the experience and expertise of our volunteers from around the world to take action and take part.


About the programme

The Divemaster course teaches you to be a leader and take charge of dive activities. Through knowledge development sessions, 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 activities. 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!

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. However this can always change depending on the schedule of the day which can include early morning activities or night diving.

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. You will alternate between staff so you can see different diving and teaching styles to start creating your own.

Research activities you will be involved in include:

  • Roving Survey Dives – Rapid population and species assessment focused on fisheries targeted species
  • BRUV (Baited Remote Underwater Video) – Deployment, retrieval, and analysis focused for predatory species
  • Biodiversity Mapping – Using the latest mapping techniques to build the clearest picture of the reef topography and substrate in our study areas repeatedly to compare growth, coral disease, and biodiversity
  • Coral Identification and Restoration – Using a modified Coral Gardener technique to create, maintain and repopulate our coral nursery areas
  • Benthic Survey analysis – monitoring coral coverage and sessile animal identification and diversity over time
  • CoralWatch – Assessing the health of tagged corals over time
  • Shark, Ray and Turtle Photo Identification – Using the latest photo identification software to individually identify our turtles as well as working with eOceans and Elasmobranch Project Indonesia to record sightings in private and global databases
  • Marine and Beach Debris Surveys – Conducting Dive Against Debris dives, scientific counted beach and community clean-ups
  • Mangrove Restoration – maintaining our island-wide nurseries and completing plantings of these superstar plants
  • Education Program – Engaging with the local school communities to reach the younger generations and future Indonesian conservationists. (Specifically weekly event in Bira)




We have 3 incredible locations to choose from in Indonesia! Although it is the same curriculum in place across all project locations the life above and below the ocean can be very different. Make sure you do your research and choose the location that best suits your expectations.

Penida Project:

  • Located on the island of Nusa Penida off the south eastern coast of Bali in the Lombok Straight. The Penida MPA hosts a year round population of manta rays, seasonal sightings of mola mola, and beautiful coral reefs. But watch out! Penida is famous for strong currents and cold upwellings which bring in nutrient rich waters.
  • Entry airport: Denpasar (Bali) DPS
  • Key highlights: Flagship location and home to Indo Ocean Project headquarters, year-round manta rays and seasonal mola (ocean sunfish). Well-grounded database and coral restoration nursery, drift diving and nutrient rich upwellings
  • Who should choose the Penida Project: This is a great destination for novice travellers who want to keep some of their creature comforts and not venture too far into Indonesia’s wilder destinations. For those who prefer more of a social scene with larger variety of down time activities.
  • Program fees: From $400 USD/week

Raja Ampat:

  • 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 on the island of Waigeo around 20 minute’s drive from the regions capital, Waisai.
  • Entry airport: Sorong (West Papua) SOQ
  • Key highlights: Incredible marine biodiversity, marine megafauna like reef sharks and both reef and oceanic manta rays, remote destination with pristine diving conditions.
  • Who should join the Raja Ampat Project: This is our most remote location and is not recommended for new travellers or those expecting the ‘Bali Instagram’ experience. Life can be challenging but also very rewarding. A true naturalist’s playground above and below. It is best if you have experience camping for extended periods to enjoy this project.
  • Program fees: From $490 USD/week

Bira Project:

  • Located on the southern tip of Sulawesi in a famous ship building community called Bira. This untouched paradise is around a 4-hour drive from Indonesia’s third largest city, Makasar. Picturesque private beaches and unexplored dive sites, Bira is quickly becoming known as Indonesia’s number one shark diving destination. Blue warm water and thriving coral reefs are the main draw to this remote part of Sulawesi.
  • Entry Airport: Makasar (South Sulawesi) UPG
  • Key highlights: Reef sharks, sea turtles, and marine park development. Incredible white sand beaches with remote drift diving in a sleepy traditional Indonesian boat building village
  • Who should choose the Bira Project: This is the most economical way to complete an IOP program. It is also a dream spot for adventure travellers with beach access facilities. You will get the most local Indonesian cultural immersion at this project.
  • Program fees: From $380 USD/week



Program length varies depending on your current level of diving starting from a minimum of 6 weeks for those who are already experienced divers and maximum 14 weeks for those who have never dived before.


Costs and pre-requisites

Packages are available depending on your current level of scuba diving certification but all program are between $380 – $490 USD/week.

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 while on program. Because of the donations from our local partners we are able to keep the cost low while covering all your needs so you can focus on your training and your work during this adventure.

You don’t need to be a diver or marine biologist to get involved! We accept applications from dive professionals to non-divers and everything in between. Find out what package you qualify for and reach out with any questions.

Minimum age requirement is 20 years on your start date to take part in any of our programs. If you have no previous diving experience you must be able to swim 400m and tread water for 20min unassisted.


What’s included

  • Accommodation
  • Dive master training
  • Five conservation and research speciality certifications
  • Local airport pick-up
  • Two program shirts
  • Visa assistance
  • Pre-arrival training materials and support
  • Some or full meals (depending on project location)
  • Access to IOP’s growing network of ocean professionals

Not included:

  • Return flights to home country
  • In country spending money
  • Some meals (can eat for $1.50 USD+ per meal)
  • Travel and Dive Insurance
  • Personal Dive Computer
  • PADI or SSI dive master training materials
    • PADI = $150 USD for slates + $203.56 AUD for digital learning + $140 USD for professional processing fees
    • SSI = $350 USD for all


How to apply

Applications are accepted year round with around 2-4 start dates per location per month. You can request your ideal start date however with limited spaces available you may have to be flexible. We tend to fill up around 3-6 months in advance.

Start your application by applying online. There is a short interview process so we can make sure we are the right fit before your acceptance is confirmed with a 50% deposit.

Read our Introduction & Application Guide here.

For more information or find out our next available start dates contact for more information.