Join our Research Team for Shark & Marine Conservation in Indonesia


Optional food allowance

Hours per week





Villa Nangka, Gili Air, Lombok, NTB
Gili Air



Gili Shark Conservation Project is a small grassroots organisation based in Gili Air, Indonesia. Our mission is o promote shark conservation and conduct citizen scientific research essential for effective marine conservation management worldwide. We are working with local NGOs and international universities and organisations to collect a standardized set of data to further our understanding of shark population and abundance.

We are seeking hardworking and enthusiastic volunteers of any background, ages 18+, to join our research team here in Gili Air. We have limited spaces available and applicants need to fill in a questionnaire to make sure they are the best fit for the team and the program.


The Gili Matra Marine reserve has been recognized by the Indonesian government as a National Marine Reserve since 1993, however with limited funding and management and the drastic increase of tourism in the area has lead to coral destruction and shark population decline.

Founded by three ocean lovers, who found each other on the beautiful island of Gili Air, the Gili Shark Conservation is a project filled with passion and engagement for the ocean and it’s marine life.

Our mission is to promote shark conservation efforts through education and research while collecting abundance data from around the three Gili Islands to build a case strong enough to propose to the government to make the Gili Matra Marine Reserve the first recognized shark nursery ground in Indonesia.

To achieve this, we are gathering scientific data to prove that this area is in fact a shark nursery. We have two years to gather this data before the policy makers reconvene and reexamine the parameters of the Gili Matra Marine Reserve. We have multiple projects that work towards this goal including underwater video surveillance, roving survey dives, photographic identification, and community outreach.  


As a member of the research team of the Gili Shark Conservation Project you should expect to be very busy! Tuesday-Saturday is filled with diving every day, community outreach, workshops, and presentations. The project is always changing and developing to house new research projects and program development is essential to the success of the research.

We are a very small project and house between 2-8 people at a time. We work as a team and individually. A thorough training period is allotted so our researchers can take part in all aspects of the data collection and analysis. This is a real hands on experience where you achieve multiple diving certifications and qualifications.


We have 5 major ongoing projects including Photographic Identification of sharks and turtles, Baited Remote Underwater Video (BRUV) with Dr Mark Bond and Global FinPrint, roving survey dives, line transect survey dives and community outreach and awareness. For more details about our individual projects and the role our volunteer researchers play check out our website at


Our mornings are spent mostly exploring the magical underwater world and our afternoons are spend either in the office inputting and analyzing the data or in the field doing community work.


After breakfast we set up our equipment and load it onto the Gili Shark Conservation boat. With slates and t-sticks ready we jump into the water for our first survey dive. Actively seeking out sharks, rays, turtles, and indicator species. Jacques Cousteau once said: “The best way to observe a fish is to become a fish.” And we couldn’t agree more. There is no better feeling than to start the day with a dive; every time we jump into the ocean, it feels like going home.

Once we are back on the boat we transfer our data onto the sheets and get ready for our second dive. Our second dive is dedicated to dropping our baited underwater cameras and bringing our spare GoPro’s to take our photo ID pictures to track the population of sharks and turtles throughout the reserve. After washing and putting all of our equipment away and logging our dives we head back to Villa Nangka for lunch. Sandwiches, pastas, local cuisine, and fresh juice is on the menu before we break into our teams to complete our tasks for the afternoon. Sometimes we are entering data, sometimes we are watching the video and counting sharks, other times we spend time on personal projects. One thing for sure we are always busy!


Office time doesn’t mean that you will be sitting in an office all day. The ocean and the whole island is our office (lucky us!) so we could literally be anywhere. We are a very ambitious organization with big dreams. To make sure we reach our goals, every day has a theme so you and the other members of the research team know exactly what to focus on.

Back to School on Tuesday:

On Tuesdays we focus on expanding your knowledge. We do this by giving presentations and workshops, playing different games and watching documentaries together.

Become a Scientist on Wednesday & Friday:

On Wednesdays and Fridays it’s all about science and marine life conservation; watch the BRUV, analyze & input data, study the different methodologies we use and prepare the bait for the BRUV. In our office no one gets teased for being a geek, science is the new rock & roll!

Get in the Field on Thursday:

On Thursdays we head out into the field to visit our community outreach projects. People who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones that normally do. But to make the change you need go outside the office and sometimes even out of your comfort zone. We teach people why it’s so important to look after our ocean and give them the tools to keep our beautiful island green & clean.

Spread Awareness on Saturday:

On Saturdays we try to give something back to Gili Air and the wonderful community here; we call it Give Back Saturday. We organize beach clean ups, underwater clean ups, recycle workshops and activities for children at the primary school. We’re always trying to come up with new and creative ways to help the community and promote conservation efforts – working together to change the perception of sharks one person at a time.


The first week at the project is dedicated to your dive training. If you are not yet a certified diver you will complete your first level of training (Open Water Diver). If you have already received a dive certification from an international SCUBA Dive organisation you will receive your next level of training all the way up to Rescue Diver. Courses take about 3 days to complete and are run through our partnering dive centre, Oceans5 Dive Resort.

You will also take part in an intensive methodology training, which include project orientation, scientific diver certification, and shark diver speciality certification.

It usually takes 2-3 weeks to become fully trained and apart of the research team, however we do accept applicants for as little as 2 weeks. We call this an 'experience' where you will learn how the project runs but not yet a full member of the research team.


Three small islands make of the Gilis off the northwestern corner of Lombok, one island away from Bali. It is a tourist destination with a fusion of local Indonesian culture and western comforts. Gili Trawangan is known as the 'Party Island', Gili Meno as the 'Honeymoon Island' and Gili Air fits somewhere in-between. A great mix of nightlife and relaxing beachside, it's a perfect destination for families or travellers who want to get off the beaten track. It also is home to the largest local population on all three islands and is rich with Indonesian flare and delicious food! For more information about the Gili Islands and what to expect living here check out our website at


Program fee/donation is required for participants to take part in all the project has to offer. We understand that this new wave of paid volunteerism is challenging, however we are a non-profit organization and to continue our work here in the Gilis we rely on donations and grant money from our partnering facilities.

Program rates start at $999.00 USD a week and decrease the length of time you stay at the project.

This fee includes:

  • Your PADI Open Water Diver Course or you next level of certification ( PADI Advanced Open Water Diver Course or PADI Rescue Diver Course).
  • PADI AWARE Shark Conservation Distinctive Specialty Course
  • PADI Scientific Diver Distinctive Specialty Course
  • 8 dives a week including rental equipment and guides
  • Shared accommodation in a beautiful secret hidden getaway: Villa Nangka 
  • 3 delicious meals a day during project days (Tuesday till Saturday)
  • In country transportation by our lovely drivers Wayan & Kadek 
  • Return boat ticket from Bali / Lombok to Gili Air
  • Program T’shirt
  • Visa Support 

It does not include:

  • Indonesian VISA or VISA runs (if applicable)
  • Flights to and from home country
  • in country spending money
  • travel or dive insurance

We offer a 5% discount on program fees if you are using this project towards your university or college credit, ask us for more details

Services offered:

The project operates completely out of the headquarters in Gili Air, which means the people you are in contact with prior to your arrival are the same people who will be meeting off the boat. We are available everyday to answer any questions you may have about the project or your program. However we do spend a lot of time in the field so be patient if you don't respond right away.


Depending on the length of your stay you may be eligible to complete your Dive Master Internship! For more information please check our website at

If you think you would be a good fit for this project and want to try something new please don’t' hesitate to contact us with any questions at

How To Apply

You can begin your application process through our website at

After your initial application you will be contacted with a questionnaire which will be reviewed by our team. You acceptance will be confirmed within a week of submission. We have received hundreds of applications over the last few months so if your program dates are flexible let us know a few potential program start dates.

Good luck! And we hope to hear from you soon!