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Conservation through Research and Community Mobilisation

Volunteer Overview



Thank you for your interest in wanting to learn more about becoming an Assistant Research volunteer with MWSRP.

By joining us aboard our research vessel and helping us collect baseline data on whale sharks and the marine environment, volunteers are a crucial part of the success of our research and organisation.

Volunteering with MWSRP is a life-changing experience. Our programme offers you the opportunity to gets hands-on with the research and data collection, increase your knowledge on marine conservation, learn about local Maldivian culture, and have a great time doing it. We look for enthusiastic people with a love of nature who are not afraid of hard work on their holidays!

Not a marine biologist? Not a problem! We welcome people of all ages, talents, and nationalities. We find that it is the diverse skills that our volunteers bring that make a huge impact on the Programme.

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Please find our Volunteer Information Pack! This pack will provide you with details on what we do, your volunteer experience, requirements of persons applying, past volunteer testimonials and frequently asked questions. It will also help with any questions you may have on the process of applying.

MWSRP_Volunteer_Information Pre-booking_Pack


The Details

Based on the local island of Dhigurah in the South Ari atoll, we offer 2 and 4 week in-field Assistant Researcher positions during specified field periods each year.

Please submit an application to be considered for a volunteer position. We host a maximum of 8 Assistant Researcher volunteers at any one time. This ensures a low ratio of volunteers to researchers for maximum interaction. You will be notified within 2 weeks of submitting the application whether or not you have been selected to follow our research projects in country.


It is with great regret that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the MWSRP will be postponing activities until 2021 when depending on the status of the pandemic we aim to restart operations early in the year.

The Maldivian Government has issued a directive on the 12th March 2020 prohibiting researchers, research assistants (volunteers) traveling to the Maldives from other countries until further notice. Furthermore, today the Maldives Government has declared a public health emergency which states among other things domestic travel bans will be coming into effect within the Maldives.

We must respect the governments directive and although we do so with a heavy heart we do so knowing that we are also ensuring the wellbeing of our staff, our volunteers and the communities we work with in the Maldives. We remain committed to whale shark research and community based conservation in the Maldives and look forward to restarting operations as soon as we can.

Clearly these are uncertain times but we’ve opened up two tentative research periods in 2021 for those volunteers unable to come this year:

Research Period A:  11th April – 24th April 2021

Research Period B:  20th June – 3rd July 2021

We’ll aim to add more research periods as things become clearer and there may be an option to move to another research period. If you’re interested in volunteering with us in 2021, please contact us at so that we can keep you updated.


Volunteer fees are an important part in helping to keep MWSRP in operation conducting research and conservation initiatives. These fees go towards covering the rental of the research dhoni (boat), accommodation, food, fuel, and project related expenses.

Please email for further information or to request an application form.

Please read our Terms & Conditions carefully before you apply for a volunteer position. By confirming a volunteer placement with MWSRP, you accept and agree to these Terms & Conditions.

MWSRP Volunteer Terms & Conditions




MWSRP research projects are located in environmentally and culturally sensitive parts of the Maldives. We are privileged guests in the Maldives and ask that all volunteers be mindful of that. Volunteers naturally represent and serve as ambassadors of the MWSRP and we insist that they recognise local cultural sensitivities and adapt their behaviour accordingly.

MWSRP has a responsibility to minimise negative impacts on local environments and communities where we work. We work hard to ensure just and sustainable practices when conducting research, working within the communities and during down-time. It is ultimately the volunteer’s responsibility to bring their best self.