Research Opportunities

Students and researchers interested in conducting research in the tropics of the New World are invited to participate in “field research and academic programs”. The Jatun Sacha Foundation Research program is open to all biological, environmental science, social as well as interdisciplinary studies. We welcome students of all levels of university education to carry out their research projects in our different ecosystems of Ecuador. Research areas may include, but are not limited to, ecological studies, biological control and social sciences.

Conditions for Researchers

  1. Funding: Researchers must pay their own expenses while in the country, including airfare to Ecuador, the cost of living (hostels outside the network of reserves) and domestic transport, while in the country.

  2. Rates include three meals a day plus lodging in cabins (which are shared with other researchers and volunteers), coordination of transportation from Quito to the reserves and coordination in place. We also have a small library in our headquarters in Quito for general use. Some reserves have small libraries in place as well.

  3.  Expenses (per day) for conducting a research project:
    1. Baccalaureate, M. Sc, Ph.D:
      • 1-15 days $ 30
      • 16-30 days $ 20


      • 1-15 days $ 38
      • 16-30 days $ 27

  4. Investigator fee (and airfare for researchers who go to the San Cristobal reserve) must be paid before (during the introduction meeting) entering the reserve. Research fees may be paid on a monthly basis at our headquarters (Quito).

  5. There is an application fee of U.S. $ 50 to be paid for the Jatun Sacha Foundation Research Program. There is also a deposit of U.S. $ 100 to be made which is fully refundable upon receipt of a copy (print and digital format) of the study completed.

  6. Health Insurance: The researchers should have their own international health insurance and they need to sign an agreement to release Jatun Sacha of the responsibility for any illness or injury sustained in Ecuador.

  7. There are no time restrictions for researchers in any of our reserves. Researchers need a visa if their stay in Ecuador is more than 90 days. Please consult the Volunteer Coordinator for more information about a visa.

  8. Education Requirements: A college degree is a prerequisite for acceptance into the program. Additionally, all researchers must have an academic advisor or institutional support from their home countries to develop their research in Ecuador.

  9. Researchers will have to apply for permits if they need to collect specimens of plants and animals or wishing to export specimens. These permits must be obtained from the Ministry of Environment of Ecuador, and emphasizes respect of all its regulations and procedures. For more information visit the Ministry of Environment of Ecuador

  10. The risk of malaria exists in our field stations located in the Esmeraldas province on the Ecuadorian coast, especially in the Bilsa and Congal Reserves. Therefore, researchers should have their own malaria prophylaxis while working in one of these two sites.

  11. Researchers should also take into consideration, that each researcher is responsible for transporting all the equipment for research and field studies. After the investigation is concluded, any equipment that is donated to the site is very appreciated!

  12. While in the reserves, researchers need approximately U.S. $ 20 per week for extra expenses (drinks, visits to communities, postal, transportation, etc.). Please bring small bills for reservations ($ 5 denominations or less). Many local businesses are unable to provide change for large bills.

  13. It is recommended that all researchers register at their local Embassy or Consulate upon arrival in Quito.

  14. Researchers are expected to provide Jatun Sacha with two copies of any publication or other body of work, thesis or dissertation (printed, video, recorded, filmed, photographed or recorded) from the research conducted in the station. Researchers must also provide (before entering the reserve) a written proposal of your project and the activities carried out in our reserves during their investigation.

  15. There are certain days of entry to the various reserves. Please contact our Volunteer Coordinator at to organize the dates of arrival in Ecuador as well as the day of entry to the reserve before booking tickets. Researchers who go to the Galapagos Islands need to pay an additional entrance fee of $ 100 upon arrival at the airport in San Cristobal.

  16. Researchers should proceed whit the application as follows:
    1.  Letter of application indicating: research topic, favorite season of participation including dates (dates of participation are necessary to ensure availability of space)
    2. Curriculum Vitae (CV)
    3. Two passport size photographs
    4. Research Proposal
    5. $ 50 application fee (write the check in USD to Jatun Sacha) PLEASE DO NOT SEND MONEY ORDERS.

Send requests to: Jatun Sacha Foundation PO Box 17-12-867 Quito – Ecuador South America