Volunteer Research Assistance
Many researchers at Lizard Island are assisted with field and laboratory work by volunteer assistants. LIRS receives many enquiries from students, recent graduates and others who are keen to assist researchers at Lizard Island. We have been able to place very few people in this kind of work because assistants are usually organised by researchers well in advance of each field trip without any input from LIRS. Usually the assistants are found through the researcher's own network of students, colleagues and friends.
This section of the website is provided as a service to link potential Research Volunteers with researchers. Aspiring Research Volunteers are invited to submit information about themselves and their availability for field work as outlined below. The information will be edited to remove last names and contact details, then posted on this web site. Researchers who want to contact volunteers must obtain contact details from LIRS.
Research teams live in shared accommodation at LIRS so the researcher and his/her field assistants are together virtually 24 hours a day. It is important that the researcher and his/her field assistants agree on such things as who will pay for what (travel, bench fees, food etc), the type of work to be done (e.g. lots of diving, mostly lab work) and the amount of time off while on the island (usually none for short field trips). Personal habits and abilities such as smoking, food preferences, and cooking ability can also be important in selecting a field assistant.
Appropriate qualifications and experience in scuba diving are prerequisites for research assistants at Lizard Island. Prospective research volunteers must meet one of training options 1 to 4 in the LIRS diving regulations as well as all other requirements. An Australian boat licence and boating experience are an advantage.
How to register
Prospective volunteers should send a short email message to LIRS giving the information suggested below. Do not send any attachments and do not send your complete CV - save that to send to any researcher who may contact you. Your aim is to provide concise information that will allow you to be matched with a researcher's requirements.
- Your name and country of residence.
- The exact month(s)/year that you would be able to volunteer. You will not be put on the register if you are not specific about this. For example, 'March to September 2022' is acceptable but an open ended answer such as 'Anytime from February' will be rejected.
- The circumstances that allow you to volunteer at Lizard Island (e.g. university holidays, backpacking in Australia between particular dates, would travel to Australia to take up this opportunity etc).
- The reason you would like to volunteer (e.g. biology graduate seeking field experience, always wanted to see Great Barrier Reef etc).
- Details of your scuba certifications and diving experience, highlighting any coral reef diving experience (e.g."PADI Divemaster, 340 dives logged, most recently in March 2021 in Italy. Most of my diving has been in the Mediterranean but I have done 15 dives on coral reefs in the Red Sea".).
- Evidence that you understand the LIRS Diving Regulations and your willingness to meet them (e.g. "If accepted into a research team, I will obtain an AS 2299 dive medical in Australia prior to the trip and I will obtain training and certification in first aid and medical oxygen administration as required.")
- Any scientific or marine field work qualifications and experience.
- Any special skills and qualities that may be relevant for life on a small island (e.g. hopeless cook but great washer-up, vegetarian, non-smoker etc).