Perhentian Turtle Research
Co-ordinator Internship

If you love stats and data and also want to help sea turtles then this is for you.


Location: Perhentian Kecil, Malaysia
Category: Perhentian Turtle Project 
Job Type: Internship
Contract Length: 4-months (starting March or July) and 8-months (starting March) periods available between March and October
Application Closing Date: APPLY ASAP
Start Date:  March to June and July to October 2024.  You can apply to stay from March to October if you wish.

Love turtles and Stats?  Want to start a career in marine conservation? Join the Perhentian Turtle Project team on this Turtle Conservation Internship as a Research Coordinator where you’ll pick up vital field skills, collect data on a daily basis and patrol nesting beaches at night. Plus develop your people management skills as you will be working with small groups of volunteers who you’ll educate about turtles and marine conservation each week.  Your efforts will help create papers like Photographic Identification to monitor sea turtle populations at Perhentian Islands Marine Park, Malaysia.


Perhentian Turtle Project is a sea turtle conservation project in the Perhentian Islands. Since 2015, we have collected data for photographic identification to monitor the underwater & nesting populations of sea turtles. Recently, PTP has started specific scientific studies alongside the population studies such as nest temperature monitoring, stranding management & necropsy, paired laser photogrammetry, etc. As a research coordinator, you are responsible for day-to-day project activities while also leading specific research and studies. You will collect and analyze foraging, nesting, and hatchery data on a daily basis in addition to ensuring the data are complete and organized at all times. Consequently, you will pick up vital field skills via kayaking, free-diving, photographing sea turtles underwater and on a nesting beach, nightly beach patrols and hatchery management. Being a research coordinator will also require you to interact regularly with volunteers by introducing them to and leading them on our data collection activities.

Key duties and responsibilities of the turtle conservation internship

  • Conduct 3 – 4 kayak surveys weekly.
    • 45-min kayak each way.
    • Snorkel 4 transect lines in the study site (~150m per transect).
    • Freedive to photograph turtles (3 – 7m depth).
    • Observe boatmen & tourist behavior.
  • Conduct night patrols at nesting beach;
    • Patrol a 400m nesting beach every hour.
    • Collect and relocate eggs from nesting sea turtles into the hatchery.
    • Collect biometrics and facial photographs of nesting sea turtles. 
    • Collect hatchery data.
    • Release hatchlings.
  • Log all surveys (kayak and beach) and transfer all data collected into the project laptop for data analysis.
  • Data analysis using the photo identification method (photo ID).
  • Continual monitoring of data for quality and accuracy. Retraining to be provided if required.
  • Introduce, brief and lead volunteers on all volunteer activities.
  • Maintain relationships with local DOF rangers & community through regular interactions.
  • Ensure all safety precautions are taken and the Standard Operating Procedure (S.O.P) are followed whilst in the water and make sure all volunteers are accounted for during water-based activities. 
  • Ensure the project house and Tiga Ruang’s campsite are kept clean & tidy with the help of the team members and our volunteers through daily chores on a rota basis.
  • Oversee/manage the development and improvement of more vigorous conservation awareness (e.g. via information stands or awareness talks) among stakeholders.
  • Follow agreed timetables to deliver work in a timely fashion.
  • Be a professional example of a leader and marine conservationist to local community members, volunteers and team members.
  • Adherence to all safety measures, protocols, procedures and budgets as directed by Fuze Ecoteer.
  • Any other duties that may be required including helping with group events, cover for team member’s leave and illness, shop for project supplies (e.g. food and cleaning supplies), and participate in local/island events.
  • The successful candidate will report to the Project Manager of Perhentian Turtle Project and work together with another team member to reach the project’s objectives.


  • Must have an interest and passion for sea turtle and marine conservation and the work of Fuze Ecoteer.
  • Must have a strong interest and experience in outdoor activities, especially water-related activities.
  • Comfortable swimming and treading in open water.
  • Ability to free dive preferred; training can be provided upon arrival.
  • Must possess strong observational skills, high acuity and attention to detail in particular regards to research training, data collection, data input and research monitoring.
  • Must have a strong interest in data collection, management, and analysis.
  • Must be proactive and organized in completing tasks.
  • Must be able to work (awake, alert, and active) night shifts in tough conditions and on a small isolated island with limited resources.
  • Able to adapt to basic and rustic living accommodations.
  • Must be open-minded, respectful, willing, and determined to try and learn new things, skills,  languages, and cultures.
  • Must be flexible and quick to adapt to new surroundings – especially humid tropical climates and changes in sleep schedules –  and sudden changes in project schedules.
  • Fluency in written and spoken Bahasa and English is essential.
  • Experience in public outreach and engagement preferred.
  • High level of water safety awareness is preferred.
  • The candidate should be a team player but able to work independently and as part of a team to develop and implement conservation projects with minimal supervision
  • Strong leadership skills preferred.
  • Must have a strong sense of responsibility, discipline and display a professional example to villagers, volunteers and colleagues at all times.
  • Must possess efficient time management to meet set deadlines
  • Must be competent in Windows OS and Microsoft Office.
  • Skills in R, Python, and/or GIS preferred.
  • Experience writing scientific reports preferred.
  • First aid training is desirable but basic training can be provided upon arrival.
  • International interns are required to pay a deposit of UKP100 to Fuze Ecoteer. Interns will receive the deposit money back when his/her internship contract intern term ends and work performance is satisfactory. 


  • Have a more holistic understanding of sea turtle and marine conservation by experiencing the wonders and challenges in the field from multiple perspectives including the environmental, social, and legal aspects.
  • Develop better leadership, communication and data analytics skills. 
  • Free accommodation – you will live in the project house, sharing a room with at most 3 other people.
  • Access to communal staff food at the Turtle House where you’ll be expected to cook on a weekly basis. Plus treat yourself to some delicious local cuisine from around the village or when attending Malay dinners with our volunteers.
  • For international interns, visa cost will be borne by the intern. FE can help with the visa application process for a fee. 
  • Free WIFI available at the project house.
  • 1 day off per week with an additional block of 4 days off every month during project season (Mar to Nov). 
  • All work-related expenses within the islands (unfortunately this doesn’t include your travel to or from Malaysia).
  • Allowance of RM250 per month from the 7 months onwards if you are able to commit to a longer-term internship.
  • Reference letter upon request after the completion of the internship period.

How To Apply

Please submit your CV, and Cover Letter to and please include the title of the role you are applying for.

For more information or if you have any further questions about the role please email

If that’s not enough to convince you, check out this video of the project. It’ll give you a pretty good idea about where you’ll be staying and what you’ll be up to.

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