Independent researchers define and conduct their own research. We welcome research on a wide variety of biological and environmental topics, as well as projects on the social aspects of environmental conservation. Many independent researchers are under- or post-graduates, and some are professionals who want to step out of their current work environment or pursue a specific research goal.
Our Publications show the range of topics that researchers have pursued while at Cloudbridge.
A minimum 12 week commitment is required for most independent researchers. Shorter commitments will be considered, provided the research proposal demonstrates how the research objectives will be achieved in the proposed time frame.
How it works
Researchers work largely independently on their projects while at the reserve. Cloudbridge staff are available to assist with planning your research by providing background information and in-depth knowledge of the conditions and biology in the reserve. Staff will also work with you to determine if there are any resources or assistance the reserve can provide (i.e. general equipment such as ropes or tools, or providing an assistant for field work).
Researchers are typically expected to contribute approximately one day a week helping with reserve work. For example, researchers may greet visitors at the Welcome Centre (a good time to do data entry or other computer work), or assist with tree planting or reserve maintenance.
Being given permission to conduct independent research in the reserve includes the following conditions:
- Submit a short proposal of your study within 10 days of arrival.
- Give a presentation to Cloudbridge staff and volunteers on your research near the end of your stay.
- Submit a research report with a detailed methodology section prior to departure.
- Upload a copy of any raw data to the Cloudbridge archives prior to departure.
Independent researcher requirements:
- Academic or practical experience in floral or fauna research
- Physically capable and willing to walk up and down steep hills in all types of weather
- Self motivated, with good timekeeping, record keeping, and ability to meet realistic deadlines
- Comfortable living in a close knit community
- 20 years or older
- Able to fund your food and accommodations for the duration of your stay
- Commit to a minimum of 12 weeks (unless you can demonstrate that you project will take less time)
- Responsible for renewing your visa, if staying longer than 90 days
To apply, please fill and submit the Volunteer/Research Application.
Accommodations and Costs
Housing is provided at $17 USD per person per day and includes Wi-Fi, hot showers, shared bath, and shared kitchen. For stays less than 30 days, we must charge a Costa Rican tax for temporary accommodation which is an additional $3.00 USD per day. Food costs and cooking are the responsibility of the individual volunteer/researcher, most of whom can eat a basic, mostly vegetarian diet for around $5 USD per day. Most people stay in shared rooms, although some private rooms with queen beds may be available (subject to current occupancy) for an additional fee. Housing fees are paid one month in advance to the Cloudbridge Manager.
A $200 “good faith” fee is required prior to being accepted as a volunteer or researcher. This fee will be credited toward your accommodation fees for the last 2 weeks of your stay. The fee is payable through the Donate page.
Questions? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please visit our blog site for monthly updates and photos on our volunteers and researchers, their projects, and other activities at Cloudbridge Nature Reserve.