Research Coordination in the Rainforest

founded in 1999
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Coordinator | Eduardo
Coordinator | Eduardo
Book with Flex Option! Choose new departure dates or change to a different volunteer program at no extra costs.


Expand your idea of "research" Everyone who is curious and can collect data is a researcher!
Figure out how to collect, store and share data so it can be really useful!
Live and work with people of different backgrounds, different ages and different experiences – all united in finding solutions to problems!
Discover the joys and challenges of learning to live sustainably in the rainforest
Hike in the forest, swim in the crystal water of the rivers, and get to know a traditional rural community
Researcher, students and volunteers from 65 countries have spent time at the Iracambi Research Center in Brazil's Atlantic Forest. Come help us coordinate the program! This volunteer program is especially suitable for:
Age 21+

So what will you be doing? Overseeing and facilitating research activities, managing expectations before, during and after researchers arrive, helping with logistics and connections.  Although you'll be overseeing and facilitating both desk and field activities, you won't need to have advanced academic qualifications. You will need to understand that almost every activity at Iracambi involves research of some kind or another - and be prepared to support researchers at all levels: from undergrad papers to graduate projects. It's important that both you and the students/researchers have a clear idea of what they want to do, what is feasible, and any extra costs that may be incurred (translation, travel, equipment, etc,) and that you are willing and able to point them in the right direction!  

So what might researchers be doing? Here, at the Iracambi Rainforest Research Center, located in Brazil's Atlantic Forest students, researchers and volunteers gain firsthand experience in biodiversity conservation: (agroforestry, regenerative agriculture, medicinal plants, forest monitoring, and sustainable living: community outreach and education, workshops.) And whether they are collecting seeds in the forest, monitoring forest regeneration, cataloging medicinal plants, testing new practices in the agroecology plots, studying flora and fauna populations, monitoring water quality and flows, or doing less academically focused tasks such as maintaining our forest trails, making videos, adding to our photo library, or riding the school bus to the village to share their language and culture with local schoolkids, they and you will be having a ball, contributing your skills to a great cause, and learning all sorts of things you never thought you could. Quite apart from supervising individual or group research proposals, ensuring at all data is properly collected and stored and correctly shared and uploaded. Because Iracambi is all about Saving Forests and Changing Lives and you are warmly welcomed to become a part of it!

Typical day

Studying, interning, volunteering, or coordinating a program at Iracambi provides you with a fantastic opportunity to be part of a lifestyle that is likely very different from what you are used to. You will be sharing the campus space with people of different nationalities, backgrounds, skills, ages and interests - not to mention a few bugs! We invite you to take responsibility for your own work, experience, lifestyle, and for your fellow Iracambistas and their research projects. If students and volunteers have their their own pet study project or particular passion, that’s great, and we're happy to support them in that. If they have a brilliant idea for something we could or ought to do, let’s see if we can do it! Familiarity with Arc GIS and some Portuguese would be an advantage, but it's more important to have an inquiring mind and good organizational skills - both with people, projects, and data management.  

The Research Center is located on a working farm, which includes a large area of native forest as well as tree crops, succession forests, swamp lands and high altitude pastures. There are rivers to swim in, mountains to climb, forest trails to hike, and a welcoming local community. You won’t have the bright lights of a big city. But you will have the chance to make friends for life. You’ll be living on our rainforest campus, and eating delicious local food cooked by Larissa – who is more than happy to supply vegetarian or vegan options on request. The Research Center has one central dorm, five four-bed cabins, a field lab, a classroom, our multi-use Forest House, a system of forest trails, and our forest and agroecology plots. We have 24-hour access to internet – except during thunderstorms, when we power down in order to protect the equipment! 

A little background.    

The Atlantic Forest stretches from the northeastern to the southern regions of Brazil and northern Argentina and southeastern Paraguay. Five hundred years ago, it covered approximately 330 million acres, but today only 7- 8% remains. And we are determined to protect and restore what we can. Because these forests harbor an extraordinarily high rate of biodiversity, including 2,200 species of birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians - 5% of all the vertebrates on earth. And new species are still being discovered!

Iracambi is adjacent to the Serra do Brigadeiro State Park, one of the highest conservation priority areas in the state, and home to the largest population of the woolly spider monkey Brachyteles hypoxanthus – the most endangered and arguably the most adorable of the New World Primates. You may be lucky enough to spot one, particularly if you hang out with Leandro who can be found a little farther up the mountain! If you are with us at the right time of year, he can also involve you in harvesting the local version of the superfruit acai jussara.   

Free-time activities

Free-time activities

On weekends you can swim in the rivers, hike in the forest, climb local mountains – no rock climbing involved and you will be rewarded by amazing views. You can also interact with the local community and attend local parties and festivals, particularly in June and July during the winter festivals. You can also organize dinners, bonfires, barbecues or social events to be enjoyed with a glass of wine, a beer or a caipirinha!. Weekend excursions might include quad biking round local communities and getting a taste of local farm life, horseback riding, and in three day weekends you could visit Brazil’s famous historic towns Ouro Preto and Mariana, sun yourself on the beaches of Rio de Janeiro state, or climb the 9000 foot Pico da Bandeira (once considered to be Brail’s highest mountain before another was discovered in the Amazon!) 


And if you’re up for gentler pastimes, where better to hang out in a hammock and read a book, or find a quiet spot to practice yoga or meditation? 



In order to join the program you need to be at least 21 years old on the program start date. There might be exemptions if you can provide the permission of your legal guardian(s) or if your are accompanied by your parents.
Language Skills
You need to speak English (fluently)
Education Requirements
Biological, social or earth sciences at graduate degree preferable but not essential level
Required Documents
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
Good people skills and empathy, good management skills both in facilitating fieldwork and in storing and handling data.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 09:00 - 17:00

What's Included

Services by Iracambi Research Center

Fees include all meals - our food is delicious and plentiful - accommodation, all on site activities and 24 access to internet (except in terrible weather when we have to power down to protect our equipment!) 


Volunteers will stay either in our cabins (which have two double bedrooms, hot shower and study space,) or in the main building, (old farm house with 4 double bedrooms, common room, kitchen and hot showers.) We have good wifi connection but no television. (Read a book, instead!)  Other facilities include the dining hall, our multi-use bamboo Forest House,  a classroom, field lab, forest nursery,  forestry and agroecology plots, GIS, a system of forest trails and a Forest Reserve. Three km from the Center we have the Pico da Graminha Reserve with its fully equipped Mountain House which is a comfortable base for hikers, birders and researchers. 

Bedroom (Single) Bedroom (Double)
Food & Beverages

Iracambi provides abundant and delicious food, cooked by Larissa, who is happy to accommodate special requests, and will always have a vegetarian option, and vegan food on request.  Please, let us know in advance if you have any kind of food restrictions. There is always fresh water, milk and coffee for free, and  fresh juices depending on the season. Sodas, alcoholic drinks, and delicious chocolate truffles are also for sale in the restaurant.  

Internet Access
Good access at the project site
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees. An airport pickup isn't included within the program fees either.
Flight Tickets
The nearest airport is Galeao Antonio Carlos Jobim International Airport (GIG) in Rio De Janeiro. We assist you to find cheap flights to Brazil.
Travel Insurance
Going abroad is an adventure and it is always best to be prepared. Sudden illness or injury, cancellation or theft - a travel insurance for Brazil provides security and is a plus to have.
If you are intending to volunteer in Brazil you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Brazil.

Dates & Fees


Details on arrival

You are welcome to join us at any time of year, and we ask for a minimum of three months, although six is better. We have two seasons - the rainy season and the dry (less rainy) season.  Normally the rains come in October November and last through May. Daytime temperatures will be in the range 25C - 35C with cooler nights (22C - 26C).  This is the season for planting trees and the rainforest is alive with activity. Mornings are usually clear and if there's rain on the way it will cloud over as the day goes on, with rain and sometimes thunder in the afternoon. After a short sharp storm, the sun will often reappear, and although you may get wet you won't get cold!  

The rainy season is the time to visit local farms and plant trees alongside the farm families, local schoolkids and volunteers, and anyone who is within reach. By contrast the dry season is cooler - temperatures can drop to around 10C at night and you'll need a fleece. Day time temperatures are normally around 23C-28C and this is the season to monitor last year's plantings, hop on the school bus and visit local schools to share your language and culture, help in the forest nursery and on the agroecology plots, harvest (and sample) our delicious coffee, and get involved in year round projects such as maintaining the forest trails, updating the photo library, making videos and helping out with NGO tasks such as marketing and fundraising, and hosting school visits and workshops. 

Once you contact us we'll be happy to send you more details of how to get here and what to expect when you arrive!     

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
12 - 24 weeks

Program fees

Costs: Prices in USD
12 weeks (min. stay)
13 weeks
14 weeks
15 weeks
17 weeks
19 weeks
24 weeks (max. stay)
Average fees
$200 /week

Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated. Iracambi Research Center will let you know about the final price during your application process.
Deposit (15%)
The deposit is simply to reserve your volunteer placement. Payments are handled by PayPal, our trusted global payment provider. If you don't have a PayPal account, you can also pay using a credit card.
Final Payment (85%)
Your final payment will be agreed with Iracambi Research Center during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.

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Research Coordination in the Rainforest

Researcher, students and volunteers from 65 countries have spent time at the Iracambi Research Center in Brazil's Atlantic Forest. Come help us coordinate the program!


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