Research Assistant

Help our biologists perform monitoring and research of wildlife. Tasks can range from setting up cameras for mammals in the forest to reproducing insects in the lab.

The Research Assistant role can take many forms. Either you will be assigned to: a specific research project as an assistant; split your time between a couple of projects; or assist in all research projects where needed. Moreover, you may be asked to assist other volunteers in the research projects on the following topics: bioluminescent mushrooms; tree inventory; aquarium research; amphibian research or bioacoustics research. This roles is good for non-specialized people with an interest in getting to know many of our research projects.

Other Research Assistant Tasks

The Biodiversity Observatory OBBIO - is a network of video cameras that record the fauna and flora 24 hours a day, generating films and content for use in research, education, eBooks and documentaries. Setting up camera traps (Bushnell HD Model 119537) and using various stationary cameras set up in the forest volunteers can gather data on forest wildlife to study their ethology. For example, volunteers have researched "The Effects of Watersource Proximity on Mammal Dispersion". Our videos have been used on the Discovery Channel and are regularly published on our Youtube channel.

Insect Reproduction in the Lab - we produce interesting insects and study their reproduction. Moreover, the insects are feed to the fish, reptiles and frogs we have in our aquarium and terrariums.

Fauna and Flora - focused mainly on biology and ethology. An example of a study conducted by volunteers is "Measuring Frog Biodiversity in the Betary Reserve" where volunteers set up pitfalls in the forest and conducted ex situ identification to quantify frog abundance.


Living at IPBio

Volunteers will stay at the Darwin Guest House, situated on the reserve itself, which accommodates up to 8 people in 2 rooms. This house has a bathroom with a hot shower and has a fully equipped kitchen where volunteers can cook. In addition, IPBio is in the process of constructing a new house to accommodate more volunteers, interns and researchers. It is the volunteer’s responsibility to maintain and clean the house; we take this very seriously. Shops are in the town of Iporanga 6km away from the reserve, which you can walk to or get a taxi, where there are various shops with all you will need. 

Every day you will wake up to the sound of birds, monkeys and frogs and can explore the reserves grounds. Our town is called the Cave Capital of Brazil so volunteers often visit our state parks to explore the caves.  Hike into the dense forest and visits to waterfalls are also common activities. Bouy cross, big balloons, are used to drift down the rivers, some of the river route are 3 hours long! After work volunteers can swim on the reserve deck, organize dinners, watch movies, read and go wildlife watching. On the weekend we often have a barbecue or organize dinner at a restaurant. Often there are social events or parties in the community that volunteers can go to.

Location

The Atlantic Forest stretches from the northeastern to the southern regions of Brazil and northern Argentina and southeastern Paraguay. Five hundred years ago, the Atlantic Forest of Brazil covered approximately 330 million acres, but today only 7% remains. In the Ribeira Valley, our region of the Atlantic Forest, we are at the footsteps of 21% of the 7% that is left, it being largest contiguous section of the Atlantic Forest. Despite the forests diminished state it still ranks as a global conservation priority. Although it is now just a small fraction of the size of the Amazon rainforest, the Atlantic Forest still harbors a range of biological diversity similar to that of the Amazon. The Atlantic Forest harbors around 2,200 species of birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians – 5% of the vertebrates on Earth. This includes nearly 200 bird species found nowhere else. The Betary Reserve is located next to one of the most famous Brazilian State Parks named PETAR. The region is called the Cave Capital as it known for containing over 300 spectacular caves, some which are accessible to tourists. 


Research Assistant Our neighbours ``Tubing`` down the  river Our Micro Climate Greenhouse where frogs live Iporanga, the closest town (6km) to our reserve Visit our Caves Studying frogs The Darwin House where volunteers stay IPBio Center Bioluminescent mushrooms

Suitable for

Singles
Couples
Families
Groups

Typical day

A typical work day starts at 9:00 am and ends at 4:00 pm. The Research Assistant role is very variable, however, a typical work day might go something like this:

  • 9.00-12.00: hike in the forest to set up bushnell camera-traps to photograph mammals
  • 12.00-13.00: lunch
  • 13.00-14.00: feeding fish in the aquarium
  • 14.00-16.00: assist biologist in the lab reproducing insects

Program Requirements

Minimum Age
In order to join the program you need to be at least 18 years old on the program start date. There might be exemptions if you can provide the permission of your legal guardian(s).
Language Skills
You need to speak English (intermediate level)
Required Documents
CV/Resume
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
Any experience or education in relevent scientific fields would be useful but are not required.
You either need to speak English or Portuguese.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 09:00 - 16:00

Any questions? Just ask. We at IPBio - Reserva Betary are happy to help you.

Free-time activities

Our town is called the Cave Capital of Brazil so volunteers often visit our state parks to explore the caves.  Hike into the dense forest and visits to waterfalls are also common activities. Bouy cross, big balloons, are used to drift down the rivers, some of the river route are 3 hours long! After work volunteers can swim on the reserve deck, organize dinners, watch movies, read and go wildlife watching. On the weekend we often have a barbecue or organize dinner at a restaurant. Often there are social events or parties in the community that volunteers can go to. 

Water Sports
Swimming
Climbing
Safari/Zoo
Hiking
Sports
Riding
Yoga/Meditation

Services

What's included?
This covers your accommodation, full access to the reserve, internet access and the use of any equipment we have. Volunteers will pay for their own food and cook for themselves. Volunteers are also responsible for paying for any extra costs such as travel costs, visa costs etc. Volunteers are also responsible for covering their extra activities costs such as dinner out (without drinks) which ranges from 15 to 30 reais or PETAR State Park tour of caves (including a guide, equipment and entrance fee) which costs around 100 to 250 reais depending on how many volunteers go. 
 
 
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees.

No worries, Volunteer World supports you in raising funds, checking your visa regulations and travel insurance. We also assist you in finding the cheapest flights for your journey.
Accommodation

The Darwin House, where volunteers stay, is situated on the reserve itself and accommodates up to 8 people in 2 rooms. This house has a bathroom with a hot shower and has a fully equipped kitchen where volunteers can cook.

Dorm Room Guesthouse Bedroom (Single) Bungalow Bedroom (Double)
Internet Access
Good access at the project site
Costs (Prices in USD)
2 weeks (min. stay)
$280.00
3 weeks
$420.00
4 weeks
$560.00
5 weeks
$700.00
9 weeks
$1,260.00
17 weeks
$2,380.00
50 weeks (max. stay)
$7,000.00

You can volunteer at the project site in Iporanga/Brazil between 2 weeks and 50 weeks. Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. IPBio - Reserva Betary will tell you your final price during your application process.
Average Fees
$140/week
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 IPBio - Reserva Betary during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.

Get ready to volunteer in Brazil

Check out first

Visa Regulations
Depending on your nationality, you have to arrange your visa for Brazil. Please check the visa regulations for Brazil.
Travel Seasons
Find out the best time to volunteer in Brazil and receive information on weather and climatic conditions.
Living Costs
Living costs vary with each destination. We give an overview of what you should plan as an estimated budget to volunteer in Brazil.
Budgeting
Generally, volunteering abroad involves certain costs. In case you need financial support, we will assist you to fundraise your volunteer program in Brazil.

What's next?

Airport
The nearest airport is Aeroporto Internacional Guarulhos (GRU) in Sao Paulo. 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.
Vaccine Checker
If you are intending to volunteer in Brazil you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Brazil.
Free-time
What can you do in leisure-time in Brazil while you are not working at your volunteer opportunity?
Estrada Iporanga – Apiaí, Km 6, 18330-000 Iporanga, Brazil

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