Are you a student or recent graduate? Would you like to come on board with our researchers?

With Delfini del Ponente is possible to partake in an internship of 30 days (minimum stay) based in Imperia (Ligurian region), right in the centre of the International “Pelagos” Sanctuary for the protection of Cetaceans. We developed a programme that include specific training on cetaceans studies and other marine fauna. This programme is aimed at young people who intend to pursue a career as marine biologists/researchers or who have a strong interest in undertaking an experience in this field of science. Not only we will go out at sea to conduct monitoring surveys of dolphins and seabirds, but we will also conduct data analysis, and photo-identification of bottlenose dolphins’ dorsal fins and use specific software.  Lectures on specific topics will also be given: on marine mammals, marine fauna and the main research techniques used in this field. We have agreements with multiple Universities to allow students to conduct their thesis and acquire formative credits with us.

  • Boat-based monitoring,
  • Land-based monitoring,
  • Data collection on cetaceans, seabirds and other Mediterranean species,
  • Photo-identification of bottlenose dolphins and matching with catalogue,
  • Skin lesion analysis
  • Input and updating of databases,
  • Opportunistic monitoring when reports of cetacean species are received,
  • Beach monitoring at dawn to look for potential tracks of sea turtle activities (only in summer),
  • Lectures and seminars on biology, ecology, anatomy, physiology and research techniques used to study cetaceans and other marine fauna

The programme is highly flexible and weather-dependent. The boat-based activities will only be conducted in case of good weather and sea conditions.

  • Minimum age required of 18
  • Be highly adaptable and flexible. The daily plan might change because the fieldwork activities are strongly related to weather forecasts
  • Preferred (not required) students or recent graduates in biology, natural or environmental sciences, veterinary studies or similar
  • Being able to stand for multiple hours in a research zodiac even under the sun and in all weather conditions
  • Being able to use binoculars for multiple hours on a boat
  • Speak, read and write in English
  • Being able to swim
  • Being a sociable person. The apartment and all the activities will be conducted in team for the entire duration of the internship

Partaking in this internship is a good opportunity if you want to conduct fieldwork activities, learn multiple techniques of sightings and species identification, and record data on cetaceans and marine fauna in their natural habitats. The land-based activities will allow you to acquire a theoretical background on research methods, data elaboration and analysis. Our choice to host a small number of interns per month allows us to give you a quality programme, with constant supervision from the project coordinator and the opportunity to partake actively in multiple aspects of the research activity

This position is unpaid. Our research programme is self-funded, which means that, to take part in this internship programme you will need to contribute a fee to cover the costs of research and stage expenditures (accommodation, apartment bills, office, equipment, insurance, scientific lectures and supervision…)

What is included:
Accommodation in a shared apartment
Electricity, water usage
Field costs (use of research vessels, training, use of equipment)
Lectures and training
Scientific supervision, mentoring and tutoring
Association membership and field insurance
Certificate of attendance

What is not included: (anything not specified above)
Travel expenses to/from Imperia
Food and drinks
Health and personal travel insurance

Participants will assist and help researchers working in the field. This is a great
opportunity to get involved in cetacean research, enjoy marine biodiversity while
gaining fieldwork and lab experience, travelling, and explore the beautiful Liguria
region and help support cetacean research and conservation. At the end of your
internship, you will:
● Learn different methods for studying marine mammals in the wild and gain
practical experience in cetacean field research.
● Have a deeper understanding of cetacean ecology, biology, behaviour and
● Be able to recognize several cetaceans, birds, reptiles and fish species of
the Mediterranean environment.
● Have a good understanding of standard procedures in fieldwork data
collection and further possible analyses that can be developed

Application form


To apply send to the application form with your CV and a letter of interest For the 2024, the application are closed. You can apply for the 2025
Application form

What do our interns and volunteers think about our project?

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