Empowering communities
through impactful research.

Research fellowships

4–24 weeks

5 reasons research fellowships are for you

1
Generate solutions to
community challenges
2
Get practical
research experience
3
Get guidance from
expert supervisors
4
Use your individual
skills
and expertise
5
Receive career-boosting
mentoring and support
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Participant Testimonial
Brenda
Participant Testimonial

Benefits
FAQs

Benefits of joining a research fellowship

Meet your academic requirements

Research fellowships make it easy to collect the data you need to complete your thesis, dissertation or research paper. Thanks to our academic support staff, expert local staff and remote fellowship supervisors, you’ll be supported all the way through your research fellowship: before, during and after your program. 

GVI has been working in the conservation and sustainable development space for over twenty years. We have decades of expertise in facilitating research expeditions, as well as hundreds of programs and research topics for you to choose from. And our enrolment staff are on hand to make sure you select the perfect topic to match your research goals and academic requirements. 

Once you’ve been matched with your topic and program, our support and academic support staff will make sure you have everything you need until you’ve wrapped up your data collection and are ready to get started writing up your thesis. 

Remote research supervisor

GVI’s research fellowships are conducted outside of a traditional university setting. Our in-field research-based fellowships involve hands-on practical work. Although you probably already have a university supervisor overseeing your thesis work, you’ll need support on the program and an understanding of how your thesis research fits into the research fellowship program that you join. 

So, if you’re looking to complete your dissertation abroad, you can rest assured that we’ve got you covered. When you join one of our research fellowship, you’ll be paired with a remote research supervisor. Your remote research supervisor will guide you on your research, methodology and data collection.

If you’re doing conservation research on, say, predator kill preferences in a South African reserve, you might study the leopard slinking across the safari plains of Limpopo hunting for its prey, the slender antelope. 

Your remote research supervisor will have sample research topics and data sets ready for you. And, if you’re worried about whether or not your research will fit into one of our programs, your remote research supervisor will be able to pre-approve your research topic during your enrolment process with us and even suggest alternative topics or locations to carry out your fellowship.

Add to your academic qualifications

When you join one of GVI’s international research fellowships you’ll boost your academic and professional development with our pre-program, online leadership course and a specialisation course in wildlife conservation, marine conservation or community development. 

And, you can add to your academic qualifications even further by completing GVI’s post-program Careers in Sustainable Development online course. All of our online courses are accredited by the University of Richmond and are offered at no extra cost to your standard program fees. 

The best part is that once you’ve successfully completed your research fellowship, you’ll have four weeks to complete your post-program online course. And, if you successfully complete the course, you’ll receive a certificate of completion to add to your resume. 

Remote career mentor

GVI’s research fellowships have a lot to offer, but how do you prepare for your future once you’ve completed your program? GVI will assign a remote career mentor to you, and you’ll have access to two online mentor sessions. 

 

Your career mentor will assist you with preparing for your future career by:

  • giving you feedback on your CV
  • assisting you in communicating your GVI experience on LinkedIn and your CV
  • helping you to practise for interviews
  • assisting you in mapping out your career goals
  • providing advice on job searching
  • giving you general career advice.

 

So, after you’ve completed your research fellowship, you’ll be equipped with everything you need to begin a successful career in the industry.

Receive a professional reference

With a completed research fellowship and your future career plan under your belt, all you’ll need is one more boost to add to your resume. 

Your remote research fellowship supervisor will give you a professional reference to impress your future employers. This reference will highlight what you’ve learnt on the program and outline the skills you’ve developed during your fellowship. They will also add a summary of this reference to your LinkedIn profile, along with relevant skills endorsements.

Job guarantee

Job hunting has never been this easy. GVI’s research fellowships offer all qualifying interns a job guarantee in the sustainable development industry within 18 months of successfully completing a 6 month program.  

We’re so confident that you’ll land a job in the sector after your fellowship with us that we promise to give you a 50% refund of your program fees if you don’t. 

And, after successfully completing one of our research fellowships, you’ll also become an alum of GVI. This means that you’ll be eligible for preferential recruitment if a GVI role becomes available. And that’s not all we have to offer. 

After successfully completing your research fellowship, you’ll also have access to an online job portal that’ll collate vacancies in the sustainable development industry. 

Virtual internship opportunities

Are you interested in gaining practical experience, but you’re unable to travel? Well, you can still complete an internship abroad, without having to go anywhere.

GVI’s virtual internships are the perfect opportunity to hone the practical skills that you’ll need in the field you’re researching. Can’t wrap your head around it? Well, our virtual internships will allow you to learn valuable skills, like how to analyse photos of target species like baby sea turtles, or how to work with real drone footage of coral reefs. And, you’ll also complete a project to help an organisation to find solutions for a real-world scenario.

This will add to your knowledge of real-world contexts and teach you how to apply your theoretical understanding to on-the-ground project-work. Our virtual internships offer some of the same online training as our on-the-ground research fellowship. And, they also offer certificates, accredited by the University of Richmond upon successful completion of your virtual internship. So, which subject areas can you choose from for your virtual internship?

You can do one of the following virtual internships:

Some questions to ask before you join a research fellowship

What does my program fee cover?

Your research fellowship fee will cover your pre-departure support and materials, food, accommodation, training and orientation, long-term GVI field staff, 24-hour in-country support, and project equipment. As well as:

  • pre-program training
  • three GVI online courses endorsed by the University of Richmond
  • training on GVI’s ethics and work with the UN SDGs, your location and project focus
  • practical experience working in the field alongside local and international experts
  • a remote fellowship supervisor who’ll provide you with one-on-one support and guidance
  • support with completing a research paper or thesis
  • a professional reference upon successfully completing your fellowship
  • a LinkedIn reference and skills endorsement upon successfully completing your fellowship
  • access to a job portal of available roles in conservation and sustainable development
  • preference regarding opportunities to work for GVI
  • a six month minimum job guarantee.

Not to mention unforgettable, off-the-beaten-track, life-changing experiences.

How old do I need to be to join a research fellowship?

You need to be 18+ years old to complete one of GVI’s research fellowships.

How long are the research fellowships?

We offer flexible duration options so that you can find the right fit for the goals you would like to achieve from your fellowship. Our on-the-ground research fellowship run between 4 and 24 weeks, depending on the research data and work you would like to take part in at the GVI base.

Do I need any experience or qualifications?

No, our trained field team will provide you with all the training you need when you join your fellowship. Some of our diving programs do require interns to be PADI Open Water certified prior to joining; please contact us to speak to an enrolment manager for more information.

Can I chat to someone to get more information?

Our team of enrolment managers are here to answer any and every question you have about our fellowship.

Your enrolment manager will guide you through choosing the program that best suits your field of research. We have hundreds of programs and research topics for you to consider.

To speak to us, submit a call back request and we will call you, otherwise, you can contact us directly.

Can I play for a bursary to pay for my fellowship?

GVI does not provide any academic bursaries for our programs, but you are welcome to apply for independent financial aid such as student loans to cover the program fees. This is because the fees from our programs provide important funding to sustain our projects on the ground.

GVI may award a scholarship to high-performing participants on a program, or allow a participant to stay on their program for a longer duration at no extra charge.

Can I get a job with GVI after my fellowship?

Our collaboration and equal partnerships with communities, organisations and universities across the world have given us an understanding of what it takes to successfully forge a career in sustainability. Our fellowship provide you with career support, during and after your program.

Once you’ve completed your fellowship abroad, you’ll receive two career coaching sessions led by a remote career mentor.

Additionally, you’ll gain access to GVI’s online job portal, where you’ll find the latest job postings for a variety of international development work. And you’ll have preference for any GVI role you apply for.

Can I do my own research topic?

Your research project proposal will first need to be submitted and approved by your GVI Academic Mentor before you conduct your research. We do however recommend that for research that is part of a university degree, you submit a research proposal to GVI prior to finalising your booking so that you can get the most out of the experience.

Can I keep my research and data collected?

Because data is such a vital part of the work we do, any historical data, as well as any new data, reports, photographs and documentation collected by you on your GVI program remains the property of GVI or our in-country partners. This is also so that it can be used to inform our programs and help us to establish long term community and conservation goals that will make an impact.

Can I speak to a supervisor to help me choose my research topic?

Yes, our experienced staff are on hand to assist you in choosing the right topic for your research.

Can I publish my paper or data?

While not required, we encourage our participants to publish their papers. Participants are however required to obtain approval from GVI and our project partners prior to publishing their paper.

What approval or permissions do I need to publish my paper?

You will need to get permission from GVI and our in-country partners before any data can be used (e.g. before you can include it in a research or scientific paper). Data may not be released to a third party without GVI’s or our in-country partners’ prior approval. Please note that no monetary compensation will be provided to you for any data or research you collect.

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Conduct research to enable social change

1
Experience qualitative
research methodologies
2
Get exposure to
developmental challenges
3
Learn how to collect
and analyse data
4
Interpret findings and
share with the community

Choose between two types of research projects

Flagship research project
Contribute to existing, ongoing research projects and assist GVI and our partners with general conservation monitoring efforts.
Independent research project
Complete your studies by conducting your own research that aligns with the topics and data that GVI and our partners have available.

Community projects with local partners

Phang Nga practitioners
Public health research in Thailand

Ascertain the impact of health workshops using participatory interviews, visual tools and more.

Sasane
Women’s empowerment research in Nepal

Determine the effectiveness of workshops through focus groups, observation, assessments and more.

Dawasamu district nurse
Early Childhood Development research in Fiji

Analyse the impact of educational programs through participatory research, interviews and more.

Phang Nga practitioners
Public health research in Thailand

Ascertain the impact of health workshops using participatory interviews, visual tools and more.

Sasane
Women’s empowerment research in Nepal

Determine the effectiveness of workshops through focus groups, observation, assessments and more.

Match your skills to

community needs.

Join a project where your experience will be adapted to your individual interests and expertise and address community priorities.
Guided by expert supervisors

Dr. Bryan McAllister-Grande

Ed.D. and M.Ed in Higher Education, Harvard University.

Bryan has been researching, teaching and working in education for over 20 years. As a scholar of education, his work focuses on the history and internationalisation of curricula and the politics of knowledge. He is currently the Director for Academic Integration and Planning at Northeastern University in Boston.

Refilwe Mokoena

Masters in Public and Development Sector Monitoring and Evaluation, University of the Witwatersrand.

Refilwe has worked in international development  for more than 15 years. She is a specialist in developing and implementing impact management frameworks, and using participatory appraisal approaches. She is currently the Social Impact Director at GVI and serves on the board of directors of the Small Enterprise Foundation as well as the Change Agents Network of South Africa.

Dr. Bryan McAllister-Grande

Ed.D. and M.Ed in Higher Education, Harvard University.

Bryan has been researching, teaching and working in education for over 20 years. As a scholar of education, his work focuses on the history and internationalisation of curricula and the politics of knowledge. He is currently the Director for Academic Integration and Planning at Northeastern University in Boston.

Refilwe Mokoena

Masters in Public and Development Sector Monitoring and Evaluation, University of the Witwatersrand.

Refilwe has worked in international development  for more than 15 years. She is a specialist in developing and implementing impact management frameworks, and using participatory appraisal approaches. She is currently the Social Impact Director at GVI and serves on the board of directors of the Small Enterprise Foundation as well as the Change Agents Network of South Africa.

Grow personally, develop professionally

Leadership skills
  • Project management
  • Critical thinking
  • Resilience
  • Time management
Soft skills
  • Cultural awareness
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Communication
  • Teamwork
Development skills
  • Qualitative & participatory research methods
  • Data collection
  • Community engagement
  • Data analysis, reporting and visualisation

Launch your career in social impact

When you complete an internship of 12+ weeks, we guarantee you’ll secure an impact-driven position within 18 months (or we’ll return 50% of your program fee). View our career guarantee.

Research Methods
Certificate
Research Fellowship
Program Certificate
Subject Area
Foundation Certificate
Leading Teams for Impact
Certificate
Careers in Sustainable
Development Certificate
Research Methods
Certificate
Research Fellowship
Program Certificate
You'll also get:
  • One-on-one mentoring sessions
  • Advanced leadership training
  • Research methods training
  • Job portal access
  • Career coaching sessions
  • LinkedIn reference
Don't just travel like a tourist.
Live like a local.

Phang Nga, Thailand

Siem Reap, Cambodia

Dawasamu, Fiji

Accra, Ghana

Nosy Be, Madagascar

Pokhara, Nepal

Cape Town, South Africa

Phang Nga, Thailand

Siem Reap, Cambodia
4–24 weeks
Virtual
internships

Work remotely on real projects for conservation partners.

4-12 weeks
Internships

Get broad exposure to a variety of conservation initiatives.

24 weeks
Professional
apprenticeships

Get a three month placement to work for a conservation partner.

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