Research at a Ceiba Project Site Apply Now!
of the mission of the Ceiba Foundation for Tropical Conservation is
to promote the study of tropical ecosystems, their flora and fauna,
and how they are viewed and utilized by local people. We encourage
researchers interested in the study of tropical systems, through biological,
ecological, anthropological or sociological research, to consider conducting
studies at one of Ceiba's project sites: the El
Pahuma Orchid Reserve, in Pichincha province, and the Lalo
Loor Dry Forest in Manabí province. Please read the guidelines
below before applying to conduct research
at Ceiba Foundation sites.
Guidelines for Researchers
As a researcher, It is your responsibility to obtain the appropriate
permits for conducting their research in Ecuador. You are required
to conduct yourself at all times in a professional manner while participating
in Ceiba projects or working at Ceiba sites. You are requested
to acknowledge the Ceiba Foundation and its sites (e.g., reserves, etc.)
in any publications stemming from research projects. You must
produce and submit a final 1-page written summary of the research results,
which must be received by Ceiba no later than 60 days after the conclusion
of the study. These reports will be made available to landowners
and local communities as per Ceiba's working relationship with them.
You are expected to provide Ceiba with copies of publications that result
from your work, and are requested to provide species lists and other
baseline data collected that will help future researchers. You
also are expected and encouraged to pass on your knowledge, and the
information you have collected, to local people whenever possible, and
to strive at all times to involve those with whom you routinely interact
(landowners, local students, field assistants, et al.). Ceiba may request
you to give a public presentation about your area of study to the local
Answers to frequently asked questions by researchers and volunteers can be found in the FAQ sheet.
Liability and Insurance
Researchers that work on Ceiba projects or at our project sites are
encouraged to carry personal health and accident insurance that covers
any injuries or illnesses sustained while abroad. All approved
researchers, volunteers and interns that work on Ceiba-managed sites
must sign a standard waiver releasing Ceiba from responsibility for
any illness, accident, or injury incurred during their stay in Ecuador.
The Ecuadorian landscape can be quite rugged, and conducting field work
in Ceiba sites will require that you to be in good physical condition.
Researchers should consult their local physician or travel health agency
to obtain necessary or recommended vaccinations for travel and work
Ceiba can help you arrange transport from the airport to the site(s)
of your field work via public bus or private transportation services.
Please contact us if you would like further
assistance with your travel plans.
To date, we have never had cause to dismiss a researcher and we are
confident in the qualifications and professionalism of scientists and
students that study in Ceiba-managed reserves. However, Ceiba reserves
the right to dismiss any researcher from a project site, for any reason
deemed sufficiently severe by Ceiba and the local site managers.
Persons subject to dismissal will be notified in writing of the termination
of their research project and the reasons for expulsion. Expulsion
of participants may result from cases such as: 1) gross deviations
from approved research plan, 2) misuse of site facilities, 3) improper
professional or personal conduct, 4) misrepresentation of Ceiba and
our goals and 5) violation of management guidelines in reserves, 6)
Failure to obtain appropriate research permits.
Click here for current rates for visiting and
working at Ceiba-managed reserves.
Researchers are responsible for their own housing and living expenses
in Ecuador. At the present time, we do not offer grants or other
financial support for researchers.
Payment for your first month of housing, or for your entire stay if
less than one month must be received by Ceiba at least 5 working
days prior to your arrival at the project site. Payment is
accepted in U.S. dollars only by check, cash or money order at either
Ceiba's U.S. office or at our office in Ecuador (contact
info and maps). You must make payment before arriving
at the research site.
Latin American citizens (Central and South America), may be eligible
for subsidized housing at project sites. Please contact us for
Students and scientists interested in conducting research in Ceiba
sites should submit the application materials listed below - incomplete
applications will not be considered. Researchers are expected
to comply with the regulations and guidelines described on this webpage,
including the general responsibilities. While we will consider
proposals on any relevant topic, we are particularly encouraging research
related to orchid systematics, ecology and conservation, the ecology
of the Spectacled Bear, montane and/or dry forest herpetofauna and avifauna,
and the relationship between dry forest conservation and water quality.
Please note that researchers are responsible for obtaining the appropriate
research/collection permits and visas from the government of Ecuador.
Researchers will not be allowed to begin work at Ceiba sites until all
appropriate permits and visas are obtained from Ecuador, so we
urge you to begin the permitting process as soon as possible. Ceiba
can provide you with guidance on the proper authorities with whom to
To apply, send the following materials to Ceiba no later than 45
days prior to your intended start date. Applications
should be mailed to the address below:
- Ceiba research application (download
fillable PDF file).
- Your CV (curriculum vitae) or resume.
- A research abstract in Spanish - 500 words or less, briefly
stating the objectives, hypotheses, methods and expected results
of your research.
- A 5-page max. research proposal (in English or Spanish)
detailing background, objectives and hypotheses, methods, expected
results, anticipated publications, schedule and sources of funding;
please provide a thorough description of any collections, introductions
or other manipulations you propose to make.
- A $25 non-refundable processing fee (check or money order in
You may email or fax items 1-4, but we must receive your payment by
regular mail or via our online donation system
before your application can be considered. If you pay your processing
fee online, we ask that you please check the box to pay the additional
2% service fee. Applicants who are already in Ecuador may submit
the materials and application fee in person to Ceiba's representative
in Quito (contact Ceiba for details). Please
send all materials to:
Ceiba Foundation for Tropical Conservation
Volunteer & Research Coordinator
301 S. Bedford Street, Suite 7A
Madison, WI 53703 USA
Tel: (608) 230-5550
You will be notified within 30 days of receipt of all your application
materials if your research project has been approved - please plan your
research schedule accordingly. Ceiba may suggest alterations or
other conditions of approval to your project, for example, to minimize
its impact on the site ecosystem.
and Goals of Ceiba
The Ceiba Foundation for Tropical Conservation is a non profit organization
dedicated to the preservation and rehabilitation of tropical habitats,
and the conservation of their plants and animals. Our mission
is to sponsor scientific research, provide public education and support
community-based actions that promote the conservation of ecosystem integrity
and biodiversity. Ceiba's specific objectives are: 1) support
community-based wildlife and habitat conservation efforts in tropical
South and Central America, 2) implement resource management practices
that maintain ecosystem integrity and biodiversity, 3) teach applied
ecology and management principles in field courses, seminars and technical
training workshops, 4) monitor the impacts of human land uses on ecosystems,
habitats and species diversity, and 5) facilitate communication between
conservation organizations, farmers, scientists, and resource managers.