Research Application

Thank you for your interest in conducting research at Ceiba’s reserves. We hope that you consider conducting research at one of our sites. We have housing facilities at both the El Pahuma Orchid Reserve and the Lalo Loor Dry Forest Reserve and dedicated staff members who can help you arrange lodging, meals, transport, and any other logistical requirements.

Guidelines for Researchers

As a researcher, it is your responsibility to obtain the appropriate permits for conducting research in Ecuador. Ceiba staff can assist you in acquiring permits for an administrative fee. 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 in any publications stemming from research projects. You must product 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. You are also expected and encouraged to pass on your knowledge and the information you have collected to local people whenever possible. Ceiba may request you to give a public presentation about your area of study to the local community. You are expected to provide Ceiba with copies of publications that result from your work as well as species lists and other baseline data that will help future researchers.


Answers to frequently asked questions by researchers and volunteers can be found in the FAQ document.

In-Country Travel

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.

Researcher Rates

Please visit our rates page for current lodging rates at the Lalo Loor Dry Forest Reserve. 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 can be completed online, or by check or cash either Ceiba’s U.S. office or at our office in Ecuador. You must make payment before arriving at the research site.

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 abroad.

Project Termination

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.

Application Procedure

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. 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 assist you with permit acquisition for a fee.

To apply, complete the online application below , 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:

Required application materials:

  1. Ceiba online research application (below)
  2. Your CV (curriculum vitae) or resume.
  3. A research abstract in Spanish – 500 words or less, briefly stating the objectives, hypotheses, methods and expected results of your research.
  4. 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.
  5. A $25 non-refundable processing fee (check or money order in U.S. dollars, or use our online payment system).

You may email items 2-4, but we must receive your application fee by regular mail or via our online payment system before your application can be considered. Applicants who are already in Ecuador may submit the materials and application fee in person to Ceiba’s representative (contact Ceiba for details).  Please send all materials to:

Ceiba Foundation for Tropical Conservation
Volunteer & Research Coordinator
301 S. Bedford St., Suite 7A
Madison, WI 53703 USA
Tel: (608) 230-5550

Please note, you cannot save this form and return to it later, and may not edit responses after submitting. Please have your information ready prior to filling out the form. All fields marked with an asterisk are required.

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.

Ceiba is a nonprofit corporation under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue code, and does not discriminate on the basis of age, gender, religion, race, ethnic origin or sexual orientation.