The Shannon Dolphin Project is accepting applications for its 2024 college placement program

To apply, email your CV (resume) and your letter of interest by close of business Wednesday 17th January 2024 to 

This internship is for undergraduates seeking professional practice or a college placement. The internship ideally will start in March/April, and the end date will depend on the time-frame determined by your institution. When submitting your application please include your preferred start and end dates.

Students Duties

Surveying for Shannon Dolphins

Join surveys on board the IWDG’s RIB, Muc Mhara, to record sightings, capture photo data, record behaviour, group size, and environmental conditions. Assist coming in and out of port. Download and sort data captured during the survey. Students will also join a week-long survey onboard the IWDG’s research vessel, Celtic Mist, where the whole Shannon Dolphin range will be surveyed involving similar duties as RIB surveys with the addition of assisting with running the boat with other crew members.


Data will also be captured from land during monthly watches from several headlands. Two students will conduct 6-hour surveys, on a 30-minute watch rotation.


Photo ID & Data Handling

Students will process the photo id data they collect in the field, including matching photographed animals to the known catalogue of animals in the population. Other duties include double-checking processed trips for quality control, collating images into catalogues, adding data collected to databases, and helping with processing and digitizing data from other years.

Education & Outreach

The Shannon Dolphin centre offers free tours to the public. Students will be trained on the collection of artifacts in the centre and how to give a tour to the public. Our centre opens to the public in mid May, so the center-related duties will be contingent on the placement end date. Other E&O duties include writing social media posts and a blog about a specific survey or task during the season.



Ad hoc tasks may come up during a student’s time with the project. These may include assisting the SDP Officer with occasional postmortems, sampling of stranded cetaceans, responding to local strandings, deploying or recovering acoustic devices and bird surveys.


Applicants must be enrolled in a BSc. in STEM, particularly biology, ecology, or marine science program.

Applicants should also have a strong work ethic and the ability to work well with others, this is especially important as students will have to work in close quarters at sea.

Advantageous Experience or Skills

  • Previous data collection or handling experience in any research setting
  • Experience at sea
  • Education and outreach experience
  • Knowledge of marine mammals
  • Small power boat handling
  • Photography
  • Driver’s License: several of the headlands for watches are not within walking distance of the office therefore, some intern positions require a full, clean driver’s license, valid in the Republic of Ireland, and applicants who are over 26 years of age, to be covered under our motor insurance policy


This is an unpaid placement. Successful applicants are responsible for their living or travel expenses. However, the IWDG will help organise accommodation. Rent and expenses for the 2023 season were ~ €400 per month.

There will be no fee for Celtic Mist surveys, your food onboard will be covered. Any food purchased while on land will be at the intern’s own expense.