Schmidt Ocean Institute

For Scientists and Academics

Whether you're a scientist seeking to collaborate , a student aspiring to complete your graduate degree under our guidance, or a university looking to establish a semester abroad program in the Galapagos, the Charles Darwin Foundation is here to provide support.

Academic Collaborations

Juan Manuel Garcia-CDF
As the first and largest scientific organization in the Galapagos Islands, the Charles Darwin Foundation (CDF) is the ideal partner for visiting and collaborating scientists seeking to conduct their research projects and fieldwork in the archipelago. Contact us for more information:

Why partner with the Charles Darwin Foundation?

Unmatched Expertise

We understand that conducting research in Galapagos can present unique challenges. That's why we provide comprehensive support to our visiting and collaborating scientists, from obtaining research permits to navigating local and national regulations, organizing field trip logistics and securing accommodation. Our experienced staff is available to facilitate and guide you through every step of your research journey.

Strategic position

Our strategic position adjacent to the Galapagos National Park Directorate (GNPD) headquarters and over six decades-long partnership with them makes us the partner of choice for researchers looking for a strategic and effective on-the-ground partner who knows how to navigate the complex legal and regulatory environment.

State of the art resources

Our fully equipped research facilities, including state-of-the-art wet and dry laboratories as well as our Natural History Collections, can be made available to support your research needs. We also have office space and comfortable accommodations available on campus.

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Collaborative environment

The CDF fosters a vibrant and collaborative research environment, where visiting scientists can connect with local and international experts, share ideas, and exchange knowledge.

Meet our team

Types of scientific collaborations

Visiting Scientists

Visiting scientists implement their own funded project for which a research permit issued by the GNPD is required. The project has no formal link to CDF´s running research programs and projects. Project proposals must be submitted for the GNPD review and approval through the Visiting Scientist Program at least six months in advance. For more details about the process to apply, please contact our Visiting Scientists Program team.

Collaborating Scientists

A collaborating scientist must be linked to one or more of the CDF´s research objectives. This collaboration is formalized by including the collaborating scientist within CDF research permits, also issued by the GNPD. A collaborating scientist develops one or more component of the CDF project he/she collaborates with, in coordination with CDF´s counterpart (PI) who is responsible for the project implementation, proposal review and other requirements.

Carlos Espinosa-CDF
Every year we welcome Masters and PhD students who are looking to do their thesis or dissertation work on relevant subjects in Galapagos, linked to one of our research initiatives. Our scientists and researchers have extensive experience as co-supervisors and have served on many committees. Contact us for more information:


  • Good academic record with University reference.
  • Interaction/collaboration between Academic supervisor and PI/Senior Scientists at CDF.
  • Thesis/dissertation subject must align with CDF’s mission, vision and ongoing projects.
  • Funding (stipend) availability that sustain the permanence of the students in Galapagos while doing field work.
Joshua Vela
If you are a University or other Academic Institution looking to establish a semester course in Galapagos together with the Charles Darwin Foundation, please contact:

Case study: Hawaii University

The University of Hawaii at Mānoa (UHM) partnered with CDF to create a two semester (Spring and Summer 2024) research experience that engages both indigenous and western science and culture on island invasion biology in the Galapagos and Hawaiian archipelagoes. The experience includes an eight-week long field experience in the Galapagos Islands under the supervision of experienced scientists from the CDF and UHM faculty mentors. Read more about the program.

Andres Cruz

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