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The Maru is an independent research center.  Our research goals and funding do not come from far-away donor agencies or university foundations but are collaboratively developed by Maru staff in dialogue with local Malawians, international partners, and importantly by volunteers and interns who, through their first-hand knowledge of the local area, have valuable insights on what can and needs to be achieved.  The reality is that research is requires money.  Volunteers and interns are also our financial backbone.  The below fees for your food, accommodation and training go directly to our research efforts.  We believe that this approach to research funding is both sustainable and responsible.

Volunteer costs - Volunteers pay $300 USD per week for the first two weeks of their stay and $200 USD per week for every week following that.

Intern costs - Interns pay $150 USD per week remembering that the internship program requires a minimum of a 12 week commitment.

Scuba Diving Training - In associations with Aquanuts Divers the Maru conducts PADI dive training courses.  If you do not already have at least the PADI Open Water Diver certification, or an equivalent certification from another agency, you will need to complete that course during your stay with us in order to take part in our underwater surveying program.  The subsidized cost for that course is $315 USD.

In-country transportation - The Maru is located approximately a 5 hour taxi ride or 9 hour bus ride from the capital of Malawi, Lilongwe.  The vast majority of international flights to Malawi arrive in Lilongwe.  If you choose to take the bus to us we will give you directions on how that can be done once you have been accepted into either the volunteer or internship program.  If you would like a private taxi to take you directly from the airport in Lilongwe to the Maru we can arrange for that prior to your arrival.  The cost of the private taxi is $200 USD.

If you application is successful, we will send you a formal letter of acceptance.  You must then reply to that letter to accept the position.  At that point a 20% deposit of your total program fee, including dive training and transportation fees if applicable is due.  Two weeks prior to your arrival in country the remainder of your program fee must be paid. 
Either as a volunteer or intern at the Maru you can make a vital contribution to our research and education programs.  The first question most people have is, whats difference between the two and who qualifies for what?  Well its simple really.  Volunteers generally stay for shorter periods of time and do not have a backgrounds in environmental or social scienes.  If this is you, take a look at the volunteer section of this page just below.  If, on the other hand, you are willing to make at least a 3 month commitment and have a background in the environmental or social sciences then skip down to the intern section. 

Volunteering at the Maru can be a great way to explore the amazing environment of Lake Malawi while learning research skills that contribute to its conservation and perhaps even to your own future.  Our volunteer program is a great opportunity for people who are thinking about studying conservation or environmental science at university or who just want to take a productive break from their everyday routine.  To apply for the volunteer program there is only one requirement: that you are 18 years of age by the start of your volunteer period.  Other than that a willingness to learn, a spirit of adventure, and an open-mind are all that you need to have a fantastic experience.  Click below to download the volunteer application.  To learn more about what living at the Maru, download our guide.  

The Maru
s internship program is focused on giving students of environmental and social sciences practical field research experience.  Whether you are in the beginning, middle, or have just finished your degree the Marus intern program is a great opportunity to pair your book learning with real world experiences.  As an intern you will take part in all of our research programs and be an integral team member taking on leadership roles with volunteers and in our education efforts amongst Malawians.  To apply for the intern program you must either be enrolled in a university degree program, already have your degree, or in the absence of this have significant work experience in the environmental or social sciences and commit to at least a 3 month stay.  To learn more about what living and researching at the Maru will be like download Our Guide. Click below to download the intern application.
Walking along one of many paths at Kande
Interns posing for photo after a survey dive
A busy day at the fishing village
The dome: one of our most popular intern houses