Wildlife Health

Content Image

Participate: Wildlife Capture - Sample - Release

2024 Application

The normal application period ended April 15. Send an inquiry to info[at]fieldprojects[dot]org regarding application extensions.

Quick Facts


Frequently Asked Questions

What are the steps for entering into a long-term field training program?

1. Apply online here. You will need a CV/resume and two references.

2. Once we hear from your references, we will schedule an interview with the principal investigator of your desired project

3. If accepted, you will be notified within 1 week

4. Upon acceptance, gain student access to online training modules to get prepared before you arrive.

5. Turn in medical info, vaccination record, liability waivers, etc.

6. See you in the field!

What if FPI has to cancel this program?

If FPI cancels a program due to complications related to COVID-19, participants would receive all but 1.5% of fees already paid. The 1.5% represents the credit processing fees charged to FPI for accepting online payments.

What if I need to cancel?

If a participant cancels: 
Because we block your spot and potentially reject other applicants based on your being on the team, cancellations can affect team recruitment quite strongly. Nevertheless, we do recognize that circumstances sometimes demand cancellations – so we do the best that we can, given the restrictions we are under. 

Our cancellation policy is: 

  • 30 days or more before your start date: 45% of the program final fee refunded. Please note that the down payment is not refundable.
If you have extenuating circumstances, or applied closer than 30 days to your start date, please contact us. 

Can I get credit for my participation in this program?

Yes, but it would have to be approved by your university, who will also bill you for the credit hours. If approved, there is also an additional $250 fee that serves as a mentorship fee for the FPI senior scientist mentoring you through this project. From there, it is just a matter of coordinating between your university mentor and the FPI researcher.

Why are there specific start dates?

In order to train our research teams, it is necessary that everyone arrives on specific start dates and be trained together to stay on pace with their cohort.

In addition, we arrange to meet arriving groups and escort them to pick up any last-minute supplies before leaving very early the following morning to the field station. Getting to the field station requires travel overland to a small town called Laberinto (~45 minutes), then a 5-6 hour boat ride upriver. All of this would be difficult for most participants to do alone, which is why we ask that you arrive on fixed program start dates.

If you REALLY cannot make a particular start date, don’t abandon hope – email us and we can do our best to accommodate you.

Can I stay for shorter or longer than the minimum specified per program?

There are pretty firm minimum requirements for each long-term research training program (typically 5 weeks). These are firm because each participant must be trained, during which time the data they collect cannot be relied upon entirely.

On the other hand, for most programs you are welcome to apply for stays that are longer than the minimum period, which is common among our student researchers. This can be arranged beforehand, or even sometimes in the field if accommodation is available at the field station.

If you have a special circumstance and want to request a shorter program time, you may contact us and we will discuss it with the lead investigators on your chosen project. There is no guarantee, but in the past we have been able to accommodate on occasion.

Which is easier to get into: a short-term field course or long-term training program?

Our courses have fewer enrollment requirements, and we strongly encourage anyone to apply. The long-term programs involve becoming an integral part of a research team, and thus are more competitive.

What if I want to do both a short-term field course and a long-term training program?

You absolutely can apply to both a field course and a long-term training program if the dates will line up! In fact, if you are accepted into the long-term program you can attend a field course for a lower fee (typically a $400 discount)

Do I need previous field research experience to enter this program?

No, you do not need previous research experience. These are training programs designed for participants at all levels. It can be hard to acquire field experience, so we balance our teams with veteran researchers and those new to the world of field research. We seek bright and enthusiastic candidates with the right temperament to work in this challenging environment. 

What does the program cost cover?

The cost to participate includes:

  • Lodging and all meals at the field station
  • Specialized equipment and supplies necessary to conduct training and research activities.

Program fees do NOT include:

  • Transportation to the field station from Puerto Maldonado
      • staff will meet with you in Puerto Maldonado and guide you to the field station, but you will cover this cost (around $30) on your own
  • Lodging and meals in Puerto Maldonado
  • Health or travel insurance
  • Required vaccinations
  • Binoculars or other personal field equipment

A large majority of the fees paid to our training programs cover lodging fees charged by the host field station. Importantly, at the Los Amigos Biological Station lodging fees not only support the cost of running and maintaining a remote field site, but contribute to the larger mission of their parent NGO (Association for the Conservation of the Amazon Basin) to protect conservation areas, monitor deforestation, maintain wildlife corridors, and more.

Do you offer financial assistance?

Peer-to-Peer Fundraising

We are now able to offer a peer-to-peer fundraising program for research assistants. Once accepted, you would be able to (optionally) create a shareable profile on our platform. This is a team-based initiative, so half of your raised funds will go toward your own program fees, while the other half will go into pool to be split evenly among all program participants who had at least 5 donors. More details will be available during (and after) your interview.


We offer three scholarships to our programs & courses in field biology and conservation. 

All Scholarships Cover:

  • Meals and lodging at the field station
  • Basic equipment required to attend the course (not including binocular/boots)

Scholarships Do Not Cover (unless specifically noted):

  • Transportation to the local contact point.
  • Binoculars, boots, basic medications, backpacks, or other personal items
  • Vaccinations and medical insurance. All participants must provide proof of medical insurance before travel.

*Ensure you meet the qualifications for the scholarship you are applying for before submitting an application.

Other Options

If you require help with the cost of the program, there are other options that you might pursue as well. You could start by contacting the Office of Undergraduate Research of your school, or request professional development support from your employer. Here you can explore what is available through your college/place-of-work, as well as through external funding sources. Many universities have SURF (Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship) programs, which may provide stipends for students to pursue independent research. Please note that if you do find any kind of research-related funding — as many RAs have in the past — it will need to be applied for in conjunction with us, on research projects that we approve. In this case, one of our principal investigators will consult with you about developing a project that is feasible.

Will I need special medical insurance?

All participants are required to show proof of medical insurance before joining us in the field. Many travel insurance providers can assist with emergency medical coverage and emergency medical evacuation. Be certain that COVID-19 is covered in your plan.

What vaccines will I need?

You will have to provide proof of a normal vaccination record (as listed here by the CDC). For travel to Peru, we require that you also get the following vaccines: 

  • Typhoid 
  • Yellow Fever
  • Tetanus
  • COVID-19 (no exceptions)
  • Rabies pre-exposure series (only for those in programs involving wildlife handling of mammals.)

If you have the flu shot for the year, all the better. Find a travel clinic and get your shots EARLY.

Can I conduct my own research project with you?

A fully independent research project is not feasible in this program due to time constraints, as well as the fact that all research projects must be sanctioned by the field station, approved by an IRB/IACUC, and have the required permits from the relevant government agencies in Peru. All of our research projects have obtained the necessary approvals and permits, which cover the specific data we collect and how we use it.

That said, some candidates may have an opportunity to win a grant that will fund their program fees and travel, and that grant requires them to submit a research proposal. If this is your situation, we may be able to work with you on a proposal. You can contact us at info@fieldprojects.org and let us know your situation. Then after you officially apply to the program, you can discuss this in greater depth with one of our senior scientists.

We cannot accommodate completely independent projects, but we can assist you with finding a subset of our samples or data that has not yet been fully analyzed, which you could potentially develop further under our supervision.

Will I get a chance to work on publications that come out of this research?

Yes, you can. We do not give co-authorship for collecting data alone, but we offer interested students the opportunity to work on data analyses after the summer research program, that could lead to co-authorship in the future. Many of our former field team members have gone on to become research collaborators.

What will happen if the case of another global pandemic like COVID-19?

Our programs will proceed as planned unless global travel restrictions prevent our team from reaching the field site, or the field site is shut down.


In the event of an ongoing pandemic quarantine and testing protocols will be observed to ensure that no one exposes another team member or animal the infectious agent. In addition to our programs protocols, all persons will have to comply with national travel regulations. During COVID-19, out field station qualified as a quaruntine site, since it met all government-approved COVID protocols, and has the capacity to maintain social distance between all visitors.


Our enhanced protocols in laboratory and wildlife handling situations are designed to meet or exceed scientific best practices. They are drafted in conjunction with our Peruvian partners (Conservacion Amazonica), Peruvian authorities (SERFOR) and Institutional Animal Care and Use Committees (IACUC) of our affiliate research universities. Broadly speaking, they will involve strict use of face masks, N95 masks, and gloves during specific activities.


Participants will receive detailed instructions on our procedures prior to departing for the field site.

What if I show symptoms of COVID-19 at the field site?

The first signs of suspected symptoms or a temperature above 100 degrees Fahrenheit should be reported immediately to the field station managers and FPI senior scientists. They will have protocols for isolating symptomatic guests, arranging viral testing, notifying those you have been in contact with, and evacuating you to the nearest hospital if necessary.


(Note that travel to a hospital and any care there is at your own cost; make sure your insurance policy covers this.)

The nearest healthcare facilities are in Puerto Maldonado, which is approximately 4-5 hours downriver from our field site. In that city, our Peruvian partners have a recommended doctor certified by MINSA (the Ministry go Health). There are also other private and public healthcare options. The private facilities are more expensive (one of the reasons we require participants to have travel medical insurance), but they will likely be able to treat patients faster if public facilities are full. 


The second option would be in Cusco, which is approximately 10 hours by car from Puerto Maldonado. There are more clinics in Cusco than Puerto Maldonado.


*While everyone will have their temperatures taken upon arrival by an infrared thermometer, we suggest that participants bring their own thermometers in their first-aid kits, and check themselves daily.


If a person must leave the field station to get treatment and recover from COVID-19, they will be permitted to return after 7 days with a negative antigen test. A negative molecular test will let someone back to the station after 14 days.