• Bridging research with conservation actions for wildlife protection through using dolphins, as flagship species.
  • Conducting weekly land and boat based systematic surveys
  • Leading a conservation actions that promotes marine wildlife protection
  • Taking a part on a scientific article and increasing your abilities on public speaking
  • Discovering the country that is known with its wild beauties

About the program

Montenegro Dolphin Research (MDR) provides a unique internship where you are beyond a data entry assistant and took an active predominant role on sound research and conservation actions in a country where you are needed the most. After you go through training days on the field protocol, you will be one of the research associate to take part in our dedicated land survey (through theodolite operation) and boat surveys (photo-identification and acoustic) in weekly basis. This will take min 2 days of your work while the other 2 days will be dedicated to data analysis skills from photo-identification to GIS mapping. Final day will be your day to plan your public outreach actions which could be anything from organising an art galery to beach clean ups or school talks.

It is a valuable opportunity for graduates, that wish to gain experience in the marine mammal research field, and undergraduates, that would like to obtain internship academic credits. It could be used to develop a scientific project for a BSc or MSc thesis. However, we are also open to accept applications from anyone whose passion for marine mammals and willingness to learn are strong and sincere. We recommend a minimum stay of 2 months to complete the basic training.

In addition to the days at MDR, we are aware the importance of being a traveler in an amazing country as this is. The nature in Montenegro is wild and still uncontaminated: running from the majestic black mountains, to the crystal-clear lakes and rivers and from the historic towns to the national parks, this small country offers an incredible variety of landscapes and outdoor activities. Montenegrin coastal waters are extremely rich in marine life, but yet barely explored. So here you go, dive in to the adventure of unexplored wildlife of Montenegro

By choosing to study the Montenegrin dolphins with us, you can be part of the change for the good of our blue planet!

Typical Week

– Every week (depending on the weather) we do land and boat-based surveys

– Every week you can get training in one of the below;

  • GIS mapping
  • Theodolite operation and Pythagoras software
  • Photo-identification
  • Discovery software and Logger 2010 software
  • Population size estimations through Mark and Distance
  • Survey design
  • Efficient usage of Excel
  • R for statistical analysis
  • Systematic data collection and data analysis

– When we are not on surveys, we are busy with office work. Together we all work in the office on the projects and training. Most of us study on different projects either individually or in small groups. Office hours are from 9AM until 5PM with a 1-hour lunch break. Upon arrival we will have a meeting together and decide which projects you would like to work on. The choice of the project will be determined by your interests, duration of stay and any academic requirements of your university.

Free-time activities

Montenegro is a country full with natural wonders with crystal clear waters that is open for scuba and snorkel diving for three seasons while you can go for a ski trip in two hours from the volunteer base. We are placed in a location with uncountable nature walks from mountains to cave. So if you are a person who loves wondering in wild, this is your place. Historically, the country holds many UNESCO sites-where our office is based in- and vintage houses where even an evening walk becomes a miracle of nature and history.


  • Minimum Age: 18 years

In order to join the program you need to be at least 18 years old on the program start date. There might be exemptions if you can provide the permission of your legal guardian(s) or if your are accompanied by your parents.

Language Skills

  • You need to speak English (intermediate level)

Required Documents

  • Motivation letter
  • CV

Nationality Restrictions

No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.

Other Skills

We are looking for dedicated and enthusiastic individuals who are willing to create a change for the good for our blue planet. S/he should be ready to learn new skills. The work includes both scientific research and public outreach activities where the volunteer may do some public talks. It is beneficial that the volunteer has previous field experience on biology but not necessary as long as s/he is ready to learn and like to get new challenges.

Time Commitment

You will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 09:00 – 16:00

P.S. Of course! You should be ready to wake up before sunrise on the days when we have land surveys.


What’s Included

Services by MDR

  • Accommodation and expenses (excluding self-quarantine and special requests);
  • Transportation between the project sites within and between Montenegro and Albania;
  • Training and lectures with all training materials provided in PDF format;
  • Fieldwork (land- and boat surveys);
  • Use of the equipment;

*And for Interns this also includes:

  • Scientific support;
  • Additional courses related to the selected subject;

The fee does not include:

  • Transportation to/from Montenegro or transfer to accommodation
  • Health and/or travel insurance which is a mandatory requirement
  • Meals


The base is located in Dobrota of Kotor. The accommodation is included in the participation fee. Volunteers will have a bed in a shared room with access to a communal kitchen and bathroom. The accommodation itself is basic, but there is everything you need including WI-FI, hot water and a washing machine. The supermarkets, restaurants and beach are only five minutes’ walk from the house.

There are plenty of outdoor activities to choose such as hiking, diving and rock climbing.

Internet Access

Good access at the project site

What’s NOT included?

  • Airport Pickup at Tivat Airport
    • An airport pickup isn’t included within the program fees either.
  • Food & Beverages
    • Food, snacks or beverages are at extra costs.
  • Flight Tickets
    • The nearest airport is Tivat Airport (TIV) in Tivat.

Travel Insurance

Going abroad is an adventure and it is always best to be prepared. Sudden illness or injury, cancellation or theft – a travel insurance for Montenegro provides security and is a plus to have.


If you are intending to volunteer in Montenegro you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Montenegro.

Details on arrival

We accept interns’ whole year round. Starting from the beginning of January 2022.

Here you will find the logistical information you’ll need to know before your arrival in Montenegro;

There are two airports in Montenegro:

    • Tivat Airport (TIV) is on the north coast of Montenegro and it includes certain destinations and charter flights.
    • Podgorica Airport (TGD) is located in the capital city of Montenegro and has the most frequent routes due to the number of international flights.

Tivat is relatively close to the boarders of Croatia and Serbia, and there is also the possibility of using other airports outside of Montenegro such as Dubrovnik or Belgrade. From any of these airports, it is possible to get to Tivat by bus or taxi.

How to get to from Tivat Airport to Kotor;

Taxi: Travel time 20 minutes – Costs 15 euro
You can take a taxi from Tivat Airport directly to Kotor.
How to get to from Podgorica Airport to Kotor;

Taxi: Travel time 1,5 hours – Costs around 75 euro
Private transfer: Travel time 1,5hours – Costs 60 euro
We have a driver that can take you from Podgorica Airport directly to the Kotor. If you would prefer this option, please let us know beforehand.

Program fees

328€ per week for the age 18 – 50+


4 – 24 weeks

Deposit (15%)

The deposit is simply to reserve your volunteer placement. Payments are handled by PayPal, our trusted global payment provider. If you don’t have a PayPal account, you can also pay using a credit card.

Final Payment (85%)

Your final payment will be agreed with DMAD during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.

Who are we looking for?

People who are

*Interested in nature studies,

*Willing to learn and take responsibility,

* Those who want to improve themselves in practical and scientific methods in the field of marine mammal research.

About Montenegro Dolphin Research

Montenegro Dolphin Research (MDR) is a non-governmental organization dedicated to the study and conservation of dolphins in Montenegro. Through their project run by DMAD – Marine Mammals Research Association, MDR aims to fill knowledge gaps about these magnificent creatures and protect their habitats.

Since 2016, MDR has conducted extensive land and boat observations, focusing not only on data collection but also on raising awareness among the local community, especially children. They actively engage in educational initiatives and outreach programs to inspire the next generation of marine conservationists. MDR is committed to pushing the boundaries of research, exploring new questions and techniques to deepen our understanding of marine ecosystems. By contributing to the global knowledge base of marine conservation, MDR strives to safeguard the dolphins of Montenegro and preserve the delicate balance of our oceans.

What we do?

Montenegro Dolphin Research (MDR): Dive into Discovery, Set Sail for Science!

MDR is a group of passionate scientists dedicated to filling research gaps about dolphins in Montenegro. We welcome students from around the world who share the same passion as us.

MDR combines science and passion while exploring the mysterious world of dolphins. Through our research conducted in the waters of Montenegro, we make significant contributions to understanding dolphin behavior, their habitats, and their conservation.

Our tagline is “The Voice of Science, Dance in the Sea: Embark on an Enchanting Journey with MDR and Dolphins!”. This tagline reflects MDR’s captivating and recognizable identity, aiming to provide an unforgettable experience.

Everyone who joins MDR will embark on an exciting research adventure and together, we will touch the enchanted world of dolphins. MDR, bridging science and passion, opens its doors to the world, nurturing the future guardians of the sea.

Come and discover the secrets of dolphins with Montenegro Dolphin Research and join us in becoming protectors of the seas!