Visiting Academics - Operation Wallacea

Visiting Academics

There are two ways to come to our sites as an academic depending upon your requirements. If you wish to come to establish a funded research project read the Funded Research Visiting Academic section. Alternatively if you wish to come to a site to assess the facilities and research opportunities with a view to establishing a potential field course for your students read the Class Group Visiting Academic section.

Funded Research Visiting Academics

Operation Wallacea operates a Visiting Academic programme for academics interested in using our sites to conduct their own research. The Visiting Academic programme runs from the start of the survey season to 31 July each summer and is available at all of the sites. Academics participating in this programme will be designing a long term research programme which can be carried out by the academic themselves, postdoc students or eventually turned into a part-funded PhD. The programme is intended to let the academic come to the research site or sites for a short period to observe the area and facilities available, meet with the other participating scientists and design a research project for future years. If the submitted project is accepted as part of an Operation Wallacea research programme for future years then the costs of the research including full or part funding of travel costs are paid.

On site expectations
On site the Visiting Academic will be designing a proposed research project in consultation with the Senior Scientist at that site which fits within the themed research programme. By the end of the stay a brief research proposal needs to be drafted and submitted by the 31st of July of the same field season. This research proposal should include a description of why such a research project is being proposed, the hypothesis being tested, outline of the methodologies and analysis techniques to be used, how students can be involved as research assistants and/or to gather data for a dissertation/thesis, and a timetable for outputs. This document is then reviewed by an Operation Wallacea research committee and academics informed of the outcome by 31st of August, so that accepted projects can be included in the research programmes for the following years.

Funding of research projects
The project as part of the overall research programmes will then be advertised to students around the world at over hundreds of academic institutions either by direct presentations or via email contacts. Note the academic does not have to bring their own students to participate in the research (although this does of course help to increase numbers) and students from many different academic institutions will be participating. Also the project will run irrespective of the numbers of students booked onto that particular option. Operation Wallacea funds entire research programmes for a site, not individual projects. To date all research programmes advertised have been funded The academic will be expected to run the research project themselves in future years or to organise for a postdoc as a replacement.

Data ownership
All data collected are the joint property of Operation Wallacea and the academic. It is expected that the academic will be producing peer reviewed publications from their research and Operation Wallacea will be acknowledged and the senior scientist included as a co-author. Operation Wallacea can also use the data in grant applications towards establishing sustainable conservation initiatives in the area, although this will not compromise the ability for the data to be used in peer reviewed publications.

Logistics and costs
The visiting academic program costs $500 a week, with flights not included. This cost covers all food, accommodation and transport from the start point of each expedition within the country, use of equipment, vehicles, boats etc along with medical and evacuation insurance. This cost is for the first summer only with the majority of future costs subsequently covered by Operation Wallacea. Occasionally an academic proposes a highly desirable and unique research idea and in such cases the cost of the visiting academic program is waived.

Exceptions to the cost
Existing projects – Once a project is running it is the intention of Operation Wallacea to keep it running indefinitely every summer, however it is not expected that an academic will commit to come out for an indefinite number of summers. For this reason there are occasions when a project requires a new academic to lead it. If such a project arises then the visiting academic programme is not required and a new academic will be funded to come and take over the project in their first year.

Class Group Visiting Academics
To come to a site with the intention of either developing a course for your university or in advance of a potential class group booking is possible at any point during the expedition season. While on site you will be able to meet the senior scientist, research academics, staff and existing students as well as assessing the sites and facilities. Costs for the Class Group Visiting Academics are $500 a week, with flights not included, although this does include all food, accommodation and transport from the start point of each expedition within the country

Application and further information
To apply for a funded research or class group visiting academic programme or if you have any questions about the sites or potential research projects please email academics@opwall.com. Allocation of visiting academic positions is done throughout the year,  for logistical reasons they are rarely accepted for a summer after the end of February of that year.