Application Process: How does it work? - Operation Wallacea

Application Process: How does it work?


  1. Please make an initial enquiry by contacting Dr Roger Poland (Senior Science and Education Advisor) directly via He will then make contact to discuss opportunities and any further detail.
  2. You can then discuss these opportunities with your students and we can direct you towards various resources on the Opwall website telling you about current research being carried out at the different sites.
  3. Once a student has an idea of what they would like to study they can contact Dr Roger Poland directly by email and begin to suggest some research titles. This ideally should be done at least 4 or 5 months before they go on their expedition, although this may vary from student to student and reflect their specific situation.
  4. While in the field, students have access to scientists who can provide additional knowledge and advice. Most research-based qualifications are either dissertation essay style or investigative projects. The majority of the research programmes they are involved in have standardised survey techniques, so the student will not have the opportunity to design and implement their own survey methodology. However, the student will be involved in primary data collection using these standardised methods and in many cases have access to larger data sets which they could then use to help answer their research question.  Some students have set-up structured interviews with specific scientists and used their questionnaires as a source of primary data.

This may all sound very complex and involved but we feel it will enable us to help in the most constructive way possible. Also, it is apparent that each type of project has its own set of parameters influencing how the project should be carried out, so we feel a bespoke approach for each student is the best way forward and hopefully much of this can be carried out by email well before their expedition begins.

Ultimately it is the responsibility of the school to supervise their IRP students, although Opwall scientists and staff will do their utmost to help.  Any data gathered during an Opwall expedition should only be used within the school or for an exam qualification and any wider use of the data will need permission from the appropriate Opwall scientist.  At the appropriate time we would expect a student to sign an agreement form on how the data is to be used.

Please do not hesitate to get in touch directly if you have any further questions via