Study Abroad at NVT

With an experienced team and several long-term applied research projects already in place, why not come do your postgraduate project with us? Our Director is an associate professor at the North-West University’s COMPRES research unit and can provide extensive supervision and mentorship during your thesis research application and write-up periods. His main focuses encompass community, conservation and social-environmental topics, human-wildlife conflict and the conservation of the ground-hornbill, to mention but a few. 

What to expect

We can currently host master’s and doctoral dissertation projects in the fields of marine and coastal zone ecology, terrestrial ecology, estuarine and freshwater ecology forest ecology and urban ecology. We have an established relationship with various universities already, but are always open to new ones! We understand that doing remote off-campus field-based projects come with many challenges – and we are here to make it a less stressful experience.

This is not a run-of-the-mill academic programme. Expect to give your all, think out of the box, and be part of ensuring your applied research outputs not only gets published but also makes a tangible contribution to local conservation initiatives. Although not a formal expectation, most students grab the opportunity to get involved in other aspects of our work, giving them a great holistic experience of ground-level conservation work in South Africa.

Why we do it

We recognise that conservation action and management needs to be based on sound ecological data and that training field ecologists in a hands-on context are needed. We bridge the gap between purely academic-based studies by running projects that lead to meaningful conservation action. We also recognise that passionate postgrads are a force to be reckoned with! Unleashing years of theoretical knowledge coupled with zeal and energy adds immense value to our programmes and brings much needed man (and woman!) power into our NPO.


We require students to be registered with a university for their postgraduate degree and have a primary academic supervisor at their home university. Working with our applied research team, a student and their academic supervisor will co-develop a suitable project that fits within our existing applied research programmes. Students will be required, with our assistance where possible, to source funds for their own living expenses. While we will be able to contribute to project running costs in most cases, co-funding from the base university may be required.

We have had a host of INCREDIBLE students conduct their postgraduate studies with us – check them out below. Alternatively, check out what our previous postgraduates had to say about their time with us on our blog.

Contact us to chat about designing a project that suits your needs.

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