The Whale Shark and Oceanic Research Center and its Board of Directors are proud to offer scholarship opportunities for Honduran nationals enrolled in Honduran universities who are seeking advanced careers in marine conservation. The Jim Engel Ocean Steward Scholarship (JEOS Scholarship) is awarded to only 2 students each year (1 student for the spring season, 1  for the fall season), and is intended to promote marine education outside of the classroom. Recipients are entitled to an educational internship placement at the Whale Shark and Oceanic Research Center on Utila for up to 5 consecutive months, which will include all necessary SCUBA diving courses up to the Divemaster (professional) level. This educational experience – and the associated training – is valued at $10,000*. This opportunity represents the only scholarship option within WSORC.

Dates and deadlines:

We are now accepting applications for our Fall 2019 JEOS Scholarship placement, commencing 05 August, 2019 and terminating 28 December, 2019. While the duration of the scholarship may be flexible within that time, we recommend that applicants consider the full 5-month experience (especially if they do not currently hold any diving certifications). A minimum commitment of 4 months is required.

Application materials must be submitted in full by 23:59 (CST) on July 17th., 2019. Finalists will be notified of an interview process in the following days, and the Fall 2019 JEOS Scholarship Recipient will be announced by July 20th., 2019.


To be eligible for WSORC’s JEOS Scholarship, you must be currently enrolled in a Honduran University, and be at least 20 years of age by the start date of your placement. We also require that all applicants:

-Have a strong interest and substantial background in marine science and/or biology

-Are able to communicate well in English (both spoken and written) to at least a conversational level

-Are willing to integrate with intern groups from all over the world throughout the placement

-Have the ability to work at least 900-1700, at least 6 days per week, sometimes in hot and humid outdoor conditions

-Confidence in and around water is essential

Application requirements:

Because our operations are all currently conducted in an English-speaking environment, we ask that all application materials be submitted in English, without exception.

The application packet must include:

  • Photocopy of Honduran Passport (photo page)
  • Official university transcript, which must demonstrate at least 1 full year of study
  • The completed “WSORC Application Form” found at the bottom of this page
  • 2,000-word essay response to the prompt: What does a career in marine conservation mean to you?
  • 2 letters of recommendation (at least 1 being an academic recommendation)

ONLY COMPLETE APPLICATION PACKETS WILL BE REVIEWED. Email applications to with subject “JEOS Scholarship Application” by the July 17, 2019 deadline.

*Scholarships will cover the recipient’s accommodation for the full duration of the placement, and training costs of SCUBA courses up to Divemaster certification level (Open Water, Advanced Open Water, Rescue Diver and Divemaster). The scholarship does NOT cover:

-Personal food and drinks during the placement (and any other items the recipient will choose to purchase)

-Course materials (books) for the dive courses (s)he will be enrolled in, and the small fees associated with each course which may amount to ~$400 for entire 6-month internship (depending on the previous dive certification level of the recipient)

-Power top-offs at the accommodation as needed