Making a Researcher's Booking

A series of 4 photos showing researchers at work on Pioneer bay tidal flats at low tide

As OIRS station is heavily utilised during semester breaks, holiday periods and during coral spawning, all visits during these periods should be booked well in advance. Last minute bookings, although accepted, may not always be able to be accommodated. In times of heavy demand for research equipment and space allocations will be based on a first booked preference basis in the event of mutual agreement between users being reached on sharing of these resources.

Tentative bookings can be made up to six years in advance. These bookings will be confirmed in October of the year preceding the booking with preference being given to internal JCU educational bookings and JCU researcher bookings in the event of conflicting date requests.

OIRS fees and charges are reviewed annually and posted on the website. Changes to fees come into effect in January. To be eligible for the heavily subsidised JCU and student researcher fees certain criteria must be met.

Step by step guide to booking your trip:

Contact the Station directly to check availability and tentatively book accommodation, aquaria, boats, transfers and other station facilities for your desired dates. Requirements for the design and construction of aquarium systems/experiments should be discussed with the OIRS Manager at this time. If your experiment involves the use of chemicals or gases being introduced into the water supply this must be discussed with OIRS Station Manager at this stage, providing full details of protocols being used and potential risks.

Submit a completed and signed Researchers Booking Reservation Form. Approval signatures must be obtained from Project Leader and Authorised Account Holder.

Before final confirmation of booking can occur the following items must be submitted for approval by OIRS management. As some of this information will be applicable over multiple bookings, OIRS will advise upon receipt of your booking form which items are required for your upcoming trip, however be advised that it is your responsibility to ensure all required paperwork is supplied prior to or upon arrival at OIRS. Failure to do so may result in research activities being restricted or halted until paperwork is completed.

  • Copy of GBRMPA Permit.

  • Copy of JCU Animal Ethics approval form (if applicable).

  • Copy of Fisheries Permit (if applicable)

  • Copy of SDS for each chemical being brought onto OIRS.

  • JCU users must also lodge an application through Field trip Tracker (FTT). For instructions on how to complete this process please read the FTT Manual. It is the researcher’s responsibility to ensure their FTT is fully approved prior to arrival at OIRS.

  • Supply GPS points of research sites, which comprises of a kml file of proposed research locations and a listing of any equipment to be left out in the field. JCU researchers will complete this aspect as part of FTT application.

  • Approved dive/snorkel plan. External users will need to firstly seek approval through their university or organization and then submit this approved form to OIRS for approval from the JCU Boating and Diving officer. JCU researchers will complete this aspect as part of FTT application.

  • Comprehensive Risk Assessment that covers all aspects of your visit including boating, diving, snorkeling activities, land based activities and research activities. JCU researchers will complete this aspect as part of FTT application.

For non-JCU personnel we will also require copies of all applicable licenses and certificates including:

Orpheus Island


The Orpheus Island Research Station actively seeks volunteers to assist with station duties throughout the year. See our Volunteer Program webpage for further information.

Research Station

Orpheus Island Research Station provides a range of excellent facilities to suit both research and educational groups.

Using the Station