Research- and collection permit

A research- and collection permit is required to conduct scientific work in Costa Rica. In case you wish to publish your research, be aware that an increasing amount of journals demand the number of your research permit and will seek to verify it's authenticity. Be aware- unauthorized research and collecting is illegal in Costa Rica!

In the case of field trips only the leaders of the group require a valid research permit.

  • If you seek to conduct research and/or collect in multiple zones (beside ACOSA), please contact Lourdes Vargas in San José (MINAE in San José) as she processes permits for multiple zones.
  • The processing of your permit requires time. Please contact us as soon as possible. The Costa Rican authorities generally require a period of 3 months for the verification of your data.
    We would like to expressly point out that incomplete applications take longer than the estimated 3 months. Therefore, in your own interest, we ask you to send us the application with all the required documents in good time!
  • In case you desire to collect plants, fungi, animals or soil samples for your study it is imperative to specify the exact number of samples you wish to collect as precisely as possible in your application. Note: The application must also contain geographical information about the planned study area as well as a statement about the projected disturbance of the environment through your collection activities.
  • If you do observation or sound recordings for your scientific work, you also need a research permit if you want to publish the data or use it for a thesis.

To alleviate you of bureaucratic burden, we offer you the possibility to take part in our biannual batch application for the ACOSA Region. To do so, please fill out the application on this page and send it.

In order to be able to acquire your research permit and hand it over to you in Costa Rica, we need the following items no less than 3 months before the start of your visit to Costa Rica:

  • a passport photo as .jpg (min. 1024 x 768 px).
  • a copy of your passport as .jpg
  • a Curriculum Vitae, in Spanish¹ as MS Word document.
  • a description of the project as MS Word document, in Spanish¹. You can download the required template here: Project description
  • a completed application as MS Word document: download link

Assistants or co-investigators who are specified in the form and who work on the same project only have to enclose a copy of the passport, a passport photo (both digital) and a CV in Spanish.

For your convenience, the Tropical Field Station La Gamba makes a collective application for research permits biannually. The application deadlines are May, 1st for for permits valid from July, 1st and November, 1st for permits valid from January, 1st of the following year. Period of validity: max. 6 months.
A special application has to be filed for genetic and biochemical research! Further information can be found here. If you desire to work in said fields, please contact the administration of the Tropical Field Station La Gamba:

University of  Vienna, Department für Botanik und Biodiversitätsforschung
Rennweg 14, 1030 Wien
Telefon: 0043 1 4277 57420
Fax: 0043 1 4277 9541

Your completed scientific passport is available at the Tropical Field Station La Gamba for the price of USD 80 (USD 60 as a member of the University of Vienna).

¹ If you should require translation services please contact  Mag. Andres Reyes  (0,1 € per word).