• Open
  • Closing date: 29 July 2021


In our mission to rid the world’s oceans of plastic, we rely on a thorough understanding of the ocean plastic pollution problem. The research team at The Ocean Cleanup aims to refine our understanding of the sources, transport, and fate of ocean and river plastics. Remote sensing of plastic litter helps us to collect accurate data about plastics on a large scale. We are exploring the use of beach monitoring cameras to gain a better understanding of plastic fluxes in the coastal environment.


Our research monitoring camera on a beach in Hawai’i has collected a vast dataset that covers multiple plastic litter beaching events. By analyzing this footage, we aim to better understand the dynamics and appearance of beached plastic litter. As an intern on the Research team, you will:

  • Develop software for automatic quantification and monitoring of beach plastic litter
  • Train and run artificial neural networks
  • Deliver an estimate of plastic flux onto, from, and across the beach, which will be compared with other oceanographic data.

Related tasks are: 

  • Training data review and curation
  • Statistical analysis of detection results
  • Literature review on similar projects.

For this assignment, you will work for approximately 6 months with our team normally based in the office in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, now working from home most of the time according to COVID-19 guidelines.


  • Enrolled in an MSc level track computer science or similar
  • Experienced with Python
  • Affinity with object detection in one or multiple frameworks: Tensorflow, Keras, and Pytorch
  • Open to discovering and applying the latest research in the domain
  • Fluent in English
  • Available from May/June 2021.


  • Curious, creative, and determined to deliver 
  • Performs well in a fast-paced and challenging environment 
  • Not afraid for a deep dive in technical matters 
  • Eye for detail 
  • Flexible team player 
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills.
Starting from:
May/June 2021
Work permit needed:
European Union