Marine Institute to promote new wave of collaborative research among island scientists

29 May 2023

Image: © dj_mono/

A newly announced competitive funding call will support training and opportunities for Irish and international marine science researchers.

Irish Aid and the Marine Institute are teaming up on an initiative called Our Shared Ocean that aims to help small island developing nations get more involved with marine science research and ocean conservation.

Our Shared Ocean is to be run by the Marine Institute over the next five years. It is funded by charity Irish Aid to the tune of €3.8m.

The scheme is an attempt by Ireland to recognise the potential that smaller, less developed island countries can have in ocean-related research. It is one of the first research collaborations of its kind here.

Irish researchers will work with their counterparts to help them develop the skills and gather the resources they need to ensure they can cope better with the effects of the climate crisis on coastline communities.

Paul Connolly, CEO of the Marine Institute commented: “Without a shared understanding of the challenges facing the marine environment, there cannot be shared solutions.”

Our Shared Ocean’s team has worked in consultation with representatives and research scientists from small island nations located in the Caribbean sea, as well as the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific oceans.

“We are privileged to have spoken to inspiring scientists around the world, from multiple research disciplines, who are making a real difference to how we think about, use and manage our shared ocean space on a local and regional scale,” added Connolly. “We have listened to these critical ocean stakeholders, to become aware of the unique set of environmental and economic pressures these small islands face, but more importantly to hear their proposed solutions. We are confident our call topics match that ambition.”

As part of the scheme, the Marine Institute and Irish Aid have today (29 May) announced a series of competitive funding calls for Irish and international researchers. These are designed to promote international collaboration, conservation and interdisciplinary research.

The Our Shared Ocean scheme will offer travel and mobility grants to enable eligible international students to travel and participate in conferences and workshops as part of their research.

As well as promoting cooperation between Irish and international researchers, the scheme aims to provide training opportunities for scientists so they can develop the relevant skills they need to solve problems facing coastal communities.

Funding awardees will get the opportunity to develop research in areas such as oceanography, climate resilience, marine engineering and technology for marine environments.

Earlier this year, the Marine Institute issued a call for applicants for its 2023 summer scholarship scheme.

More information about the funding opportunities available as part of this current call can be found on the Marine Institute’s website.

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Blathnaid O’Dea was a Careers reporter at Silicon Republic until 2024.