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Fully funded marine science scholarships for Pacific islands students announced

The Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU) and the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas) are delighted to today announce the creation of up to 12 fully funded Ocean Country Partnership Programme (OCPP) Scholarships for students from Pacific island countries.

Receiving funding through the UK’s £500 million Blue Planet Fund, the scholarships are open to students from the South Pacific wishing to undertake a Master’s or PhD and develop a career in marine science.

Hosted by the University of the South Pacific (USP), this first set of scholarships will focus on tackling marine pollution, enabling scholars to undertake world-class research and innovation in this area.

The OCPP Scholarships will enable scholars from the South Pacific to harness their on-the-ground knowledge, conduct vital research and help develop local solutions to local marine environmental problems.

The scholarships aim to stimulate scientific research that contributes to knowledge and evidence generation for the conservation and sustainable management of marine resources. The scholarships will also strengthen the capacity of OCPP priority countries in the South Pacific to tackle marine pollution, support the development of sustainable resource management and strengthen responses to the environmental crises of our times.

The OCPP Scholarships are the first collaboration between the ACU and Cefas following the signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in May 2022, formalising their partnership on research capacity strengthening activities in the areas of environmental science. The ACU has been appointed to administer the OCPP Scholarships on behalf of Cefas.

Commenting on the news, Dr Joanna Newman, Chief Executive and Secretary General of the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU), said:

‘Tackling marine pollution and supporting sustainable environmental practises are two of the most pressing issues of our time. Universities are uniquely placed to help solve such global challenges – and these Ocean Country Partnership Programme Scholarships will enable new research and innovation to thrive through academic mobility and knowledge exchange.

We have a strong track record of delivering scholarship and fellowship schemes on a global scale and look forward to working with Cefas to enable researchers and coastal communities to further tackle marine pollution and support sustainable ocean practices.’

Neil Hornby, Chief Executive of Cefas, added:

‘This OCPP Scholarship Programme provides a great opportunity to support students and develop partnerships with universities from ODA eligible countries, as a new aspect of our OCPP programme delivery. It enhances our existing domestic studentship programme and broadens our support of students internationally, creating opportunities for them to develop their science and enabling much needed scientific research to take place in these countries.’

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