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Marine Institute Welcomes Undergraduate Students to the 2023 Summer Bursary programme

22nd June 2023

The Marine Institute locations in Oranmore, Co. Galway, and Newport, Co. Mayo welcome 22 university students this month to take part in the 2023 Summer Bursary programme. The bursary facilitates research, collaboration, and mutual education for a period of eight to twelve weeks, with bursars learning about and experiencing the day-to-day activities of marine researchers and scientists.

This year’s bursars will work in areas including fish husbandry, fish trap census research, ecological monitoring, data collation and organisation, marine research, INFORMAR data visualisation, DNA extraction and analysis, historical fisheries data reconstruction, climate research and outreach, finance, communications, linking art and science, and looking at the history of EuroGoos. The programme consists of both professional work placement and research projects, which conclude with a demonstration of the education and skills gained by the bursars. This is presented through the production of posters displaying research findings, and a short presentation. The programme offers opportunities across a variety of fields, with many ex-bursars later finding occupations and conducting research as graduate employees of the Marine Institute.

The bursary programme, which has been running since the 1960s, provides students with the rare opportunity to take part in, and contribute professionally to the world of marine science and associated fields before concluding third-level education.

“The Summer Bursary programme in the Marine Institute is part of a long-standing tradition of reciprocal education, where both the students and the institute can gain valuable experience and exchange ideas,” says Dr Paul Connolly, CEO of the Marine Institute and ex-bursar himself.

Helen McCormick, Senior Laboratory Analyst and Bursary Co-ordinator, also comments that “the Marine Institute Bursary presents students with the opportunity to experience the world of marine science, allowing our bursars to conduct research in their particular areas of interest and gain insight into careers in the marine sector. We at the Marine Institute are proud to facilitate such education through the Summer Bursary programme and hope to continue to welcome students into our facilities for many years to come.”

The Marine Institute Summer Bursary Programme is available to undergraduate students from Third-Level Educational Institutions who have completed two or more years of study in a relevant discipline, with applications for the 2024 Summer Bursary opening in the spring of 2024.

Published in Marine Science Team

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Marine Science Perhaps it is the work of the Irish research vessel RV Celtic Explorer out in the Atlantic Ocean that best highlights the essential nature of marine research, development and sustainable management, through which Ireland is developing a strong and well-deserved reputation as an emerging centre of excellence. From Wavebob Ocean energy technology to aquaculture to weather buoys and oil exploration these pages document the work of Irish marine science and how Irish scientists have secured prominent roles in many European and international marine science bodies.


At A Glance – Ocean Facts

  • 71% of the earth’s surface is covered by the ocean
  • The ocean is responsible for the water cycle, which affects our weather
  • The ocean absorbs 30% of the carbon dioxide added to the atmosphere by human activity
  • The real map of Ireland has a seabed territory ten times the size of its land area
  • The ocean is the support system of our planet.
  • Over half of the oxygen we breathe was produced in the ocean
  • The global market for seaweed is valued at approximately €5.4 billion
  • · Coral reefs are among the oldest ecosystems in the world — at 230 million years
  • 1.9 million people live within 5km of the coast in Ireland
  • Ocean waters hold nearly 20 million tons of gold. If we could mine all of the gold from the ocean, we would have enough to give every person on earth 9lbs of the precious metal!
  • Aquaculture is the fastest growing food sector in the world – Ireland is ranked 7th largest aquaculture producer in the EU
  • The Atlantic Ocean is the second largest ocean in the world, covering 20% of the earth’s surface. Out of all the oceans, the Atlantic Ocean is the saltiest
  • The Pacific Ocean is the largest ocean in the world. It’s bigger than all the continents put together
  • Ireland is surrounded by some of the most productive fishing grounds in Europe, with Irish commercial fish landings worth around €200 million annually
  • 97% of the earth’s water is in the ocean
  • The ocean provides the greatest amount of the world’s protein consumed by humans
  • Plastic affects 700 species in the oceans from plankton to whales.
  • Only 10% of the oceans have been explored.
  • 8 million tonnes of plastic enter the ocean each year, equal to dumping a garbage truck of plastic into the ocean every minute.
  • 12 humans have walked on the moon but only 3 humans have been to the deepest part of the ocean.

(Ref: Marine Institute)

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