NUIG and GMIT receive €500k for marine science scholarships

Galway Daily news NUIG and GMIT receive €500k for marine science scholarships

NUI Galway and GMIT have been awarded half in million in grant aid funding for PhD scholarships organised by Galway’s Marine Institute.

Funding has been awarded for a total of seven new Cullen PhD Scholarships to run over the next four years, four of which have gone to GMIT, and one of which has been received by NUIG.

The Cullen Scholarship programme provides the opportunity for scientists in marine disciplines to benefit from the academic support of their host Higher Education Institute together with the practical training carried out using the Marine Institute laboratory facilities, historical datasets, and equipment.

Over the course of the four years they will also have access to unique resources in the marine research ships the RV Celtic Explorer and the soon to be retired RV Voyager.

Congratulating the recipients of the grants, Marine Institute CEO Dr Paul Connolly said that supporting the next generation of marine scientists helps improve Ireland’s research capacity

PhD Project Title Lead Organisation Grant-Aid Funding Awarded (for 4 years)              
Biological changes in key commercially exploited fish in the light of Climate and Ocean Change GMIT €100,000
Enhancing farmed Atlantic salmon quality through new production technologies NUI Galway €100,000
Machine learning assisted detection and prediction of climate change related anomalous events in complex marine systems GMIT €100,000
Improving fishing survey indices though the use of spatio-temporal models GMIT €100,000
Seasonal to decadal sea level and ocean waves predictions through numerical modelling and statistical analysis Maynooth University €100,000
Biodiversity conservation and restoration in the Wild Nephin Ballycroy National Park GMIT €100,000
Ecology of Irish tunas TCD €100,000


Five of the scholarships will provide scientific research findings that will be important in dealing with the effects of climate change on fisheries and marine systems.

The other two scholarships will investigate new production methods in the aquaculture sector, and the conservation of biodiversity in the Burrishoole Catchment, Newport, Co. Mayo. The students are expected to commence in early 2021.

Since the inception of the Cullen Scholarship Programme, a total investment of €3.1 million by the Marine Institute has been provided to fund 34 scholarships (31 PhD and 3 MSc). Two Masters students have completed and five PhD students have successfully defended their thesis at viva, with a further eight students planning to submit their thesis in 2021.

Funding for the Cullen Scholarship Programme is provided by the Marine Institute and the Irish Government, funded under the Marine Research Programme.