roposals for Ireland’s first ever Marine Graduate School have taken a step closer to becoming a reality, thanks to funding of €60,000 from the Marine Institute and the Irish Council for Science Engineering and Technology (IRCSET).
The exploratory grant, to a consortium of Irish Third-Level Research and Education Centres will facilitate a detailed study of the feasibility of establishing a Marine Graduate School in Ireland. The feasibility study will explore options for a multidisciplinary and inter-institutional Marine Graduate School and will draw on the capabilities of existing marine research centres.
A Marine Graduate School could potentially offer a range of new research and training opportunities to PhD and other postgraduate students, with the potential for both taught and practical components. The emphasis would be on providing world-class marine science tuition, specialist education and specific transferable skills.
The School would develop strategic affiliations with institutions in Northern Ireland and similar initiatives internationally. Its ultimate objective being to improve the quality and breadth of graduate education in Ireland and to match predicted future graduate demands by both enterprise and academia to support the sustainable development of Ireland’s marine resource.
Professor Michael Guiry, Director of the Martin Ryan Institute at NUI Galway commented: “This feasibility study will usher in a new wave of close collaboration between marine research institutions in Ireland that will lead to a critical mass of world-class marine researchers in Ireland.”
The feasibility study will consider the existing marine research and training capabilities of third-level institutions such as NUI Galway (the lead institution), University College Cork, Trinity College Dublin, University College Dublin, the Galway/Mayo Institute of Technology, Dublin Institute of Technology, Cork Institute of Technology and the National Maritime College of Ireland. International best practice will also be reviewed.
The Marine Graduate School proposal is one of 22 Exploratory Grants awarded by IRCSET and the Irish Research Council for Humanities and Social Studies (IRCHSS). The competitive call for proposals for exploratory grants attracted 73 applications, all of which were critically evaluated by an independent panel of international experts.