The 2008 Bright Sparks Award opens today (Wednesday 20th February) to graduates and post graduates from any Higher Education Institute across the island of Ireland – North and South. The programme, which grants the winning group of students five days of ship-time aboard the RV Celtic Voyager, is one of three elements of the Marine Institute’s Integrated Marine Exploration Programme, funded under the Government’s Strategy for Science, Technology and Innovation.
The aim of the overall programme is to further develop Ireland’s research capacity for marine exploration through training the next generation of marine scientists how to operate at sea. This is achieved not only through the Bright Sparks Awards, but also by funding vessel time for dedicated undergraduate and postgraduate training programmes as well as for integrated surveys involving scientists of different disciplines.
The Bright Sparks Awards are specifically designed to introduce students of marine science to Ireland’s research vessel fleet by giving them mentoring and experience in preparing a proposal, designing and planning a marine survey mission, analysing the data collected and drawing up a final report.
All entrants must be supported by a faculty staff member in the preparation, planning and execution of the survey, and additional advice and guidance will be available from staff at the Marine Institute’s Integrated Marine Exploration Programme. Collaborative applications or partnerships with other research groups or institutions are strongly encouraged.