Bursary Students 2017 gain hands-on experience in the Marine Sciences

Bursar Group Oranmore – Grace English, Mico Kinneen, Eoin Conroy, RoisÍn Dobey, Amanda Egan and Louisa Sinclair at Marine Institute headquarters in Oranmore. Seventeen undergraduate students from Ireland, Scotland and Guernsey are currently taking part in the Marine Institute Bursary Scholarship Programme, where they are gaining practical experience in areas ranging from fisheries and aquaculture, marine ecosystems, shellfish safety, data development, oceanography, research funding to communications and HR.

Congratulating the students selected for the highly regarded bursary positions, Dr Peter Heffernan, CEO of the Marine Institute said, "The bursary students selected in this programme are among the next generation of marine scientists and experts who will continue to collaborate and develop the knowledge informing the best decisions about our oceans into the future. We are therefore always pleased to provide them with the hands –on experience to help advance their education and careers in the marine sector".

The Bursary Programme runs for 8-12 weeks and endeavours to expose students to the work undertaken at the Marine Institute, which aims to promote the sustainable development of Ireland's marine resource through coordinated research, technology, development and innovation.Diana Gudynaite, from Galway, a Food Science and Nutraceuticals student from the Dublin Institute of Technology, is currently on a 10 weeks bursary programme with the Marine Institute where she is gaining hands on experience with oysters sampled for her work in shellfish safety.

The students are based at multiple locations throughout Ireland and "regardless of whether they are based at the Institute's HQ in Oranmore, the Burrishoole catchment facility in Newport, or other ports around the country, each student becomes integrated with the work, life and ethos of the Institute. This enables them to gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of the value of the marine and this experience is central to Ireland's reputation for excellence in marine science," Dr Heffernan further remarked.

The bursary programme provides students with the opportunity to expand their professional network, both in Ireland and abroad. Coming from universities including National University of Ireland Galway, Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology, Dublin Institute of Technology, National University of Ireland Maynooth, Ulster University, University of St Andrews, Mary Immaculate College and the University of Exeter, the students have diverse backgrounds ranging from marine biotechnology to oceanography, forensic chemistry, politics, food science and teaching.

When discussing the wide range of fields of study Helen McCormick, Senior Lab Analyst and bursary programme coordinator, noted "Previous bursars have gone on to secure posts with the Marine Institute and other public and private research bodies such as BIM and MaREI".

The Bursars will make presentations to Marine Institute colleagues later this month, detailing their experiences at the Institute and outlining the skills learned that they will take forward with them as they continue their work and research in the marine sector.