Marine Institute awards first two Eoin Sweeney Scholarships

Marine Institute awards new Eoin Sweeney Scholarship Award. Image credit PLOCAN.1 April 2021: The Marine Institute is pleased to announce funding of €0.24 million for the first two Eoin Sweeney PhD Scholarships to run over the next four years.

This Scholarship Programme has been established by the Marine Institute and Plataforma Oceánica de Canarias (PLOCAN) in memory of Eoin Sweeney (1947-2017), who made a significant contribution to developing Irish marine industry, particularly the ocean energy sector, including the establishment of test-bed sites off the west coast of Ireland that provide sea-state testing opportunities for researchers and technology developers.

This Scholarship Programme provides a unique training opportunity for the students using the state-of-the-art scientific facilities at the Plataforma Oceánica de Canarias (PLOCAN) in Gran Canaria, Spain.

Dr José Joaquín Hernández-Brito, CEO said, "PLOCAN are delighted to collaborate with colleagues in Ireland on this Scholarship Programme. We are looking forward to hosting the students in due course, and wish to strengthen our existing research networks between Spain and Ireland together with exploring opportunities for future co-operation in ocean observation."

The students will also benefit from access to the Marine Institute historical datasets, equipment and infrastructures including access to the national marine research vessels.

Congratulating the award recipients, Mick Gillooly, Director of Ocean Climate and Information Services in the Marine Institute said, "This is an exciting collaboration between the two Universities, PLOCAN and the Marine Institute that enables international collaboration and testing of novel technology, gliders and data buoys, to better understand our ocean ecosystems through long-term observations. Forecasting Ocean and Climate Change is a strategic focus area in the Marine Institute's Strategic Plan and these scholarships will provide research data from a variety of locations and sea conditions, which will contribute to scientific advice to stakeholders backed up by high quality peer-reviewed research."

The awards funded are as follows:

Eoin Sweeney Scholarships awards

The students are expected to have commenced by July 2021, with their first visit to PLOCAN expected to take place in 2022 (dependent on government restrictions).

Funding for the Eoin Sweeney Scholarship Programme is provided by the Marine Institute and the Irish Government, funded under the Marine Research Programme. PLOCAN will provide support and host the scholars for two to three months per annum.


Marine InstitutePlataforma Oceánica de Canarias (PLOCAN)

For further information, please contact:
Sheila Byrnes e. m. +353 (0)87 225 0871
Sinéad Coyne e. m. +353 (0)87 947 7090

Editor’s Notes:

Eoin Sweeney Scholarship Programme
The Programme provides scholarship awards to Higher Education Institutes to support postgraduate training to PhD or MSc level. Successful candidates recruited by these institutes conduct novel research whilst studying for a higher degree. The scholarships will address a research challenge associated with advanced ocean technology development and/or ocean observing systems, with components of the proposed research conducted both at an Irish HEI and at PLOCAN, making use of test-bed and demonstration facilities in Ireland and Spain.

Research carried out by post-graduate scholarships adds value to the Marine Institute’s role in providing scientific and technical advice and services to support sustainable management of Ireland’s marine resources and a sustainable ocean economy. The research carried out under the Eoin Sweeney Scholarship Programme is aligned with Marine Institute research and links closely to the Strategic Focus Areas of the Marine Institute Strategic Plan 2018-2022, Building Ocean Knowledge - Delivering Ocean Services.

The scholarship will provide new knowledge and data as well as providing added value through further analysis of existing data (including Marine Institute datasets). The outputs of this research will provide advice and information for policy makers, stakeholders and the Marine Institute’s clients including the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM), other Government Departments and European/International Organisations.

National Marine Research & Innovation Strategy 2017-2021
The National Marine Research and Innovation Strategy 2017-2021  focuses on the broad topics identified in existing Government policies and strategies and provides a framework that recognises the complexity of research funding in the marine domain.