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Student Opportunities


A list of training opportunities for early and mid-career professionals in fields relating to marine science. For internship and postdoctoral opportunities, please have a look at the Vacancies page.

Habitable Planet undergraduate workshops

ACCESS are very pleased to announce that applications are now open for our winter Habitable Planet undergraduate workshops.  The workshop explores the question: In  an age where thousands of planets have been discovered, why is the Earth unique in being the only one known to be habitable?  This year we are very excited to be hosting in partnership with The University of Johannesburg (June 24th - 3rd July) and then with The University of Fort Hare, East London (4th-14th July)

This is a special fellowship for onboard training on an AMT Cruise.The programme is designed to promote training and capacity building leading towards a global observation scheme for the oceans. Two fellowships are being offered, and the successful candidates will focus on one of the areas of work specified below, in which he or she should have a particular scientific interest:
  • Bio-optical discrimination of phytoplankton size based on absorption properties
  • Optical backscattering measurements along the Atlantic Meridional Transect
POGO & PML4/29/2019
28 June – 8 July 2019 |   Helgoland, Germany and on board the RV Heincke
The Coastal Summer School 2019 on Helgoland features the 1st PORTWIMS summer school on “Marine phytoplankton diversity observations: innovative methods and industrial applications“. It will be held from 28 June to 8 July 2019 on Helgoland, Germany. The training will comprise a class room module (six days) at the guest scientist facilities on Helgoland and a practical module (five days) on board the German RV Heincke in the German Bight. The Biologische Anstalt Helgoland (BAH) as part of the AWI is one of the oldest marine stations worldwide and has a strong tradition in capacity development and hosting international guest researchers. We are aiming for PhD students, young researchers working already in the field, and MSc grades. The Coastal Summer School is free of charge, accommodation will be provided ( double rooms). Some travel grants are available.
Course in Ocean Governance for Africa
2 - 27 Sep 2019, Kirstenbosch Cape Town
This annual course  is designed to contribute to building a sustainable core of experts on ocean governance for the continent and is intended for professionals, managers, educators, researchers and civil society members that have coastal and marine related responsibilities, functions or interests, preferably from or with an interest in countries within the African region. Limited bursaries available.The course brochure and application form are attached.
IOI-SA, SAIMI and SANBI5/7/2019
The L’Oréal-UNESCO partnership has launched the first edition of the South African National programme to support young females scientists. A call for applications has opened for PhD and Postdoctoral fellowships.
Topic: Population bottleneck of batoids caught in the KwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board Bather Protection Programme, South Africa. The scientific knowledge produced will be crucial in providing an objective evaluation of the impact of shark nets and other factors on batoid population sizes. No closing date indicated. Initially posted on 18 Feb 2019.
KZNSB, UJ, SU5/18/2019

​COTRA PhD Scholarship in the field of fisheries science or aquaculture at Makerere University, Uganda. Click here for the advert and application form.

Hard corals from South Africa’s shallow sub-tidal assemblages in KwaZulu-Natal are unique both in terms of their diversity and their apparent ‘resilience’ in the face of climate change. This presents a unique opportunity for assessing the basis of this resilience in a phylogenetic context. Candidates should have experience in genetics and evolutionary biology and a passion for marine science. Experience with next generation sequencing methods and the requisite bioinformatics techniques will be an advantage. Minimum requirements: MSc within a related field. Please send applications to Dr A Macdonald (, including a cover letter, CV and a synopsis of your research experience. No closing date. Posted on 1 Mar 2019.
24-28 June 2019, Durban
Multivariate Analysis in Ecology (& other Sciences)
Participants will engage in a mixture of informative lectures on key topics and computer lab sessions on literature data sets, with ample opportunity to discuss and analyse their own data sets in consultation with the lecturer.  Early bird registration before 30 April 2019.
A PhD opportunity is available at the NRF-SAIAB within the Genetics and Remote Imagery research platforms for a suitable candidate to investigate the potential of eDNA to collect population and community data for subtidal reef fishes occurring on photic and mesophotic reefs. No closing date indicated. Re-posted on 22 Mar 2019
​PhD opportunity (sediment/ancient DNA) on South African and German joint project to identify changes in aquatic ecosystems over time to defines its natural variability in the past as reference condition and relates the condition of the present ecosystem to it.(No closing date indicated, open until filled).
The Oceanography Department at the University of Cape Town has multiple M.Sc. and Ph.D. fellowships available as part of the new Advancing Womxn Initiative championed by the Office of the Vice-Chancellor. These highly prestigious fellowships for black womxn or trans  students include bursary support for the duration of the degree, registration fees, relocation costs, field gear, a laptop, and participation in a leadership and mentorship programme. All applicants should be passionate about scientific research, curious about the environment, hard-working, and able to work independently and in a team. To apply, email your academic transcripts, a short academic/professional CV, and a one page letter of motivation to Dr. Katye Altieri, Email Dr. Altieri with any questions regarding the fellowship or application process. Applications for 2019 will be accepted until June 1, 2019 and applications for 2020 will be accepted until November 30, 2019.
Marine-science graduate students and postdoctoral researchers interested in helping to pioneer the next generation of sustainable tuna fishing initiatives — especially to reduce bycatch and protect ocean ecosystems — are invited to submit their ideas to the first-ever International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF) Seafood Sustainability Contest. The contest is eligible individuals and teams worldwide, who have until midnight December 31, 2019, to submit online entries. Competition judges will announce one $45,000 Grand Prize winner and one $10,000 Runner-Up Prize winner on February 28, 2020. The Grand Prize includes a trip (airfare and travel expenses paid for) for the winning individual or team representative to attend a major tuna sustainability conference or event selected by ISSF, with the potential to present the winning idea to diverse stakeholders.