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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.

​Foundational Biodiversity Information Programme (FBIP) offers bursaries for postgraduate studies

Honour, Masters and Doctoral bursaries available from SANBI. Successful applicants will be expected to carry out projects that include aspects of taxonomy (e.g. species revisions or new species descriptions), DNA barcoding, generation of species occurrence records / data (e.g. biodiversity surveys) or the application/use of such data in addressing questions relevant to global change or the bioeconomy (eg. predicting changes in species’ distributions associated with climate change, or impacts of climate change on phenology).

SANBI, DSI and NRF1/28/2020

​Transdiscipinary Workshop for postgraduates

In January 2020 the ACDI, together with Visiting Lecturer, Professor Maureen Reed, from the University of Saskatchewan, Canada, will be hosting two events on transdisciplinarity at UCT. The first event is a workshop for postgraduate scholars and early career researchers on “Practicing Transdisciplinary Scholarship” (28 January, 14h30-16h30). The second event is seminar called “Taking a principled approach to transdisciplinary scholarship” (30 January, 13h15-14h15). To register for either event, please email . Venue: ​ACDI Meeting Room, Level 6, Geological Sciences Building, Library Road, UCT Upper Campus.

16 – 26 March 2020, Cape Town and De Hoop Nature Reserve
Each year, the BLUECONNECT project will provide 8-12 graduate and postgraduate students from South Africa and Norway with a unique opportunity to interact with high-profile scientists as part of a transdisciplinary and advanced training program. This competence building will enhance science-based ocean research in the future, with strong focus on kelp forest ecology. The course will use a multi-faceted approach that includes lectures, case studies and practical field experience. 
MSc Opportunities at ORI (no closing date)
  • An MSc opportunity is available for a student at the Oceanographic Research Institute (ORI) in Durban, to study recreational fisheries for invertebrates (mussels, oysters, prawns, crabs, lobsters) in KZN. The project will start early in 2020 and will form part of an existing long-term monitoring programme. The student will be based at ORI in Durban register for an MSc-degree at UKZN or another South African University. The project will start in early 2020.
  • Morphology and DNA barcoding of marine zooplankton caught off South Africa – developing an integrative approach: Two MSc opportunities are available for students in this research programme:  based at the Oceanographic Research Institute in Durban, and at University of the Western Cape in Cape Town, respectively.
ORI, UWC and partners2/15/2020
Study for a master’s degree in Sweden on a fully-funded scholarship. If you have applied for the programme before 15 Jan 2020, Apply for an SI scholarship between 10 – 20 February 2020.
International Climate Protection Fellowship for young climate experts from developing countries
Spend a year working with a host of your choice in Germany on a research-based project you have developed yourself in the field of climate protection and climate-related resource conservation. 
Alexander von Humboldt Foundation3/1/2020
The Nippon Foundation-POGO Centre of Excellence (NF-POGO CofE) provides world class education and training courses in the field of observational oceanography, since 2008.  This 10-month intensive training course in the field of observational oceanography is aimed at young professionals at the postgraduate level. The course starts in October 2020 at the Alfred Wegener Institute in Germany and will be conducted on the offshore island of Helgoland and the UNESCO reserve Waddensea island of Sylt.
NF, POGO, AWI3/15/2020
The Institute for Coastal and Marine Research (CMR), Nelson Mandela University in collaboration with the Equinor South Africa (B.V.) is offering two Masters studies in Algoa Bay. The call is part of the Algoa Bay Project and with the South African Research Chair in Marine Spatial Planning. 
  1. Masters in Commerce: Thematic Cost-Benefit analysis of marine protected areas in Algoa Bay.
  2. Masters of Science: Effects and risks of planned oil and gas developments on marine ecosystems in Algoa Bay, developing a conflict management framework
Due date for applications: Until positions have been filled.
CMR & Equinor3/31/2020
Funding available for 2 x MSc students with an interest in non-invasive molecular sampling techniques for marine ecological research. The selected students will be based in Grahamstown at the NRF-SAIAB, registered through Rhodes University, for the full duration of their project.
The projects will aim to address research questions under the following topics:
  • MSc 1 (2 years funding): Sensitivity of eDNA to detect transient species and the dispersal and persistence of eDNA on subtidal reefs.
  • MSc 2 (2 years funding): Development of non-invasive sampling techniques to collect genetic material from fishes and the application of microsatellites to enable individual identification and population level studies
Applications open immediately and will close once suitable students have been identified.
SAIAB, Rhodes University4/10/2020
We invite applications for a PhD studentship to investigate the physiological and transcriptional basis of resilience of corals to stress. We are looking for motivated, self-driven students with a keen interest in contributing to understanding global coral health. Studentships have standard NRF bursaries attached, i.e. R120 000 per annum for a PhD. All applicants for PhD projects must be in possession of an MSc or SAQA equivalent in the requisite topics. The student will be based at the Oceanographic Research Institute at uShaka Marine World in Durban, South Africa and registered at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.
ORI, UKZN4/30/2020
Training on Ocean Governance and Transboundary Marine Spatial Planning & Sustainable Blue Economy
The online course contents and materials are now open to all interested participants with no time limit to complete the modules. Each course is rich with compulsory readings, supplementary material, links to useful websites and quizzes. 
The POGO Secretariat is issuing an Open Call for applications from any early career scientists, technicians, postgraduate students (PhD or MSc) and Post-doctoral Fellows involved in oceanographic work at centres in developing countries and countries with economies in transition. This is an open-ended call, and applications are reviewed as they come in.  Candidates will be contacted if they are considered to be suitable matches for shipboard fellowships as they become available. No closing date.