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Neil MacDougall Bursary for Practical Oceanography 2014


Neil MacDougall was the SAMS expert on practical aspects of oceanography. During his years at the Scottish Marine Institute he built up a huge wealth of knowledge and experience embracing nearly all aspects of the laboratory's field programme, in areas as diverse as Mediterranean beaches and the deep Atlantic. He was particularly expert in designing and deploying the deep instrumented moorings which were at the core of several oceanographic research campaigns, such as WOCE and LOIS. Neil was killed in a tragic car accident in late 1997.

During the process of taking stock of Neil's loss it was apparent at an early stage that people with his experience are very difficult to replace. The UK, and indeed international, pool of expertise in this branch of practical oceanography has become seriously depleted over recent years. SAMS responded positively to this by establishing a studentship that allows young oceanographers to undertake training at SAMS and become the nucleus of a national pool of expertise in practical oceanography. The first studentship was awarded in 1999.


The studentship

The sum of £2000 will be awarded each year in the form of a bursary to cover the additional expenses of a two-month stay at SAMS (beginning June 2014) and associated seagoing. The student will participate in many aspects of the laboratory's fieldwork programme, such as:

  • Instrument preparation and testing;
  • Mooring design and fabrication;
  • Instrument and mooring deployment;
  • Mooring recovery;
  • Instrument calibration;
  • Data analysis

The emphasis will be on the acquisition of practical skills, and the student will be required to go to sea on any available research cruises. Supervision will be provided by senior scientists and technologists at SAMS, and accommodation may be available at the laboratory.


Who should apply

The bursary is aimed at postgraduates pursuing oceanographic research in British universities, although undergraduates intending to pursue an oceanographic career are also invited to apply. In addition to the application form and CV, candidates should prepare a short statement, which clearly demonstrates their commitment and enthusiasm for practical oceanography.   

Selected students must meet all of the following criteria. The successful bursary student must be...

  • studying in a relevant quantitative discipline
  • studying as an undergraduate or Postgraduate student
  • hoping to pursue a career in oceanographic research


How to apply

Applicants should apply by submitting a completed application form, CV and covering letter stating why they are should be considered for this placement to Polly Crooks, Academic Registry Officer Undergraduate, The Scottish Association for Marine Science, Oban, Argyll, PA37 1QA or by email to

Closing date for applications is 16th May 2014

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