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Marine Alliance for Science and Technology for Scotland


A marine science community delivering research excellence and impact for Scotland’s seas.

Question being asked by a member of the audience at the Annual Science meeting 2023

The Scottish Funding Council (SFC), together with the original MASTS member institutions, invested approximately £75M between 2009-2016 in developing MASTS. MASTS (Phase I) was launched on 4th November 2009 in Edinburgh. 

MASTS had the ambition to become an integral and important part of the national framework of excellence in marine science in Scotland and was awarded an additional five years of funding for MASTS Phase II. Modest funding is received from the SFC, but the majority of MASTS funding is now provided by contributions from its Member organisations. We continue to work hard to become self-supporting as an independent entity beyond the SFC funding period. In 2023, MASTS enters phase III.

This pooling of marine research talent has a constituency of more than 700 researchers with the management of resources consisting of over £66 million annually.

MASTS will promote the following primary goals:
  • To enhance scientific excellence in marine research through communication, collaboration and co-ordination within the marine research community
  • To support a healthier environment as a result of better informed policies to manage human activity based on the best available scientific knowledge (BASK)
  • To enhance Scotland and the UK as a world player in marine science through the delivery of scientific excellence in the field of marine science
  • To raise public awareness of the value and heritage of Scotland’s marine environment
  • To promote wealth creation and environmental protection facilitated by sound science supporting industries such as renewable energy, marine fisheries and aquaculture
  • To help establish an economy able to plan for the effects of climate change
  • To provide experience and training to the next generation of marine researchers and opinion makers through the MASTS graduate school and related bespoke events
In the process of working towards these goals, MASTS will deliver:
  • A culture of research innovation and cooperation across the marine science community and government in Scotland and the UK
  • The critical mass necessary to ensure that Scotland and the UK’s marine science is able to compete at an international level
  • A novel training ground for marine scientists and policy makers of the future
  • Higher quality integrated marine science, with improved communication and coordination
  • A marine science community that is well resourced and run, and that will attract researchers of international standing
MASTS team at in person event
From left to right: Dr Bruce McAdam (MASTS lecturer); Dr Michael Bekaert (MASTS lecturer); Alice Doyle (MASTS alumni of Grad School); Prof Nick Hanley (Previous Coastal Zone Forum Convenor); Dr Mark James (MASTS Operations Director); Prof David Paterson (MASTS Executive Director) and Prof Jimmy Turnbull (Previous Productive Seas Theme Leader).

Download the MASTS Research & Innovation Strategy (2019-2022) here and download the MASTS R&I strategy leaflet here.

Download the MASTS interim Review (covering the period 2009-2015) digest here.

MASTS logos

MASTS coloured logo with white background

MASTS coloured logo with transparent background

MASTS white logo with transparent background

MASTS Resources

We’re working behind the scenes to bring you a suite of useful, and updateable, resources including: 

  • Find an expert
  • Find facilities & equipment
  • MASTS Publications


If you would like to be updated when the resources section is live please let us know.