MASTS condemns in the strongest possible terms the Russian invasion of Ukraine. This unprovoked and brutal act of war challenges the fundamental freedoms that we all take for granted in liberal democracies. MASTS will demonstrate its support for the people of Ukraine by using whatever influence it can bring to bear to ensure that Russian and Belarusian institutions are excluded from and denied access to the domains in which MASTS operates. MASTS will help to support the actions of its member organisations in this regard. Specifically, MASTS will seek to have Russian and Belarusian institutions denied access to research funding, resources, infrastructure, collaboration and positions of influence. MASTS will actively lobby for Russian and Belarusian institutions to be stripped of roles within the international research community and excluded from the relevant organisations and initiatives.
MASTS, alongside the wider UK HE Sector represented by Universities UK, also recognise that many education and research partnerships are often based on academic peer-to-peer relationships, and note that many Russian students and academics, at great personal peril, have publicly criticised this invasion. MASTS do not support the application of blanket academic boycotts that prevent academics collaborating with other academics as a means of protest against the actions of their governments. Decisions on such continued collaborations will be made on a case-by-case basis, informed both by UK Government guidance and appropriate due diligence.
It is incumbent upon all of us as individuals and organisations to actively and visibly support the people of Ukraine and to stand united with the international community in isolating Russia and those that support its actions.
#ScienceForUkraine is a community group of volunteer students and research scientists from academic institutions in Europe and around the world. Their mission is to collect and disseminate information about support opportunities at the university, national, and international level for graduate students and researchers directly affiliated to an academic institution in Ukraine. Find out more here.
MASTS actively collaborates with partners at EU level through representation in a number of strategic groups and organisations, including the Marine Science Co-ordination Committee, the Marine Strategy Forum and the European Marine Board (EMB).
MASTS is recognised as a national body that brings together the majority of Scotland’s marine science capacity and can offer a collective voice for a significant proportion of that community. As such, MASTS has been accepted as one of the three UK organisations represented on the European Marine Board (EMB). Through this membership, MASTS is well placed to engage with other European partners and the Commission. In addition, this membership offers important opportunities to influence EU calls for funding, inform Commission thinking on a range of marine-related issues and be party to strategic initiatives with third countries favoured as partners by the EU.
MASTS members that have been part of EMB Working Groups include:
MAST-Scotland has signed Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) with international organisations including MEOPAR, the University of Nagasaki and the Pitcairn Islands Council. MASTS’ legal and charitable entity; MAST-Scotland, also has the potential for members to bid for funds through this entity as a single applicant.
The Directorate together with invited members of the MASTS community has been involved in relevant initiatives led by Scottish Development International (SDI), Connected Scotland and the UK Science and Innovation Network (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) sponsored missions. These have largely focused on aquaculture and marine renewables, but we remain alive to other opportunities as they emerge.
The MASTS Productive Seas Theme has, through its members, strong links with Europe, North and South America and South East Asia. Within the Marine Biodiversity Function and Services Theme there are links to Latin America and the Caribbean as well as East Africa and the Indian Ocean. The Dynamics and Properties of Marine Systems theme has members embedded in a range of international oceanographic initiatives including activity in the Arctic and Antarctic through collaborations with Norway and Canada for example.
Through the Scottish Funding Council, MASTS is also a member of Scotland Europa and has access to office and conferencing facilities in Scotland House in Brussels which we have used to engage EU “Pools”.
MASTS will continue to develop its reputation as the UK’s premier marine research consortium, maintaining and exploiting its relationships at national, UK, European and global level. This will ensure that the MASTS community remains visible and has the power to influence decision making relevant to future research funding, as well as promoting the vision of clean, healthy, safe, productive and biologically diverse oceans and seas.
Current examples of International projects being run by MASTS members:
We’re working behind the scenes to bring you a suite of useful, and updateable, resources including:
If you would like to be updated when the resources section is live please let us know.