MASTS-SFC Saltire emerging researcher scheme

MASTS are delighted to be one of the research pools to be awarded funding for the SFC Saltire Emerging Researcher Scheme (SERS) European Exchange programme.

The MASTS-SERS Programme will provide an important opportunity to both reinvigorate existing research collaborations, as well as to facilitate the creation of new inter- and transdisciplinary collaborations between Scottish and European institutions at a critical time when evidence based environmental stewardship, policy and management is essential.

The scientific scope of the programme will encompass all aspects of aquatic habitats from river catchments to coasts, to the open ocean and deep sea and all aspects of related research, from molecules to man.


  • SERS1-1 Modelling productivity and sustainability of future macroalgae farming in the north Atlantic under various climate change scenarios. Alejandra Garcia Cabanillas (University of Strathclyde) visiting Joint Research Institute IHCantabria.
  • SERS1-3 First Recordings of the Soundscape of ‘Pristine’ European Flat Oyster Reefs. Magnus Janson (Edinburgh Napier University) visiting University of Gothenburg.
  • SERS1-4 Genetic mechanisms for acclimation and adaption to coral bleaching. Sebastien Leveque (University of Glasgow) visiting University of Mayotte.
  • SERS1-5 Estimation of biomass and distribution of mesopelagic organisms around the Azores. Irma Cascao visiting Andrew Brierley (University of St Andrews)
  • SERS1-7 Exploring the interacting effects of thermal fluctuations and habitat complexity on stickleback behavioural adaptation. Nicholas Jones (University of St Andrews) visiting Alfred-Wegener Institute.
  • SERS1-8 Enhancing genomics and metabolomics capabilities for cryophilic algae. Alex Thomson (UHI-SAMS) visiting Nord University Norway and CCCryo Germany.
  • SERS1-9 Building capacity and drafting publications to bridge the interdisciplinary divides between aquatic animals, nutrition, and health outcomes. Alexandra Pounds (University of Stirling) visiting Institute of Marine Research, Bergen, Norway
  • SERS1-10 A pilot study towards understanding the connectivity of United Kingdom and Norwegian black-legged kittiwake populations across the North Sea. Chloe Cargill (University of Aberdeen) visiting the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research.
  • SERS1-13 From the North Sea to the Strait of Gibraltar: remote sensing applications for high-resolution coastal science solutions. Encarni Medina Lopez (Edinburgh University) visiting Instituto de Ciencias Marinas de Andalucia.
  • SERS1-14 Seeding collaboration to characterise the chemical and optical properties of organic carbon in Arctic glaciomarine systems. Ximena Vega (Stirling University) visiting the University of Bergen.
  • SERS1-17 Developing techniques to study Neoparamoeba species isolated from sea urchins. Emma O’Halloran (University West of Scotland) visiting University de la Laguna, Tenerife.
  • SERS1-18 Sharing insights, ideas and understanding of vessel activity in coastal waterways: past, present and future. Emily Hague (Heriot Watt University) visiting Aarhus University & University College Cork.
  • SERS1-21 Comparative Metaproteomics of the Plastispheres isolated from transparent and coloured plastic debris obtained from joint sampling programmes. Charlotte Lee (Stirling University) visiting University of Mons, Belgium.
Previous announcements

MASTS are delighted to open this funding for a third call for proposals for Heriot Watt University, University of Dundee, and Robert Gordon University.

Further information and programme guidelines are available here.  

You should submit your application on a MASTS SERS Application Form before 12.00 on Friday 8th April 2022.


  • This scheme is not open to masters students.
  • Bench fees should be waived. Where this is not possible, then this should be stated and justified within the application.

  • You can visit more than one institution and/or country, but this must be within the limits of the maximum budget and the reasons must be justified within the proposal.

  • As well as named Universities, you could choose to exchange with an institute associated with a University or a scientific/technological centre, but such institutions and the host must have experience of postgraduate and early career supervision. 
  • If an applicant’s time is not already covered through stipend or salary, these costs can be included provided the applicant is registered with an eligible HEI. Any salary costs quoted will need to be agreed with the host institution and must not include indirect overhead costs. By “registered”, we mean having the right to use the facilities and email address of an eligible MASTS HEI.

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