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Marine Alliance for Science and Technology for Scotland

Further background

Graduate School

Topic selection
  • The organisation can propose:
  • a specific project title or topic for the student to deliver;
  • a general idea of a business need which requires further development;
  • a core research theme to be developed by the student into a bespoke project;
  • an intended outcome for the organisation, thus leaving the design of the research entirely to the student.

Projects should typically be achievable within an 8-16 (including write up) week time frame.

Projects that will be available for the 2023/24 year are below.
We are grateful to NatureScot, Environmental Standards Scotland, BP, JNCC, HiDef, MOWI & National Museums Scotland for their project ideas.

Click on the hyperlinks to find out more.

BP – North Sea Long Term Environmental Monitoring Program

JNCC – Impacts of chemicals in coral reef, seagrasses and mangroves

HiDef – Investigating the impact of the 2022/23 Highly Pathogenic Avian Flu Virus (HPAIV) H5N1 outbreak on gannet (Morus bassanus) in the British Isles

MOWI – Modelling the Dispersal of Sea Lice from Salmon Farms: Sensitivity of Results to Parameter Specification

National Museums Scotland – Establishment of baseline data for the meiofaunal community at 3 sites in the Firth of Forth prior to seagrass seeding as part of Restoration Forth.

NatureScot projects:

  • Investigating the decline of Seagrass in Loch Fleet
  • Reviewing biosecurity protocols for Native Oyster and/or Seagrass restoration
  • Sustainable Fisheries Indicator Development
  • Investigating potential light disturbance from cruise ships on petrels/shearwater and developing best practice guidance
  • Rum Manx Shearwaters – exploring drivers of population dynamics to inform conservation management

Environmental Standards Scotland projects:

  • Governance of anthropogenic noise in Scotland’s marine environment
  • Investigating fisheries bycatch as a pressure for Scotland’s seabirds
  • Investigating harbour seal decline in Scotland’s waters
  • Investigating bycatch and entanglement as a pressure for Scotland’s cetaceans
Example feedback:
As part of the MMM MSc a GIS based model has been developed to examine the spatial and temporal variability in noise levels around the Shetland Islands, and whether these levels are sufficient to impact marine mammals and whether they exceed levels permitted under the Marine Strategy Framework Directive. Whilst this approach has been trialled elsewhere, including Canada and Australia, it is the first time this modelling approach has been used in the UK.
Project suitability
The relevant Course Director/academic supervisor will help to to refine the proposed topic, ensuring that it meets both the requirements of the organisation and the academic needs of the student.
Organisation and University Supervisors

The organisation is required to provide a supervisor to:

  • oversee delivery of the project to ensure objectives are being  met;
  • provide the student with a project briefing and expected outputs;
  • ensure the student is aware of, and complies with legal requirements related to being based in the workplace (if applicable).

The academic co-supervisor is required to:

  • be available throughout the project for input;
  • ensure the project is on track via regular contact with the student;
  • oversee the write-up stages.
Project agreement

All  terms are defined by the organisation, university and student at the outset to ensure all parties have agreed the key parameters.These include (but are not limited to):

  • project title, start date and delivery deadline;
  • location – will the student be based in the work place, at university or both?
  • operating procedures and workplace regulations (working hours, health and safety procedures etc;
  • outputs of the project;
  • Intellectual Property rights, Non-Disclosure Agreements and project ownership on completion.
Project Delivery

The student is responsible for project completion and delivery to meet the agreed deadline. Assessment of the final academic output remains the responsibility of the University and no input is required from the host in this respect, unless previously agreed.  However, hosts may request additional outputs, for example, an executive summary or technical report.

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