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Ocean leaders

Ocean Frontier Institute program encouraging trans-national training


By Patti Lewis

When Memorial threw its support behind the creation of the Ocean Frontier Institute (OFI), the primary objective was to ensure that ocean-related research received the long-term funding it required.

That goal is well on its way to being achieved — to date, six projects at the university have received a total of $13.6 million, with a second phase of funding expected to begin in 2019.

But there was a secondary purpose built into OFI’s design: to attract and retain world-leading research talent to Atlantic Canada.

Applications for OFI’s Visiting Fellows Program are being accepted until Dec. 31.
Applications for OFI’s Visiting Fellows Program are being accepted until Dec. 31.
Photo: Submitted

“Atlantic Canada is quickly becoming a centre of excellence for all things related to the ocean, from applying new management processes that enable the fishing and aquaculture industry to help feed a hungry world to creating new businesses through investments in ocean tech,” said Gita Narayan, transnational program co-ordinator, OFI.

“To help fuel this growth, we need to develop top research talent — training and developing future ocean leaders who will help us generate economic benefits from the ocean in a way that’s also responsible to our environment.”

Unique experience

As a result, OFI’s Visiting Fellows Program was born, providing opportunities for ocean experts to study and work at Memorial and enabling Memorial researchers to gain experience with internationally based research projects.

“There are enormous benefits to be gained through a program that provides both outgoing and incoming options,” said Ms. Narayan. “From a recruitment perspective, we have the opportunity to “test drive” new talent and show them what Atlantic Canada has to offer. From a retention perspective, we send a strong message that Memorial is investing in the career development of its existing researchers.”

Applications to OFI’s Visiting Fellows Program are being accepted until Dec. 31. The program duration ranges from two weeks to four months, providing a monthly stipend of $4,000. During the fellowship, successful applicants will conduct research that complements OFI’s objectives. Future calls will be made on an annual basis.

OFI was established in September 2016 through a partnership led by Dalhousie University, Memorial University and the University of Prince Edward Island. An international hub for ocean research, OFI brings together experts from both sides of the North Atlantic to explore the vast potential of the ocean.

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