Challenger Society for Marine Science

The Stepping Stone Early Career Bursary Scheme

The Stepping Stones Early Career Bursary scheme is designed to support career development of members of the UK marine science community who do not have current indefinite employment. The scheme can provide modest amounts of support (up to £1000 per grant) for activities designed to enhance the career prospects for researchers, but not to provide direct salary support.

Bursaries can be used for research related activities including but not limited to travel, collaborative visits, laboratory or field work and conference participation. Bursaries may, for example, be used to develop existing research, explore new research ideas, develop grant applications, establish or further new research collaborations, carry out public engagement activities, participate in conferences, pay for laboratory costs, cover expenses for field work, or attend workshops. Bursaries are open to PhD candidates (PhD thesis submitted) or post-doctoral researchers, particularly those seeking employment in a research environment post-qualification, and to active researchers between fixed term contracts, or researchers wishing to return to research after a break, such as maternity leave or illness.

Criteria

  1. The maximum amount that any individual can be allocated in any one funding round will be £1000. Individuals are only eligible to receive one bursary in any three year period.
  2. Applicants must provide evidence of recent research activity eg. publications, PhD studies, participation in research campaigns.
  3. Applications are not permitted from researchers holding permanent positions. Those holding fixed term contracts may apply in the 6 months before the end of their contract. Applications are welcome from active or recently active researchers that are currently unemployed
  4. Salary costs are not eligible to be covered.
  5. Applicants must be early career researchers, i.e. applications must be made within 10 years of their PhD submission date.

Application Procedure

The application forms are available here and notes for guidance of applicants are here


Please submit your application to Sophie Wilmes (s.wilmes@bangor.ac.uk).


Applicants must provide:

  1. Evidence of recent research activity
  2. Evidence or statement of employment status
  3. Description of research activity applied for, including costings
  4. Benefit of research activity to both the applicant and marine science research and/or the marine science community
  5. A statement from a marine scientist referee in support of the application

Applications will be considered quarterly (deadlines:  January 15th, April 15th, July 15th and October 15th)).
The society aims to fund four bursaries per year.
A bursary report must be submitted to the society within two months of the end of the research activity.
Funds will be released once the application has been approved. A statement of spend (including receipts) is required with the bursary report.

If you have any questions regarding the Stepping Stones Early Career Bursary scheme please contact Dr Sophie-Berenice Wilmes (s.wilmes@bangor.ac.uk).

Past awardees
Anna Belcher 2016: US cruise in the Eastern Tropical North Pacific. Read about her experience at sea and the personal benefits she gained from the bursary on our blog page.

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NOC Association of Marine Science National Capability Beneficiaries | National Oceanography Centre

The March 2021 minutes of the Marine Facilities Advisory Board are available here: Marine_Facilities_Advisory Board_March_2021_minutes.pdf (noc.ac.uk)

Are your institution’s details up to date on the The UK Marine Science and Technology Compendium?  If not, please let the Secretary know.
Secretary to the NOCA and MFAB: Jackie Pearson, jfpea@noc.ac.uk National Oceanography Centre

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