Marine Policy Masterclass

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General information

This trans-disciplinary Masterclass has been developed to enhance your career progression and bridge the gap between scientific knowledge and policy definition. Both theory and practice will be shared openly through the application of ‘Chatham House Rules’, enabling you to experience an honest reflection of real-world marine science and policy interaction. Just 15 researchers will have exclusive access to specialists in international policy, environmental research, socio-economics and marine law. Topics covered will include:

  • Context: The changing perspective on use, value and conservation of oceans
  • What to tell the Minister? Status, threats, social and economic risks to the marine environment
  • An ecosystem approach to marine management
  • Marine law at the international, EU and UK levels
  • Designer seas. Marine spatial planning and the technogarden
  • The future of ocean governance
  • Whose values? Valuing marine ecosystems. Lessons from NERC’s Valuing Nature Networks
  • Uncertainty: Predicting the effects of climate change
  • The influencers: Communicating risk and uncertainty to policymakers
Learning outcome:

This course has the following five expected learning outcomes for attending students:

  1. A comprehensive understanding of the current and emergent political and scientific issues on the global marine environmental agenda and an introduction to relevant international marine law.
  2. Knowledge of the challenges of implementing policies that deal with uncertainty and of the use of multidisciplinary science to address them.
  3. An understanding of the potential (and limitations) of current approaches for valuing marine systems and managing the uncertainties related to them.
  4. Best practice techniques for communicating risk and uncertainty in marine systems, particularly to policymakers/regulators
  5. International best practice techniques to apply science to policy

This exclusive, fully-funded residential Marine Policy Masterclass is the first of its kind in the UK. It provides access to senior national and international advisers who will openly share their knowledge and experience of current and emergent political and scientific agendas, the challenges of communicating and handling uncertainty, and how to ensure your research is taken seriously at a policy level.

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Venue: The Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS)
Oban, United Kingdom

Scottish Marine Institute
Oban, Argyll PA37 1QA, UK 



This course is free of charge for current PhD students and early career scientists with at least 50% NERC funding. Accommodation, subsistence costs and reasonable travel within the UK will be funded by NERC for eligible students, but places are strictly limited and you must undertake an application process. If funds allow, additional support may be available for overseas students. 


Applications are now open for just 15 PhD students and/or early career researchers who wish to take part in this intensive programme; designed to fast-track international collaboration and improve your knowledge and confidence in applying for international funding. 

Application Procedure:

Please complete and submit this online application form to be considered for the course. The closing date for applications is 12 noon on Monday 1st December 2014.  


Academic level: PhD
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