The Marine Biological Association

Promoting marine scientific excellence and representing the marine biological community since 1884

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Research Awards & Grants

Ray Lankester Fellowship


The awards are intended to provide opportunities for established researchers to work at the Laboratory of the Marine Biological Association (Citadel Hill, Plymouth). The current value of the Ray Lankester Investigatorship is £1500 per calendar month for a maximum of five months. The funds can be used at the discretion of the investigator to enable the proposed schedule of work to be carried out, which must take place within 2 years of the award being made. Usually one Investigatorship will be awarded each year. Read more about the Ray Lankester Investigatorship

Peter Baker Fellowship

The awards are intended for post-doctoral scientists interested in research in marine biology. Applications are particularly encouraged from those interested in physiological research.  The Fellowship may be held at any time during the year and will provide living and travel expenses for the successful applicant to spend approximately two months working at the Laboratory of the Marine Biological Association, Plymouth. Usually one Fellowship will be awarded each year. Read more about the Peter Baker Fellowhip Molly Spooner Bursary

Molly Spooner Bursary 

Background

Dr Molly Spooner was an eminent marine biologist who worked at the MBA between 1936 and 1976. She was best known for her work on the effects of oil pollution which culminated in 1973 with her being appointed as chief adviser to the Department of the Environment on oil pollution precautions and procedures. Dr Spooner died in 1997 and bequeathed a sum of money to the MBA to encourage enterprising students to experience marine biological research at the MBA. Dr Spooner’s bequest has recently been kindly supported further by her family to increase the opportunities available to undergraduate students at the MBA.

Information for Applicants

Bursary: One bursary awarded annually and valued at £1500 for approximately 10 weeks work experience with an MBA Research Fellow’s group, usually taken up during the summer vacation.

Eligibility: This bursary is open to university-level students who are current undergraduates at the time of application (see closing date below) and who are interested in pursuing a research career. Applicants must be a current member of the MBA (see Membership at: https://www.mba.ac.uk/membership/). The bursary will be available from June 1st in any one year and can be taken up at any time thereafter during the summer period.

Application procedure: Interested students should first contact an MBA Research Fellow in an area of marine biological research you would like to work. The purpose of this is to register your interest in applying and for an MBA Fellow to outline a project you could potentially undertake in support of the research programme (see list of Fellows and their research interests at: https://www.mba.ac.uk/research-staff/). An application consisting of a cover letter together with a brief CV including at least one referee (preferably your academic tutor) should be sent by email to the MBA Director’s Secretary (email: sec@mba.ac.uk) by the closing date. The cover letter should detail why you are interested in working at the MBA and particularly in the research area identified, and why you think you should be considered for this bursary.

Closing date: 1st March annually.

G. Malcolm Spooner Bursary

Background

Malcolm Spooner, M.B.E. was a gifted zoologist who worked at the Marine Biological Association’s Laboratory in Plymouth for 41 years. Educated at Charterhouse and Christ’s College Cambridge he was appointed to the MBA staff in 1931 and did early work on the genetics of gammarids before carrying out pioneering studies on the uptake of radioactive fission products by seaweeds and marine animals. Malcolm initiated many generations of students into the wonders of shore collecting in the MBA Easter Classes.  He was also editor of the Journal of the Marine Biological Association (JMBA) for many years before his retirement in 1972. In addition to marine biology, Malcolm had many talents and interests, from his war-time codebreaking to his lifelong work in entomology, which started in his schooldays and continued into his final days in 1989. So also did his enthusiasm for nature conservation and his encouragement of young naturalists.

The G. Malcolm Spooner Bursary was established after his death in 1989 to enable university undergraduates to experience marine biological research at the MBA. Recently the Bursary fund has been kindly supported further by his family to increase opportunities for undergraduates interested in marine biology.

Information for Applicants

Bursary: One bursary awarded approximately every other year and valued at £1500 for approximately 10 weeks work experience with an MBA Research Fellow’s group, usually taken up during the summer vacation.

Eligibility: This bursary is open to university-level students who are current undergraduates at the time of application (see closing date below) and who are interested in pursuing a research career. Applicants must be a current member of the MBA (see Membership at: https://www.mba.ac.uk/membership/). The bursary will be available from June 1st in any one year and can be taken up at any time thereafter during the summer period.

Application procedure: Interested students should first contact an MBA Research Fellow in an area of marine biological research you would like to work. The purpose of this is to register your interest in applying and for an MBA Fellow to outline a project you could potentially undertake in support of the research programme (see list of Fellows and their research interests at: https://www.mba.ac.uk/research-staff/). An application consisting of a cover letter together with a brief CV including at least one referee (preferably your academic tutor) should be sent by email to the MBA Director’s Secretary (email: sec@mba.ac.uk) by the closing date. The cover letter should detail why you are interested in working at the MBA and particularly in the research area identified, and why you think you should be considered for this bursary.

Closing date: 30th April 2017.

 

Mary Parke Fund

Background

Dr Mary Parke FRS was an eminent phycologist who began working at the Marine Biological Association’s Laboratory in Plymouth in 1940 and remained there for the rest of her career. Mary made pioneering studies on the distribution, life-histories and systematics of marine phytoplankton and macroalgae. Her seminal work on the flagellates using new approaches in microscopy provided a catalyst that essentially established the field of marine phytoplankton. Her discovery and meticulous description of many marine planktonic species laid the foundations for future earth system science research that showed their importance in the global cycling of carbon dioxide and the production of volatile sulphur compounds. Her work was also of central importance to commercial mariculture; she not only described important flagellates but went on to demonstrate that one of these was indeed excellent food for oyster larvae. The flagellate cultures arising from her work were used in oyster farms throughout the world and enabled oyster culture to become a commercial proposition. Her contribution to science was recognised internationally by her election to honorary membership of the Royal Botanical Society of the Netherlands (1970), the Norwegian Academy of Sciences and Letters (1971) and to the Fellowship of the Royal Society (1972). Mary died in 1989 and as a tribute to her the Marine Biological Association and the British Phycological Society established a small fund to provide support for phycologists wishing to carry out research at the MBA.

Application procedure

Applications to the Mary Parke Fund are not currently being sought while the MBA attempts to build up the fund such that it will allow an annual bursary to be available in perpetuity. The MBA would kindly welcome any donations to the Mary Parke Fund. Please contact us through the Director’s Secretary on +44 (0)1752 426274 or by email to sec@mba.ac.uk, or visit the donations area on the MBA website (https://www.mba.ac.uk/donate/).

Student Bursaries

STUDENT BURSARIES 2017 The Association awards a number of bursaries each year to support Student Members and Young Marine Biologists of the Association attending marine biology related conferences and meetings. For 2017, quarterly bursaries for up to £100 each will be available.

Application Procedure Applications should be sent to the membership secretary at membership@mba.ac.uk. The application should include:

1)     A short statement on how you will contribute to the conference or meeting (e.g. poster, oral presentation, attendance only).

2)    How much are you applying for (we offer up to £100).

3)    What / where you are currently studying, and how you feel your attendance will be of benefit to you as a marine biologist.
Applications will be assessed by the Association.  Successful recipients will be expected to acknowledge the MBA’s support on any posters or presentations and produce a short report outlining how they benefited from attending the meeting, suitable for use on the MBA website.

The selection committee will look for several criteria; the type of event being run, if the applicant is attending only or contributing somehow, if the applicant has received funding from the MBA recently, and how they will benefit from attending.  MBA-run events may receive priority and anyone who has been awarded a grant during the last 12 months cannot receive another one.

Application Rounds 2017

Application Round 1 Submission period deadline 19th February, outcome notified ~1st March

Application Round 2 Submission period 19th February  – 1st May, outcome notified ~15th May

Application Round 3 Submission period 1st May – 15th July, outcome notified ~1st August 

Application Round 4 Submission period 15th July – 1st October, outcome notified ~15th October 

Example of bursary winner report

 

Undergraduate Prize
Each year, at the Plymouth University Awards Graduation Ceremony, the MBA provides a prize for the best marine-themed honours project, giving the best performing student a prize of their choice from the MBA shop, as well as a Professional membership subscription to the Association for one year, with online Journal.

Plymouth Marine Science and Education Foundation

The Plymouth Marine Science & Education Foundation (PlyMSEF) is a charitable body, established to provide funds to enable students and early career scientists to attend scientific conferences and symposia or to attend advanced training courses or workshops in the marine sciences. A grant of up to £400 may be awarded to successful candidates following scrutiny of their applications. Applicants for funding should be from one of the following Plymouth marine sciences organisations:

  • Diving Diseases Research Centre
  • Marine Biological Association
  • National Marine Aquarium
  • Plymouth Marine Laboratory
  • Sir Alister Hardy Foundation for Ocean Science
  • Plymouth University Marine Institute

The awards are usually advertised during October/November of any year, with a deadline date for submission towards the end of January. The Trustees of the PlyMSEF form the scrutiny panel and meet soon after this date to consider the applications and agree the awards – typically seven to nine per year. Successful applicants are announced at the end of February. To apply to this scheme it is not necessary to be a member of the MBA.

To download the latest application pack, visit the PlyMSEF page.