Women in ocean science: Canadian research programmes announced

women in ocean science
© iStock/damircudic

The World Maritime University (WMU) will conduct a major research project on the theme of empowering women in the maritime research sector.

The project, whose full title is ‘Empowering Women for the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development’, was announced by WMU President Dr Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry and Canadian Hydrographer General Dr Genvieve Béchard on behalf of the Government of Canada. It is supported by the Canadian government’s Department of Fisheries and Oceans; and will examine gender equality and women’s empowerment within the field of ocean-based scientific research, with particular focus on oceanography, hydrography, fisheries and the widespread maritime impacts of climate change.

As part of its ongoing effort to encourage women in ocean science, WMU has also launched a PhD scholarship and a post-doctoral fellowship, aimed at research proposals featuring innovative policy initiatives and scientific approaches which recognise and promote gender equality. Both programmes are sponsored by the Government of Canada within the parameters of the United Nations’ Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development. The scholarship and fellowship cover the following thematic fields:

  • Diplomacy and international relationships within ocean science;
  • Governance systems in the ocean science sector; and
  • The role of gender equality and breaking down sexism in conducting and delivering ocean science research.

In the Terms of Reference for its academic programmes, WMU says: ‘Canada is a leader in ocean affairs and is committed to international ocean science efforts including the implementation of the Oceans Protection Plan 2016. Cognizant [sic] of the relationship between healthy and sustainable oceans and a prosperous economy, in 2018 the Government of Canada announced support for the UN Decade of Ocean Science which includes the intention to advance gender issues to support equal participation of women in marine scientific research and with respect to the uptake of science in policy-making.’

Applications for WMU’s scholarship and the post-doctoral fellowship programmes will close on 30 June.


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