2019 NF-POGO-PML Shipboard Training Fellowship onboard AMT cruise

General Information

9 Sep 2019 to 20 Dec 2019

The AMT Programme

The Atlantic Meridional Transect (AMT) programme (www.amt-uk.org) began in 1995, utilising the passage of the RRS James Clark Ross through the Atlantic Ocean between the UK and the Falkland Islands (50°N to 52°S, a distance of over 13,500 km) southwards in September and northwards in April each year. The transect crosses a range of ecosystems from sub-polar to tropical, and from eutrophic shelf seas and upwelling systems to oligotrophic mid-ocean gyres. The scientific aims included an assessment of mesoscale to basin-scale phytoplankton processes, the functional interpretation of bio-optical signatures and the seasonal, regional and latitudinal variations in mesozooplankton dynamics. The programme provided a platform for international scientific collaboration, including the calibration and validation of SeaWiFS measurements and products. The measurements of hydrographic and bio-optical properties, plankton community structure and primary production completed on the first 12 transects (1995-2000) represent the most coherent set of repeated biogeochemical observations over ocean-basin scales. This unique dataset has led to several important discoveries concerning the identification of oceanic provinces, validation of ocean colour algorithms, documentation of distributions of picoplankton, identification of new regional sinks of pCO2 and quantification of variability in rates of primary production and respiration.

In 2002, the programme restarted (2002­-2006) and broadened, to address a suite of cross­-disciplinary research questions concerning ocean plankton ecology and biogeochemistry and their links to atmospheric processes. The objectives included the determination of 1) how the structure, functional properties and trophic status of the major planktonic ecosystems vary in space and time; 2) how physical processes control the rates of nutrient supply, including dissolved organic matter, to the planktonic ecosystem; and 3) how atmosphere-ocean exchange and photodegradation influence the formation and fate of organic matter.

Between 1995 and 2017, the programme has included 27 research cruises, involving more than 250 scientists from >22 countries, contributing to over 300 refereed publications and 75 PhD theses. AMT continues to contribute to science and policy development including the social and economic understanding of the marine environment and services it delivers. This unique spatially extensive decadal dataset continues to be deposited and made available to the wider community through the British Oceanographic Data Centre (www.bodc.ac.uk).

AMT-29 will take place in October-November 2019 between the UK and the Falkland Islands, as part of a long-term multi-disciplinary ocean observation programme, a platform for national and international scientific collaboration, a training arena for the next generation of oceanographers and an ideal facility for validation of novel technology.

Documents available to download:

POGO-PML AMT Fellowship Flyer 2019

POGO-PML AMT Fellowship Announcement 2019

Priority areas

Two fellowships are being offered, and the successful candidates will focus on one of the areas of work specified below, in which he or she should have a particular scientific interest:

Lead PI: Dr Gavin Tilstone (ghti@pml.ac.uk);
Research area: Bio-optical discrimination of phytoplankton size based on absorption properties

Lead PI: Dr. Giorgio Dall’Olmo (gdal@pml.ac.uk)
Research area: Optical backscattering measurements along the Atlantic Meridional Transect

The topics align with the research interests of the Principle Investigators from PML, who will be the supervisors of the Fellows during the training period.

What is offered

The selected candidates will have the opportunity to:

- Visit Plymouth Marine Laboratory (PML) in the UK, for one month prior to the start of the cruise to participate in cruise preparation and planning;

- Go on the cruise (6th October to 17th November 2019) and help make hydrological, bio-optical and/or ecological observations; and

- After the cruise, spend approximately one additional month at PML, learning to analyse the results statistically and interpret them.


Documents available to download:


POGO-PML AMT Fellowship Announcement 2019


Who can apply

This fellowship program is open to early scientists, technicians, postgraduate students (PhD or MSc) and Post-doctoral Fellows involved in oceanographic work at centres in developing countries and countries with economies in transition.

For a list of currently eligible countries, visit this page on the OECD website.

How to apply

The applicant needs to e-mail one of the PIs listed below with a short CV and a statement of interest outlining their current research and what they hope to gain from the training. They may also be encouraged to submit a project outline to the prospective supervisor. Although the area of work is well defined, there may be some flexibility in the project definition, which can be negotiated by e-mail between the applicant and the supervisor prior to submitting the application. Based on the information submitted by the applicant, the PI will decide if their profile is suitable for the project, and if so will issue an acceptance letter.

Lead PI: Dr Gavin Tilstone (ghti@pml.ac.uk);
Research area: Bio-optical discrimination of phytoplankton size based on absorption properties

Lead PI: Dr. Giorgio Dall’Olmo (gdal@pml.ac.uk)
Research area: Optical backscattering measurements along the Atlantic Meridional Transect

Important note: the prospective supervisor should be contacted as soon as possible, and no later than Monday 29th April 2019, to allow sufficient time for the supervisor to consider the application before the submission deadline.

Only when the acceptance letter has been obtained from the prospective host supervisor can the application be submitted.

Fellowship applicants should complete and submit the electronic application form (click on the APPLY HERE link at bottom of this section) together with a recommendation letter from the parent supervisor and a letter of acceptance from the prospective host supervisor. Additionally, the parent supervisor recommendation letter needs to be submitted as a hard copy.

Please note that the application form includes sections on the applicant's background and training requirements, capacity building intentions, a summary CV, and a fellowship proposal. In case of unstable internet connections, we recommend preparing this text in an offline document, then copy-pasting into the  online form.

If short-listed, the candidate may be asked to undergo an informal telephone/video conferencing interview.

Applications and recommendation letters should be written in English and letters submitted/uploaded in pdf format. It is recommended that descriptive sections be limited to about 100 - 150 words. Please use font sizes of 10 pt or larger. Only applications that are complete in all respects will be considered for the Fellowship.

Mail signed original parent supervisor recommendation letter to: 

POGO Secretariat

Plymouth Marine Laboratory

Prospect Place, The Hoe


Devon PL1 3DH

United Kingdom


Deadline: The deadline for applications for the 2019 fellowship is Monday 6th May 2019All applicants will be informed of the decision within two months of the deadline.


Review process

Representatives from POGO and AMT will review the applications. In their decision-making, the Selection Committee will consider the following points:

  1. Quality of the application;
  2. Curriculum of the applicant;
  3. Evidence that the training will lead to capacity-building with potential lasting impact on regional observations.


  1. The fellowship will provide the costs of a round-trip ticket between the home institute of the trainee and Plymouth; subsistence allowance for up to two months’ stay in the UK depending on the particulars of the proposed training (at a rate of 1100 EUR per month, normally for one month before the cruise and one month after the cruise); the flight back from the Falkland Islands; accommodation in UK (to join ship); accommodation in the Falkland Islands (on leaving ship); ship messing fee; seafaring medical and sea survival course.
  2. The trainee’s institute will bear all expenses incurred by the fellow in his/her own nation (domestic travel, visa costs, personal insurance etc.), and the host institute (PML) will waive any bench fees that they may normally charge trainees.
  3. POGO assumes no responsibility for compensation in the event of sickness, accident, death or disability of a Fellowship holder, nor does it arrange for insurance of a trainee or reimburse premiums paid therefore. It is the responsibility of the trainee to arrange travel insurance to cover the time taken to travel to the ship and for the subsequent return home, as well as to ensure suitable insurance cover is provided by the parent institute for the duration of the cruise.
  4. The trainees are not considered agents or members of the staff of POGO, and shall not be entitled to any privileges, immunities, compensation or reimbursements, except as otherwise provided herein, nor are the trainees authorised to commit POGO to any expenditure or other obligation.
  5. The trainee and the supervisors at the parent and host institutes are required to provide a short progress report at the end of the training period, to evaluate the success of the fellowship programme.