2021 Open Call for Shipboard Fellowship

General Information

16 Feb 2021 to 30 Nov 2021

The Partnership for Observation of the Global Ocean (POGO) offers a shipboard training fellowship programme which is designed to promote training and capacity development building leading towards a global observation scheme for the ocean.

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is a challenging obstacle for ocean observing activities. Oceanographic cruises were severely impacted in 2020 and are likely to be disrupted to some degree in the coming months or years. 

Nevertheless, we are optimistic that scientific cruises will slowly return to normal activity, and provide training opportunities to early career scientists. 

In these uncertain times, it is likely that shipboard placements will be made available at shorter notice than normal. In order to make best use of these opportunities, the POGO Secretariat is issuing an Open Call for applications from any early career 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.

The POGO secretariat will maintain a database of all qualified, interested candidates and, as training opportunities become available, will create shortlists by evaulating suitability for the particular project on offer.

The application form asks about the candidate's specific training interests, including geographical areas and research/training topics. It also asks about availability to travel during 2021. For the latter, please consider any dates where you have prior commitments, but disregard local/international COVID-19 imposed travel restrictions at the time of application. These are in constant flux, and will be considered case-by-case when shortlists are compiled.

Priority areas

Dependent on each particular fellowship opportunity.  Suitable candidates will be contacted with further details.

What is offered

The selected candidate will usually have the opportunity to visit the host institution for one month prior to the start of the cruise to participate in cruise preparation and planning; and to go on the cruise.

In some cases the fellowship will include one additional month back at the host institution after the cruise for further training in sample and data analysis and interpretation.


Who can apply

This fellowship program is open to early career 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

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. Additionally, the parent supervisor recommendation letter needs to be submitted as a hard copy.  The recommendation letter must be provided on institutional letterhead and signed by the supervisor.

Please note that the application form includes sections on the applicant's background and training requirements, capacity building intentions, a 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 must 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: This is an open-ended call, and we will review applications as they come in.  Candidates will be contacted if they are considered to be suitable matches for shipboard fellowships as they become available.

Review process

Representatives from POGO and the host institution 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.

Applications will only be considered if:

  1. They are completely written in English;
  2. The applicant has a background and/or is currently working in Marine Sciences;
  3. Recommendation letters are specific to this shipboard training opportunity.


  1. The fellowship will provide the costs of a round-trip ticket between the home institute of the trainee and the host institution; subsistence allowance for up to 2 month’s stay in the host country depending on the particulars of the proposed training; the flight to and from the departure port; accommodation in the host institution country; accommodation in the ship departure port; 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 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.