GMIT and MI launch unique competition for 'transition' students

Opportunity for Galway and Mayo students to conduct research on Celtic Voyager


Press Office

Date Article Written: 

Friday, September 7, 2012

Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT) and the Marine Institute (MI) have launched a unique photo competition offering ten transition year students in Galway and Mayo an opportunity to conduct scientific research on the MI research vessel, The Celtic Voyager, in October. The competition, titled “Water: Our greatest resource”, is one of a series of events and activities marking GMIT’s 40th anniversary celebrations this academic year.

The ten successful applicants will depart Galway Docks on Sunday 7 October to conduct a marine survey centred on the core disciplines of Benthic Ecology, Fisheries Biology, Marine Geophysics and Oceanography. The expedition will be led by experienced scientific personnel from the Strategic Marine Alliance for Research and Training (SMART) and GMIT.

Using state of the art equipment and instrumentation, students will work alongside scientists to investigate physical, chemical and biological aspects of Galway Bay and learn about potential careers in marine science and technology. Ireland is poised to realise the full potential of her ocean resource and transition year students with a strong aptitude for science, engineering and technology now have an opportunity to whet their appetite for this adventure.

Applicants are invited to submit a photograph, with caption, of an aspect of Ireland's ocean that interests them, explaining its significance in 200 words, to the GMIT Facebook page: The application should be supported by the secondary school’s transition year coordinator and a letter of permission from parent or guardian. The closing date for applications online is Friday 21 September, 2012. For further information, contact GMIT Schools Liaison Office at or visit

Dr Des Foley, Head of the School of Science, and Research & Innovation, GMIT, says the Institute is deeply grateful to the Marine Institute for allowing GMIT students and staff access to Marine Institute vessels over the years. “These trips have given our students and graduates a fantastic opportunity to train at sea and to acquire practical skills which are second-to-none. I also thank our own staff, some of whom are now retired, who developed and delivered these ship-based training and education programmes. This competition, marking our 40th anniversary, recognises their innovation.”

Dr Peter Heffernan, CEO of the Marine Institute, welcomes this Science@Sea initiative saying: “This competition and the work of the Strategic Marine Alliance for Research and Training (SMART) programme highlights the importance of creating opportunities towards a student’s professional development and career. The programme continues to provide quality offshore training for students of marine science, technology and engineering which is highly relevant to the realisation of the economic potential of our marine resources”.