Quantitative Marine Science

The AIMS@JCU Quantitative Marine Science Programme

Why are we interested in specifically supporting quantitative marine science?    

Australia’s National Marine Science Plan Driving the development of Australia’s blue economy (download here) has identified quantitative marine science (QMS) as a critical national skills gap.  Development of marine scientists with advanced QMS skills and projects that utilise them, will enable better collation and integration of the growing quantum of research data and outputs.  In turn, this will help create a more thorough, integrative, holistic, and predictive understanding of the marine environment, to support better informed decision making by managers and users of the research.  Importantly, better computational and mathematical tools are needed to enable more effective integration of the voluminous ‘big data’ of the 21st century, which is so readily generated by modern research technology, such as comprehensive ocean observing systems and genomic analyses.

AIMS@JCU seeks to support the professional development of quantitative marine science skills in our scholarship recipients.  This investment is a strategic contribution to help close this skills gap, and build critical mass in tropical quantitative marine science in Australia.   

We recognise that during the course of their bachelor degrees, most marine science undergraduates receive very limited opportunity to develop the strong foundational skills (eg in physics, mathematics, computational science) necessary to embark on a strongly quantitative PhD.  In response, AIMS@JCU supports professional development in quantitative methods which are appropriate for the student and project.  For recipients of the AIMS@JCU scholarship, agreed additional funding support will be provided to meet the cost of this professional development.  Further, to accommodate the time required to develop and consolidate skills, an additional one year has been added to the scholarship which will now run for four years (instead of the usual 3 years).

Early in their tenure, AIMS@JCU scholarship recipients will be required to develop a professional development plan quantitative skills, which demonstrates at least 120 contact hours of professional development across the life of their PhD.  This plan must be appropriate to the skills development needs of the candidate and their project, and must be agreed to in advance by the student, their supervisors, and AIMS@JCU.  The components of professional development combined to make up this scholarship requirement can take many forms, and may include formal coursework (at JCU or another tertiary institution), informal coursework, online coursework, training provided by software companies, or internships with experts.