Malaita Solomon Islands (C) Leocadio Sebastian, CC BY 2.0 Via Wikimedia Commons

Ocean Country Partnership Programme Scholarships

Theme: Global challenges

The Ocean Country Partnership Programme (OCPP) Scholarships, funded through the UK’s Blue Planet Fund, offer a unique opportunity for students from the South Pacific to undertake a fully funded Master’s or PhD in marine science.

Our oceans are vital to all life on Earth, underpinning livelihoods, food security and cultural traditions for communities across the globe. However, the accumulation of marine pollution increasingly threatens fragile underwater ecosystems and has become one of the most pressing environmental issues of our time.

Universities and the people who research within them, have a vital role to play in tackling marine pollution and creating solutions to enable the sustainable use of marine resources.

Aimed at early to mid-career researchers from the Solomon Islands or Vanuatu who wish to develop a career in marine science, the OCPP scholarships will support world-class research and innovation in the area of marine pollution. Applications will also be accepted for PhD study from citizens of other Pacific Island countries.

Hosted by the University of the South Pacific, the scholarships will enable scholars from the South Pacific to harness their regional knowledge, conduct vital research and help develop solutions to marine environmental problems.

The aim of the scholarships is to support scientific research that will contribute to the conservation and sustainable management of marine resources. This first set of OCPP Scholarships will strengthen the capacity of partner countries in the South Pacific to tackle marine pollution, support the development of sustainable resource management and strengthen responses to marine environmental challenges.

The scholarships can facilitate a range of potential projects and research topics including:

  • Reducing marine pollution through action on land-based and aquatic-based sources, contributing to improved livelihoods and healthier environments.
  • Evidence gathering, tool and technology development, data analysis, modelling and the impacts of pollution on marine species, habitats and humans.

  • Applications are accepted under the OCPP marine pollution theme encompassing all forms of pollution including chemicals and heavy metals, nutrients and eutrophication, microbiological pollutants, pathogens and marine litter.

What does the scholarship include?

Scholarships will be awarded on an 18-month basis for Masters’ students and over 3 years for PhD candidates.  Each successful recipient will be entitled to:

  • Tuition fees (including general fees and health fees)
  • Living allowance
  • Research support grant
  • Travel grant (case by case basis)
  • Dependent, disability and maternity costs (case by case basis)

Eligibility criteria

  • Applicants for Master’s should be citizens of, and normally resident in, the Solomon Islands or Vanuatu.
  • Applications will be accepted for PhD study from citizens of other Pacific Island countries (Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, Tokelau, Samoa, Tonga and Tuvalu), but only if their research is focused on or directly applicable to Vanuatu or the Solomon Islands.
  • Should be working in or have significant experience of work in the areas of environment, fisheries and aquaculture science.
  • Should hold an undergraduate or bachelor’s-level degree.
  • Should propose a research topic which is innovative, timely, and likely to lead to clearly demonstrated wider impact beyond the academic community.
  • Applicants must meet the eligibility criteria for postgraduate study at the host University.

Degree programmes


Citizens of the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu are eligible to apply for a Master's in the following areas:

  • MA Environmental Management
  • MA Geography
  • MA Marine Management
  • Master of Agriculture
  • MSc Biology
  • MSc Chemistry
  • MSc Earth Science
  • MSc Environmental Science
  • MSc Geospatial Science
  • MSc Marine Science


Citizens of Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, Tokelau, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu are eligible to apply for a PhD in the following areas, but only if their research is focused on or directly applicable to Vanuatu or the Solomon Islands:

  • PhD Agriculture
  • PhD Biology
  • PhD Chemistry
  • PhD Earth Science
  • PhD Environmental Management
  • PhD Environmental Science
  • PhD Geography
  • PhD Marine Management
  • PhD Marine Science

How to apply

Applications must be completed through the online application form to be considered. If you don't already have an ACU account, you will need to set one up by clicking 'Get Started', in the top right-hand corner of the application login page.

We strongly advise all applicants to read all of the instructions and FAQs carefully before starting their application, and then complete all of the questions fully.

Applications are now open and will close on 3 November 2022.

Start your application
Solomon Shoreline (C) Alex Deciccio, CC BY SA 4.0 Via Wikimedia Commons

More information

Funded with UK aid from the UK government.

Image credits (from top): Malaita Solomon Islands (c) Leocadio Sebastian, CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.  Image of Solomon Shoreline (c) Alex DeCiccio, CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

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Theme: Global challenges