Ocean Country Partnership Programme Scholarships South Pacific

A unique opportunity to undertake a fully funded Master’s in marine science in the South Pacific. 

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

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

Aimed at early to mid-career researchers from the Solomon Islands or Vanuatu who wish to develop a career in marine science, the OCPP South Pacific scholarships will support world-class research and innovation in the area of marine science.

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, and strengthen responses to marine environmental challenges.  The scholarships will also make a positive and tangible impact on the livelihoods of coastal communities that depend on healthy marine ecosystems.

What does the scholarship include?

Scholarships will be awarded to Masters’ students. 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)

OCPP Scholarships South Pacific students studying at the University of the South Pacific are expected to begin their studies in-person at one of USP’s campuses in the South Pacific region. For most courses this will be in Fiji. There is a possibility that some of the later part of the degree programme may be completed remotely from the student's home country, but this is dependent on the individual's research project.

Eligibility criteria

  • Applicants for Master’s should be citizens of, and normally resident in, the Solomon Islands or Vanuatu.
  • Applicants must meet the eligibility criteria for postgraduate study at the University of the South Pacific.

  • 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.

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
  • MSc Climate Change

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. Encompassing all forms of pollution including chemicals and heavy metals, nutrients and eutrophication, microbiological pollutants, pathogens and marine litter.
  • Improved marine biodiversity and livelihoods by protecting and enhancing marine ecosystems, reducing pressures and increasing resilience, and enabling sustainable and equitable access to, and use of, these resources.
  • Evidence gathering, tool and technology development, data analysis, modelling and the impacts of pollution on marine species, habitats, biodiversity and humans.
  • We also encourage topics which integrate traditional knowledge and traditional ocean management techniques.

‘Indigenous Knowledge plays a critical role in enabling resilience and facilitating climate change adaptation for coastal communities in Vanuatu…The OCPP Scholarships enable our member countries in the South West Pacific to dig deep into the local level research that touches the hearts of those who are most vulnerable to the impact of climate change.’ 

OCPP Scholarships South Pacific PhD candidate, Allan Rarai

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 applicants to read all of the application guidance and FAQs carefully, before starting their application, and then complete all questions in full.

Applications are now closed.

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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