SCOR began a program in 2009 to enlist the services of ocean scientists, from both developed countries and developing countries, to teach short courses and to provide more extended on-site education and mentorship at developing country institutions.
This program is open to any scientists who have time available to spend teaching and mentoring in a developing country for two weeks or more. The scholarships are not intended to conduct joint research, although such research may develop as an outcome of a visit.
Hosting visiting scientists can have many benefits to host institutions, such as inspiring, motivating, and informing students and faculty, and leading to future collaborations between the visiting scientist and the host institution. The program is a partnership, with the host institution providing local accommodation and SCOR paying for airfares and other local expenses, as necessary. The participating scientists donate their time. Applicants may already have selected a host institution or SCOR will help identify hosts.
Awards for these scholarships are very competitive. For the 2017 program, 30 applications were received and only 5 scholarships were awarded. Identifying a host in advance is not required, but does provide a significant advantage to an applicant’s proposal. The program has awarded scholarships to scientists at all career levels, from Ph.D. students to retired professors, but because the purpose of the program is teaching and mentoring, extensive experience in working with students gives applicants a higher chance of success. Such experience should be highlighted in the application along with specifics regarding knowledge exchange.
SCOR will select Scholars through its Committee on Capacity Building, which will review the applications and the proposed work assignments at the host institutions. The number of scientists placed each year will depend on the number of applications received and funding available. Criteria for selection will include the following:
- Quality and relevance of the proposal focusing on knowledge exchange and mentoring
- Experience of the candidate and fit with the program (language skills, teaching/mentoring experience, subject areas requested by the institution)
- Needs of the host institution
- Plans by the host institution to build upon the training received