It gives me great pleasure to introduce the Postgraduate Certificate in Researcher Professional Development for Marine Science and Technology (MASTS PG Cert), delivered by MASTS with support from the University of Strathclyde.

MASTS is a consortium of collaborating universities and organisations, representing marine science research capacity and education in Scotland.   Our Graduate School is at the heart of the community and we fund and support students across a wide variety of marine science and technology subjects.  We want to ensure that our graduates get the best support possible to become world-class researchers, capable of realising their aspirations.   Society will need leaders and influencers, innovators and creative minds if we are to tackle the challenges presented by an ever-changing world with a growing population.    This requirement for leadership has never been greater for the care of our oceans which make us the blue planet that we are.  We depend on the marine environment for food and resources, and yet the oceans are also the eventual sink for so much of the planet’s waste.   Through research and education, MASTS’ mission is to deliver healthy, clean, safe, productive, biologically diverse marine and coastal environments, which will continue to provide essential services for the planet and society into the future. 

As a leading international research organisation, our postgraduates are very much part of our community.  MASTS recognises the need to support the development of the next generation of researchers to be capable and equipped to work within and out with academia, and that is why we have introduced the MASTS PG Cert.    Through contextualised support and development in both your day-to-day research and for your broader aspirations, this unique MASTS PG Cert programme allows you to continually reflect upon your developing skills and understand where your development needs lie, so that you can focus your learning at each stage of your studentship.  By targeting your efforts towards professional development, the PG Cert allows you to create a flexible, bespoke programme of activities tailored specifically to support your growth into a highly skilled researcher, in high demand from a variety of employers.  Acknowledging the variety of places in which learning and development occurs, the programme rewards a variety of the activities you undertake, including formal training as well as informal and experiential learning, and we hope you will take full advantage of the many opportunities afforded to you during your studentship. 

MASTS is a close knit community, of which you are now part, and your supervisors and MASTS colleagues are here to support and guide you through your studentship.  Discuss your personal and professional development, and your research, with those around you. Doctoral research can be a roller coaster of successes and failures.  Both however, contribute to your development, strength and resilience as a person and a researcher. Your pro-active contribution means that you too will influence MASTS’ research capacity, reputation and future. 

I very much look forward to meeting you personally and wish your good luck for the coming years of your research studentship and the PG Cert RPD with MASTS. 

Professor David Paterson, Executive Director of MASTS

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