The Norway-Pacific Ocean-Climate Scholarship Programme (N-POC) is an ambitious partnership in research and PhD training between the University of Bergen in Norway and the regional University of the South Pacific (USP).
As billions of people worldwide depend on the ocean for their livelihood and food sources and on the transboundary nature of ecological, social and cultural connections made by the ocean, increased efforts and interventions are needed to conserve and sustainably use ocean resources at all levels. The Pacific Islands region is the world’s only ocean continent, and Pacific-grounded research, science and innovation, including the local and regional knowledge developed through thousands of years by Pacific Islanders, are required to build a sustainable future for the ocean.
N-POC is a direct response to a call by leaders in the Pacific region for Pacific-based, locally driven interdisciplinary research that is grounded in regional needs. Rooted in locally and regionally defined priorities, and especially geared towards contributing to the regional accomplishment of Sustainable Development Goals 4 (quality education), 13 (climate action), 14 (life below water) and 17 (partnership for the goals), N-POC aims to lay the foundation for long-term, sustainable development and collaboration, and strengthening of ocean and climate research capacity in the Pacific.
The main objectives of N-POC are threefold:
(1) To build a strong interdisciplinary Pacific cohort of PhD researchers to address urgent challenges for ocean and climate;
(2) To build new multidisciplinary Pacific research on the ocean-climate nexus for regional and global policy impact;
(3) To build enduring partnerships between researchers and universities in Norway and the Pacific Islands.
Funded for 2021–2025 by Norway’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation, the programme comprises 24 fully funded PhD scholarships at the USP within ocean and climate research, ranging from the natural sciences to the social sciences and humanities. PhD candidates will be recruited from all 12 member countries of the USP, and from the other Pacific Small Island Developing States (PSIDS) of Papua New Guinea, Federated States of Micronesia and Palau. In the N-POC programme, all 24 PhD candidates are to be based at a graduate school at the USP’s Laucala campus in Suva, Fiji, but will be supervised jointly by researchers from both universities.
Official hashtag: #N-POC
Official flyer: N-POC flyer (4-p factsheet)