On the 27th November 2017, I received a voicemail from Paul at IMarEST. I’d been waiting in anticipation for this call for about a week, so shaking with nerves, I quickly rang him back, unsure whether this would be good or bad news. Paul asked whether I was “still interested in going to the Pacific Islands?”. Silly question, I was in. Having put the phone down, I excitedly rang my mum and dad, typically neither picked up (something to do with having a job). So instead, my boyfriend had to endure my shouts of excitement.
Some of you might be asking why I am going to the Pacific Islands and how this opportunity came about. So, here is the background.
In mid-2017, I applied for the David Henderson Inspiring Journey Grant, established by the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology (IMarEST) in memory of David Henderson, who sadly passed away in 2016. It was a 3-stage application process; the lucky recipient would receive £5,000 to undertake their own inspiring journey. IMarEST wanted the journey to inspire others to think differently about our oceans and seas. The 3-stages of the application were:
- A 500-word summary proposal.
- A more in-depth proposal, including projected finances, the timescale for research and risk assessment.
- An interview and presentation at the IMarEST headquarters.
At the time of applying I was undertaking my Master’s degree; Sea Level: From Coast to Global Ocean. I was the only person on my course so time with my supervisor was not hard to come by. During a meeting with my supervisor Chris, he mentioned the growing need to understand changing sea levels beyond the data which was being collected. This got me thinking; a light-bulb moment you could say. What if I could go beyond the data and see how changing sea levels are impacting coastal communities. This became my focus; where could I travel to within a £5,000 budget to witness the impact of changing sea levels?
After some research, I decided on the Pacific Islands. These highly vulnerable islands would surely be an ideal place to undertake such a study. I sent off my 500-word summary proposal in June and in August I heard that I had successfully been selected to continue to the next stage. So, at the same time as writing my Masters’ dissertation, I started to write a more-in-depth proposal, sending it off by the September deadline, only a few weeks after my dissertation deadline. Within a few days, I was contacted regarding the third and final stage, the interview.
The interview was held on the 26th October 2017 at IMarEST headquarters in London. The panel of interviewers included David Henderson’s mum and work colleagues of David. As part of the interview, I had to undertake a quick presentation to explain my proposal, which allowed me to add extra detail and highlight a few issues I had thought of after handing my proposal in. Having met David’s mum and work colleagues in person, I wanted this grant more than ever, but I did not know how many other candidates there were, nor what topics these candidates had applied with.
So, my wish came true and I was fortunate, and proud, to be selected.
My journey starts on 1st March 2018. I will be blogging my journey from start to finish; uploading as and when I have an internet connection. Follow this journey through my blogs, photos and experiences.
Now’s the time to Seas the Day!
A huge thank you to James Bass who sent me the information for the grant and told me I should apply.