OYSTER (Orienting Young ScienTists of EuromaRine) is the EuroMarine group of Early Career Scientists (ECRs).
Origin and purpose
The origin of OYSTER dates back to 2016, when EuroMarine funded under its competitive call a proposal that aimed at facilitating the creation of a 'young scientists', bottom-up driven network within the wider EuroMarine network. Members of this initial working group recruited young scientists from EuroMarine member organisations, who subsequently submitted two successful proposals (in 2018 and 2019) to autonomously set-up and advance OYSTER.
The OYSTER group itself was created in 2018. As an independent working group within the EuroMarine network, it aims at furthering the marine landscape of early career researchers. The group is made up of a forum of more than 20 PhD and postdoctoral researchers. OYSTER calls for and recruits new members every year, aiming at maximizing the number of EuroMarine institutions, countries and disciplines represented in the group.
The OYSTER group represents the views and needs of ECRs within the EuroMarine network and acts as a link to other ECRs within the network’s member organisations. The general aims of the OYSTER group are to:
- engage with and represent ECRs within the EuroMarine network
- contribute towards the cohesive outreach and capacity building of ECRs across EuroMarine member organisations
- develop initiatives to support and integrate ECRs within the European marine landscape
Activities and projects
The OYSTER group carries out a large number of activities, including:
- workshops to empower ECRs by supporting their personal and professional development through expert-led skill-sharing sessions
- surveys to understand, address and disseminate needs and concerns of ECRs working on marine topics
- the management of the EuroMarine's individual fellowship program for ECRs from EM member organizations to participate in advanced training courses
- an ECR Conference Program which awards the best oral presentation and poster by ECRs in international conferences
- design and (imminent) launch of a mentorship platform by which any European ECR will be able to seek the mentorship of volunteer, senior EuroMarine researchers
The mere existence of OYSTER triggered initiatives outside OYSTER, which target EuroMarine ECRs:
- the above mentioned EuroMarine fellowship program, launched in 2017 (and now managed directly by OYSTER)
- the Joint EuroMarine-EMBRC program launched in 2020 to let ECRs access state-of-the-art European infrastructures and services for their experimental work
OYSTER also has a number of projects and plans that will be implemented as funding becomes available; this includes:
- a new implementation of the mentorship platform as a standalone tool
- a standalone OYSTER website
- an increased number of outreach activities
- an increased support for ECR capacity development
- a wider scope of activities covered by the individual fellowship grant program supported by EuroMarine
- an annual "small-grant" program
- joint projects with external organizations and networks, including other ECR groups and NGOs
In 2020, the OYSTER network officially joined the Ocean Decade Alliance, a global coalition of ocean actors working together to support, enhance, and leverage commitments towards the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development.
More on OYSTER activities and milestones
Links to dynamically compiled lists of OYSTER-specific activities, calls, documents and other news will be available here in the future. In the meantime, you can consult the following webpages.
- OYSTER milestones
OYSTER benefited from three funded proposals (in 2016, 2018 and 2019). From 2020 onwards, EuroMarine will grant recurrent yearly funds to OYSTER.
External funding - OYSTER Patrons
OYSTER welcomes external financial support, which allows the OYSTER network to expand, while increasing the number of activities offered and enhancing the quality of services delivered. Future activities will serve the wider ECR community across Europe, and simultaneously support the objectives of the UN Ocean Decade.
BNP Paribas supports the activities of OYSTER as a patron since late 2019.