Cristina Galobart and Itziar Burgués, two PhD students at the Center for Advanced Studies in Blanes (CEAB-CSIC) are part of and collaborate with the OYSTER working group (Orienting Young Scientists of EuromaRine). Created in 2018, OYSTER (Orienting Young ScienTists of EuromaRine) is an independent working group funded by the EuroMarine network. OYSTER is dedicated to promoting and supporting opportunities for Early Career Researchers (ECRs) in marine science.
Since its foundation, OYSTER has continually connected with similarly oriented groups and institutions to collaborate on common goals and actions.
- Engage with and represent ECRs within the EuroMarine network.
- Provide skills development, networking opportunities, and professional support for ECRs.
- Develop initiatives to support and integrate ECRs within European marine research.
- Contribute towards capacity building for ECRs across EuroMarine member organisations.
Currently, one of the most important activities of the working group is its mentoring program for early-stage researchers working in Europe. The tutoring platform is a service available to the wider European marine science community: its use is not restricted to EuroMarine members and tutors may be from non-EuroMarine institutions.
In addition to this program, the working group organizes:
- Hosting Workshops: Hosting workshops to empower ECRs by supporting their personal and professional development through expert-led skill-sharing sessions.
- Fellowship Programme: Managing EuroMarine’s individual Fellowship Program that enables ECRs from EM member organizations to participate in advanced training courses.
- Mentorship Programme: Administering the EuroMarine Mentorship Program to match ECRs with a specific professional mentor from the EuroMarine network.
- ECR Conference Programme: An ECR Conference Program which awards the best oral presentation and poster by ECRs in international conferences
- Conducting Surveys: Conducting surveys to understand, address and disseminate needs and concerns of ECRs working on marine topics.
The OYSTER group is part of the Ocean Decade Alliance
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.
The group is comprised of more than 20 PhD and postdoctoral researchers. The group holds monthly virtual meetings and an annual in-person meeting coinciding with the EuroMarine General Assembly.