Collaborating with

Our Partners

has a wide range of international, national and regional research partnerships with leading marine laboratories that are important in sustaining diversity of thought processes, experiences and values as well as reputation and brand. Many of our staff are members of international advisory committees and some have adjunct positions in overseas institutions. 

Our most important partnership, in terms of education, research and culture, is with the University of the Highlands and Islands, the United Kingdom’s leading integrated university encompassing both further and higher education. The university partnership comprises of 13 independent colleges and research institutions, called academic partners, alongside an administrative function called Executive Office. The university is our pathway to Research Excellence Funding.

In 2012 became the first marine research institute in the world to be appointed an associated institution of the University of the United Nations (UNU).  This offers future opportunities to work internationally to promote research, postgraduate training and knowledge exchange, focusing especially on the challenges faced by developing nations.

In partnership with NERC we provide unique UK National Capability through long-term monitoring of the North East Atlantic and the provision of services and Facilities e.g. National Facility for Scientific Diving, Scottish Marine Robotics Facility and the Culture Collection for Algae and Protozoa.

Within Scotland we are founder members of two Scottish Funding Council research pooling initiatives:  (Scottish Alliance for Geoscience, Environment and Society) and  (Marine Alliance for Science and Technology for Scotland).

In partnership with three of Scotland’s national innovation centres: SAIC (Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre); IBiolC (Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre), and CENSIS (Centre of Excellence for Sensor and Imaging Systems), we translate academic science to meet societal and industrial challenges in key sectors.

Whilst does not hold any regulatory or statutory role, we work closely with colleagues in Marine Scotland, Scottish Natural Heritage, Scottish Environment Protection Agency and the Crown Estate in areas such as marine monitoring, habitat and species protection, and the development of regional marine spatial plans.

Locally we work with Highlands and Islands Enterprise regarding regional development in particular of the adjacent . We also contribute fully to the development of Oban into a mature university town in collaboration with a host of partners including Argyll College UHI, Ballet West, Argyll and Bute Council, Oban High School, the Oban Business Improvement District, Skills Development Scotland and the University of the Highlands and Islands.

We are actively pursuing strategic institution-wide partnerships with Texas A&M University (through UHI) and with a consortium of Norwegian universities (University Centre on Svalbard and the universities of Tromsø and Trondheim). We also have a part-time member of staff based in Mauritius to work with small island development states on blue economy projects.


Subject area research links

Our Arctic science portfolio is pursued through projects including Germany’s Alfred Wegner Institute, the Norwegian Polar Institute, and NOAA’s Earth Systems Research Laboratory. 

In aquaculture, our ongoing success in major EU-funded initiatives, followed by the GCRF Global Seaweed project, have led to strong connections across Europe, but also in China (Institute of Oceanology Chinese Academy of Sciences, Qingdao), Korea (Institute for Biotechnology, University Kongju), Tanzania (University of Dar es Salaam), Phillippines (Southeast Asia Fisheries Development Centre), Indonesia (Sam Ratulangi University), and with Peru’s top research university, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia. 

In other science areas, our active North American collaborators include Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, Duke University, University of Miami, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (Seattle) and the Bedford Institute of Oceanography (Canada); whilst in Europe they include Germany’s GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre (Kiel), Max Planck Institute for Chemistry and Biology of the Marine Environment (University of Oldenburgh) and Max Planck Institute for Meteorology (Hamburg) among many others.

We are members of the Partnership for Observation of the Global Ocean () and collaborate with the European Marine Biological Resource Centre () to share research infrastructure. 


To explore research collaborations, please contact our Director Professor Nick Owens (E: 


We currently have Erasmus exchange programmes with the  (Norway), the  (Germany); (the Netherlands); the  and the  (Spain) and the  (Croatia).

If you want to know more or begin a new exchange collaboration, please contact or Erasmus coordinator, Shona Magill (E:


We deliver a joint Master programme with the universities of Crete and Nantes (aquaculture). We also contribute to a Master programme by the Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre at Strathclyde University.


We are involved in doctoral training partnerships with the University of Edinburgh and the University of Southampton. Our researchers co-supervise students at many universities throughout Europe although most of our PhD students are registered at our closest partner, the University of the Highlands and Islands.

If you want to know more about postgraduate collaborations or begin a new one, please contact the head of our graduate school, Professor Bhavani Narayanaswamy (E: