Call for Expression of Interest: Travel Grants for Two Early Career Ocean Professionals (ECOPs) to attend the 2024 All-Atlantic Forum in Ottawa, Canada.

  • July 02, 2024 | by AIR Centre

The AIR Centre announces the exciting opportunity for two (2) Early Career Ocean Professional (ECOP) to attend the Intergenerational Dialogue Session at the 2024 All-Atlantic Ocean Research and Innovation Alliance (AAORIA) Forum in Ottawa, Canada. 

This forum will take place from 8 to 10 October 2024 at the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa, Ontario.  Applications are welcome until 10 July 2024!

About the Event

Building on the success of the intergenerational dialogue at the Galway Statement 10-year anniversary, the Intergenerational Dialogue Session will be part of the 2024 All-Atlantic Ocean Research and Innovation Alliance (AAORIA) Forum in Ottawa, aiming to foster intergenerational dialogue and ensure the systematic integration of ECOP perspectives and ideas into policy formulation. The session will provide a platform for ECOPs to collaborate with senior ocean professionals, engage in thematic group work, and present innovative solutions to key ocean governance challenges to the representatives and policy makers of the All-Atlantic Ocean Research and Innovation Alliance.


  • Facilitate Intergenerational Exchange: Engage in meaningful dialogue with leaders, policymakers, and practitioners to share insights and opportunities in addressing Atlantic Ocean conservation and research and innovation priorities.
  • Promote Collaboration: Work together with ECOPs and senior ocean professionals from All-Atlantic countries to develop actionable solutions for challenges around the priority areas of coastal resilience and ocean observation.
  • Empower ECOPs as Leaders: Participate in policy discussions and receive mentorship from senior ocean professionals, showcasing your innovative ideas for sustainable ocean governance.

Thematic Priorities

  • Climate Change and Coastal Resilience: Develop outcome-oriented science for mitigating and adapting to climate change impacts, particularly for increasing coastal community resilience.
  • Ocean Observation and Modelling: Improve Atlantic Ocean observing and modelling capacities to support marine ecosystems and biodiversity.

Benefits of Participation

  • Networking: Connect with ocean professionals from across the Atlantic and beyond.
  • Mentorship: Receive guidance from senior professionals and enhance your professional development.
  • Impact: Contribute to the shaping of ocean-related policies and present your ideas to policymakers.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Affiliation: Eligible applicants must be affiliated to a Portuguese institution/organisation/initiative or to a African, Central and South American AIR Centre’s member country (Angola, Brazil, Cabo Verde, Colombia, Morocco, Guatemala, Nigeria and South Africa).
  • Career Stage: Must be an early career ocean professional (ECOP), following the UN definition: “An ECOP is a person that self-identifies as being early in their career, within 10 years or less of professional experience in any field related to the ocean. This definition includes post-secondary students and any volunteer roles, so not only employed/paid positions. The term ‘professional’ is used in order to be inclusive of professionals from various sectors of society.
  • Interest: Demonstrated interest in ocean-related research, innovation, and policy development.
  • Diversity: Encouraged participation from diverse backgrounds, including underrepresented groups in ocean sciences.

Application Process

To Apply:

  • Submit an Expression of Interest (EOI): Complete the EOI Form detailing your background, motivation, and expected contribution to the session.
  • Visa statement: In your application, please clearly state your eligibility to apply for a Canadian eTA or Visa. You can find out which one you need through this link.
  • Submission Deadline: 10 July 2024, 22:59 PM UTC. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, so applying before the deadline is encouraged.
  • Submission process: Save your EOI form and all relevant documentation in PDF format and email them to Tânia Li Chen (

Selection Process

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Selected candidates will be notified by 12 July 2024 (Friday). Upon selection, ECOPs must confirm their participation by 14 July 2024, 22:59 PM UTC (Sunday) and immediately apply for a visa, if applicable, by 16 July 2024.

Funding and Budget Considerations

ECOPs are expected to participate in activities from October 7th till the 10th, 2024. Travel Grants will cover visa fees, travel and accommodation as well as support for meals and local transportation. Note that support for meals and local transportation will be paid via reimbursement (see important details in the EOI form).

Contact Information

For more information about the call for Expression of Interest, please contact Tânia Li Chen (

Join us in Ottawa to make a difference in Atlantic ocean conservation and policy. We look forward to your participation!