Cawthron Scholarship - Enabling Open Ocean Aquaculture Project


Cawthron Scholarship - Enabling Open Ocean Aquaculture Project

Scholarship project: Working as part of the Enabling open ocean aquaculture project to design and develop electronic equipment to be used to record conditions and changes in open ocean environments.


Scholarship term: Approx. 10 weeks beginning in November 2019

Scholarship base: Cawthron Institute, Nelson (help organising accommodation will be provided)

Scholarship stipend: $5000

Applications close: 9th August 2019 


Background to project 

The application of shellfish and seaweed aquaculture in open ocean environments is in its infancy. New engineering concepts and new approaches are needed to maximise the sustainable production of these crops in the potentially challenging exposed open ocean environment.

 The “Enabling Open Ocean Aquaculture” project is designing equipment to farm shellfish and seaweed in such conditions. The structural designs are on schedule and prototypes have already been installed. Development of a variety of electronic sensors and systems will lead to data gathering and automation of aquaculture units at sea.


Objectives and outcomes of scholarship project 

The scholar will, assist in the design, building and testing of electronic units which will ultimately be deployed underwater on marine farms. This will require creative design so that the testing components function practically in exposed and inaccessible locations. An example of a project could be: Linking pre-made electrical recording components together to a single data logger and power source and structuring the device in such a way to function for 4 weeks, submerged by 20m, in the open ocean. All equipment and materials will be provided.


Student requirements

  • Successfully completed at least 1 year of tertiary education course (as of Nov 2019)
  • NZ citizen or resident
  • Interest in electronics
  • Excellent and creative problem-solving skills
  • With oversight, be able to: design electronic units, build circuit-boards, assist with programming and carry out testing
  • Persistence
  • Excellent computer literacy
  • Well organised and thorough approach to design and testing
  • Good evaluation skills
  • Interest in aquaculture or ocean environments



To apply for this scholarship project, you will need to provide the following:


  1. A cover letter
  2. CV
  3. Letter of recommendation from tertiary institution
  4. Grade Point Average (GPA) or similar for years of tertiary study


Cawthron scholarships overview  

Cawthron scholars are guided by our scientists to develop the skills and knowledge needed to solve pressing environmental issues as well as providing students with work-place experience. There are three scholarships available.  

  • Sir Theodore Rigg scholarship - male or female undergraduate students
  • Kathleen Curtis scholarship - female undergraduate students
  • Te Pītau Whakarei Karahipi - Maori undergraduate students or students enrolled in Maori Studies, offered in partnership with Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga.


If you have questions, please contact Kat –



Job no: FZAM92292

Location: Nelson - Halifax Street, Nelson - Glenhaven

Closing Date: Sunday 11 August 2019