IOI EMB Bursary

The Elisabeth Mann Borgese Bursary (EMB Bursary)


The EMB Bursary was established by IOI as a means of demonstrating both recognition to the host country of the IOI – Malta – for hosting the IOI Headquarters and providing facilities for staff and offices and also to achieve the establishment of a memorial to the founder of the IOI. Thus the EMB Bursary consists of a sum of Euros 3,500 (Euros three thousand five hundred), which may be used by the awardee in furthering her/his research in ocean related studies over the period of an academic year and is awarded to one successful applicant from students or staff of the University of Malta carrying out postgraduate studies in the field of marine sciences, ocean governance and/or maritime affairs. Applicants must be registered with the University of Malta Faculties of Science, Laws, or other Faculty, Institute or Centre where research in the relevant field is carried out. Registration on a programme at the University of Malta should be valid for the duration of the bursary.


The awardee shall use the Bursary to assist in furthering her/his studies/research in ocean/marine-related studies at the University of Malta.


Expected Outcomes: the EMB Bursary

  • constitutes a further recognition and acknowledgement of the role of Prof. Elisabeth Mann Borgese, founder of IOI and her considerable achievements.
  • encourages further research in the field of marine sciences, ocean governance and/or maritime affairs in matters relating to the governance of the seas and oceans and which tallies with the interests of the IOI in this field.
  • endows the research capabilities of talented researchers in the areas of ocean/marine research.
  • contributes towards IOI's outreach and capacity building mandate.

Previous winners of the EMB Bursary since 2010 have worked on diverse research areas in geography, conservation genetics, maritime law and engineering within the scope of marine and maritime related studies at the University of Malta. Past work has focused on proposed stakeholder managed Marine Protected Areas in Malta; the collection of genetic data on the bluntnose sixgill shark, Hexanchus griseus,with the aim of working on species preservation; the study of the concept of State of Disembarkation in the context of migration law and its links to principles enshrined in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea; a study on renewable energy using ocean thermocline energy extraction; studies on the influence of tuna penning activities on macrofaunal assemblages; and studies on microplastics in Maltese waters (Central Mediterranean) and their impacts on selected marine species in compliance with the European Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) obligations.

Award of the EMB Bursary 2017/2018 to Ms. Therese Ellul & Dr. Stefano Moncada, Bursary awardee 2016/2017
Award of the EMB Bursary 2017/2018 to Ms. Therese Ellul & Dr. Stefano Moncada, Bursary awardee 2016/2017

2017-2018 EMB Bursary


The 2017 EMB Bursary is being awarded to Ms. Therese Ellul, a postgraduate research student at the Department of Biology of the University of Malta, to further her research entitled "The ecology of potentially invasive alien macroalgae in Maltese waters”. This research seeks to record and monitor invasive alien seaweeds introduced in Maltese waters and to study their impacts on native marine biota and their habitats. Particular attention is being paid to recently introduced green algae of the genus Caulerpa ( which are becoming invasive and which may be having an impact on some marine ecosystems of high biological and socio-economic importance, including meadows of the Neptune Grass Posidonia oceanica. As an additional benefit to the University of Malta, any equipment purchased specifically with EMB Bursary funds to complete the research, shall be donated to the University, for the use and benefit of other research projects and researchers and arrangements are being through the Head of the Department of Biology.


The 2016 EMB Bursary awarded to Dr Stefano Moncada to carry out research titled “Climate Coping Strategies, Economic Wellbeing and Sustainability in Vulnerable Coastal Communities” has also come to its conclusion this October with the successful achievement of the research aims for the EMB Bursary award. The main scope of the research was to identify the coping strategies adopted in reaction to climate variability and change, and to discuss their implications for economic wellbeing and for long-term sustainability.


Information about the 2017/2018 EMB Bursary awardee is available on the University of Malta website.