Masters Studentship: Investigation of close links in marine energy firms in Ireland and Wales

Post Title: Masters Studentship, Innovation as a quadruple helix of university-industry-government-society relations: As investigation of close links in marine energy firms in Ireland and Wales

Post Project: SELKIE

Post Duration: 12 Months

Salary Scale: €24,000 stipend per annum. Fees are payable by the student

Close Date : 24-Sep-2021 12:00

School: MaREI Centre and Spatial and Regional Economics Research Centre (SRERC)

Job Type: Research

Position Summary

Applications are invited for a Masters Student position in MSc Commerce by Research (Economics). The successful candidate will join the MaREI Centre in University College Cork (UCC), based at Environmental Research Institute’s Beaufort Building in Ringaskiddy. The research is part of the wider Selkie project, which is a Wales/Ireland Interreg funded project. University College Cork (UCC) and Swansea University are the two main collaboration beneficiary partners in the consortium. The successful candidate will be completing research on the topic of innovation in the marine energy sector under the direction of supervisors at the Spatial and Regional Economics Research Centre (SRERC), UCC.

Project background

Innovation is critical for the existence and survival of firms in a market economy. Innovation in young sectors with unstandardized products is very much a case of survival of the fittest firms as the market is characterised by high levels of product innovation, experimentation and learning. There is a dearth of understanding in the economic literature on the networking activities, innovation and productivity performance of firms in the renewable energy sector. The research completed by the candidate will focus on the quadruple helix dimension of innovation in the offshore renewable energy sector. This research will help inform policymakers, university actors and industry and societal stakeholders, on how they can assist in maximising the potential and growth of this sector.

MaREI Centre Background:

MaREI is a key research centre within UCC’s Environmental Research Institute (ERI), which is an internationally recognised Institute for environmental research dedicated to the understanding and protection of our natural environment and to developing innovative technologies, tools and services to facilitate a transformation to a zero carbon and resource efficient society. The MaREI Centre is an SFI funded research centre headquartered in the ERI and includes 13 other Universities and Third Level Institutes from across Ireland, has 50 industrial partners and has accumulated research funding of approximately €60m. It combines the expertise of a wide range of research groups and industry partners, with the shared mission of solving the main scientific, technical and socio-economic challenges across the climate, energy and marine spaces.  MaREI is also funded by SEAI, EI, EPA, ERDF, EU, HEA, Marine Institute, DCCAE and IRC, as well as through contributions from our industry partners. Researchers in the MaREI Centre have over 30 years of experience in conducting fundamental and applied research supported by competitively won national and international funding, and commercial contracts with government agencies and industry. MaREI’s strengths lie in the multi-disciplinary nature of its research teams, allowing it to combine insights across areas such as MRE Technologies, Materials & Structures, Observations & Operations, Coastal & Marine Systems, Bioenergy, Energy Policy & Modelling and Renewable Energy Management.

Selkie background

Selkie is an Ireland-Wales INTERREG operation funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government. Ireland-Wales INTERREG operations are administered by Welsh European Funding Office (WEFO).

Selkie is a 3.5-year project that commenced in June 2019 and has six partners with UCC coordinating the project and leading in a number of work packages.

The aims of the Selkie project are:

  1. Establish a cross-border network of Ocean Energy SMEs and supply chain companies;
  2. Conduct industry-academic collaborative R&D projects;
  3. Transfer R&D knowledge to wave and tidal industry/SME stakeholders, thereby advancing the technology sector as whole;
  4. Assist Irish and Welsh SMEs to progress along the path to commercialisation.

Key duties and responsibilities 

The Masters candidate will conduct a specified programme of research under the supervision and direction of Dr Frank Crowley and Dr Justin Doran, SRERC, UCC and they will work closely with other researchers based at MaREI/SRERC. Research work on the Selkie project is suitable for a Masters Thesis and ultimately publication. The research is expected to produce publications in journals contributing to the overall Selkie Project.


  • A minimum (or near completion) of an upper second-class honours degree (or equivalent from an overseas university).
  • Good communication, organisation and interpersonal skills.
  • Ability to work independently and demonstrable capability of working within a project team.
  • A commitment to gaining practical experience working on a research project.
  • Experience (or an understanding) in conducting applied research using empirical econometric methods is desirable. 
  • An understanding in the geography of innovation and/or regional economics will be considered a valuable asset.