The Departments of Geosciences and Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Princeton, in partnership with the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences, are seeking applicants for a new graduate program in Ocean Sciences and Marine Biology. This program allows students to undertake their Ph.D. research with the complementary opportunities presented by these partners. These include the broad academic environment of a major research university and the ready access to the open ocean and to a coral reef island provided by a U.S. funded oceanographic and marine biological research institution.
(Photos courtesy of Prof. Daniel Sigman)
At Princeton University and in the Departments of Geosciences (GEO) and Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (EEB) in particular, faculty undertake a broad range of research activities involving the oceans and marine organisms. Pursuing oceanographic and marine biological research within the broader university community has many benefits, including access to a wealth of knowledge and resources in other scientific and academic areas. To augment and expand on these benefits, GEO and EEB at Princeton, in collaboration with the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences (BIOS), have developed a graduate program to provide graduate students with ready access to globally important open ocean and coral reef environments, including the full expertise and facilities needed for intensive research in these environments.
The island of Bermuda is located in the Sargasso Sea region of the North Atlantic, which is broadly representative of vast tropical and subtropical regions across the global ocean. The Bermuda pedestal is home to a rich array of coral reef, intertidal and subtidal environments. BIOS is integral to the international effort to observe and sample the ocean and marine life on a relatively continuous ongoing basis. As home to five ocean time-series programs and to diverse long-term studies of reef environments and marine biological phenomena, BIOS has much to offer a graduate student interested in the ocean and its organisms.
As a PU-BIOS student, you would have the benefits of both institutions. You would have full status as a Princeton graduate student in the GEO or EEB, with all the opportunities and resources that this entails. As a BIOS graduate student, you would be an integral part of the BIOS research community. This community would put special attention into your training as an oceanographer or marine biologist and would provide you with unusual access to the physical and intellectual assets of an institution dedicated to marine research. Back to top.
Graduate students apply to the PU-BIOS Program through GEO or EEB as part of the normal graduate school application process at Princeton, requesting consideration for this program in their statement of interest. The applicant is considered first for acceptance into the graduate program in GEO or EEB and, contingent on this, for admission into the PU-BIOS Program. Thus, an applicant admitted to the PU-BIOS Program would also have status as a graduate student in GEO or EEB. Applications to the program are considered by a joint PU-BIOS committee, the recommendations of which are forwarded to the GEO and EEB admissions committees.
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PU-BIOS students experience the same benefits and have the same responsibilities as all GEO or EEB graduate students, and they undergo the same steps in the graduate school process. However, they are advised jointly, with at least one faculty member from Princeton and one from BIOS. This could involve a student undertaking complementary projects with different advisors or could involve a project that is collaborative between the Princeton and BIOS faculty members. As with all GEO and EEB graduate students, academic year stipend and tuition are guaranteed assuming satisfactory degree progress.
During the first year, a PU-BIOS student is resident at Princeton and participates in their department as a normal GEO or EEB graduate student, with the addition of several visits to Bermuda. In subsequent years, the student may be resident at either Princeton or BIOS. Due to course and general exam requirements, students will most likely find themselves spending at least one semester of their second year at Princeton.
Student oversight and guidance follow the typical GEO or EEB committee meeting structures, with one or more additional members from BIOS. Normal course requirements apply, and the Generals Exam will typically occur at Princeton, with the usual committee requirements plus the addition of at least one BIOS faculty member.
PU-BIOS students have the normal GEO or EEB teaching (Assistant in Instruction, or AI) responsibilities and benefits. The AI course assignments will be made with the goal of serving and utilizing a student’s interests in marine science, and PU-BIOS students may AI for Princeton undergraduate courses that take place partially or entirely at BIOS (e.g., FRS 111: The Ocean Environment; EEB/ENV 312: Introduction to Marine Biology; GEO/ENV 318: Observing the Marine Environment). Back to top.