Training for future ocean workers and researchers

OGEN links outstanding students with collaborative and innovative projects and experiences to shape the future of the ocean

Program Overview

OGEN offers graduate students a generous stipend, plus an additional budget for co-curricular activities. Students pursue their graduate degree at their home institution, while also participating in additional skill-developing activities, such as workshops, professional development training opportunities, internships, etc.

Co-curricular activities allow students to gain additional skills and experiences to make them more competitive for a variety of career options and build relationships with potential employers in industry and government.

Once accepted into their home department/institution, students kick off their OGEN experience by completing an individual learning plan, outlining key areas for development and identifying opportunities to participate in activities that will aid skill development. Based on the learning plan and conversations with the students, OGEN will identify, share and potentially build unique opportunities for graduate students pursing studies, and careers, in ocean sectors, allowing OGEN students to build their CVs beyond their thesis.

Examples of co-curricular activities include

Internships and other partner experiences

Given the collaborative partnership nature of OGEN, students are organically exposed to government or industry projects, operations and areas of expansion. In addition to the natural exposure through co-supervisors, OGEN students may also gain experience from hands-on lab visits to government/industry facilities or internship terms with the partner organization.

Indigenous cultural awareness training

OFI is working with NVision Insight Group to offer The Path: Your Journey Through Indigenous Canada, an Indigenous cultural awareness learning opportunity available to OGEN students. This program consists of five modules covering topics such as residential schools, disease epidemics, legal issues regarding the Indian Act, historical and modern treaties, Aboriginal law, the importance of cultural traditions and values of First Nations, Inuit and Métis and ways to strengthen relationships with Indigenous peoples.

Professional “soft” skills training

OGEN students will seek out professional “soft” skills development opportunities through their academic institutions; in addition, OGEN will compile these opportunities into a central database, easily accessible to students.

Professional “soft” skills that may be targeted for development include, but are not limited to: science and media communication, self-awareness, leadership, problem solving, making decisions, health and wellness and project management, to name a few.

Workshops, seminars, conferences and summer schools

OGEN works with academic, industry and private organizations currently offering workshops, seminars, conferences and short summer schools related to the ocean and professional development, to compile existing opportunities. Participation in these activities exposes OGEN students to development opportunities such as collaborating across disciplines and with diverse participants towards a common goal and formulating and sharing opinions and personal research through effective communication.

OGEN plans to identify gaps in this type of activity and design workshops, seminars and summer schools for ocean graduate students. Work is underway to host a data visualization/ocean communication summer school.

Interdisciplinary exposure and networking

Participation in diverse activities exposes OGEN students to researchers across varying disciplines, allowing them to develop an appreciation of the necessity, and benefits, of an interdisciplinary approach to ocean research.  

Seafaring opportunities

OGEN seeks to increase awareness of the need for research cruise experience for graduate students and connect OGEN students to existing seafaring programs, while striving to create new collaborations allowing for increased cruise opportunities.

Entrepreneurial training

Despite having excellent innovative ideas, graduate students are often unaware of the existing avenues that can bring their innovation ideas to market, or the level of intellectual satisfaction that can be gained from such an option. OGEN students have the opportunity to explore entrepreneurship through the Lab to Market (L2M) program and can test-run building their research ideas into an entrepreneurial concept.

The current funding model consists of a generous stipend and designated budget for co-curricular activities.