Looking for academic research jobs in maritime technology?
Whether you’re an early career researcher or a more experienced academic, here you’ll find out all you need to know about what it’s like to work in this exciting field.
Innovative maritime technology (or ‘MarTech’) research is vital to improving infrastructure and sustainability in the marine environment. From fisheries to offshore renewables, MarTech researchers identify and develop technologies used in all ocean industries.
It’s a fast-moving field and new and current research focuses on emerging technologies such as autonomous vessel control, robotics and sensor tech.
Academic researchers in maritime technology work closely with government and industry partners and you’ll find a wide range of jobs available to suit every background and interest.
The marine environment offers a diverse and fascinating range of research opportunities and initiatives, both offshore and onshore.
To embark on a research career in maritime technology, you will need to have completed a PhD in an area relevant to the research project you’re applying for. The majority of researchers in this field have an engineering and technology background and specialised in maritime technology at Masters and doctoral level.
Universities are open to considering candidates with professional qualifications and experience equivalent to a PhD. However, you will need to demonstrate sufficient knowledge of the specific research project and methods to land a role within an established programme.
On completion of a PhD (or equivalent) in the area of MarTech research you wish to pursue, your next step would to be to look for postdoctoral, fellowship or associate research roles in a university, research institute or in the commercial sector which align with your expertise and knowledge.
Most research jobs are offered on a temporary, fixed-term basis. You’ll probably need to complete at least a couple of postdoctoral research projects before being considered for promotion to research associate, senior researcher or lecturer.
Working as a Maritime Technology Researcher
Maritime technology research is a wide-ranging field with current emphasis on developing clean maritime and marine technologies (such as offshore renewables or zero emissions hybrid vessels).
MarTech research can be broadly divided into the following areas:
- Shipbuilding, sustainable shipping and logistics
- Oil and gas exploration/infrastructure
- Offshore renewables
- Port technology and infrastructure
- Underwater technology and exploration
- Naval architecture
- Hydrographic surveying
- Sensor technology
As an academic researcher in any of these areas, your working day will predominantly consist of designing, testing and developing new technologies.
Working in a multi-disciplinary team, you’ll spend most of your time developing the research objectives of the project in state-of-the-art instrumentation and electronics laboratories and workshops. Depending on the project and how it is funded, you may also be researching in the field, testing and assembling technology and equipment at ports, shipyards or within other maritime industries.
Additional duties include:
- Developing objectives and grant proposals
- Writing up research for publication
- Using new research techniques and methods
- Identifying new areas of research
- Presenting at national and international conferences and events
- Liaising with maritime industries and other partners
- Ad hoc teaching and demonstration (if you work in a university)
Where to find jobs
Maritime technology research is made up of a global network of experts and initiatives. You’ll find jobs in universities, industry and R&D facilities around the world, particularly in coastal locations.
The availability of research jobs depends on funding and whether your knowledge fits with the objectives of the programme. To find out how maritime technology research is funded in the UK and to explore current projects visit: Maritime Research and Innovation (MarRI)UK.
If you choose to work as a researcher at a university, here are some of the roles you may come across during your search:
- PhD studentship
- Research assistant
- Research technician
- Postdoctoral researcher/associate
- Research Associate/Fellow
- Lecturer/Senior Lecturer
Find maritime technology research jobs here.
Salaries in engineering and technology research vary depending on the field and specific research activities of the university. However, as a general rule, postdoctoral researchers and research associates can expect to start on a salary of around £30,000 to £39,999 p.a.
If you’re an engineering, technology or sciences graduate, you could be thinking about pursuing an interest in maritime technology research at doctoral level. There is high demand for aspiring MarTech experts and researchers, and you’ll find that PhD studentships are widely available, particularly in locations close to maritime industries.
A PhD takes around 3-5 years to complete; most are fully-funded and come with a UKRI standard stipend in the range of £15,000 and £20,000 p.a.
For more helpful information about where a PhD can take your career, check out our post ‘What jobs can you get with a PhD?’
Find PhD studentships in Maritime Technology here.
- Academic jobs in Maritime Technology
- Lecturing jobs in Maritime Technology
- Senior-level academic jobs in Maritime Technology