Prospective Graduate Students

Graduate Research at CSAR

Thanks for your interest in our Centre.

We typically take on 1-2 graduate students each year, dependent on funding and available projects. Students can currently be supervised by Dr. Paul Winger, Dr. Scott Grant, or Dr. Shannon Bayse. While we have our own specific research interests, we are united in our values of conducting applied research that improves the sustainability of fisheries in Canada and around the world. We have active projects on all three Canadian coasts.

If you are interested in pursuing research at CSAR, the first step is to read our supervisor bios, and contact one of us directly.

Most of our graduate students will enroll in the Marine Institute Fisheries Science graduate programs (Masters or Ph.D). However, each of us are also cross-appointed at different departments. When conducting grad school at MI, your degree is issued by Memorial’s School of Graduate Studies, and you are subject to all the requirements of whichever program you enroll in. Our bios indicate where we’re cross-appointed – please review, as that may affect which supervisor interests you.

When emailing us (well before the application deadline for the respective department!) please include your CV (including grades) and a short statement of your research interests and how they link to (or expand upon) CSAR’s ongoing research programs. We also accept submissions for NSERC USRA projects.


All graduate students at CSAR must be funded – you will be paid during your graduate research program. Funding comes from two main sources: Scholarships and fellowships that you, as a student, are awarded, and money that we, as supervisors and the University, provide for you. Most students receive a bit of both throughout their programs, but the more you can bring in, the easier it will be to take you on as a student.

If you are interested in pursuing grad school at CSAR, and are seeking scholarship support, start early (as much as a year in advance). There are many funding options, but some have specific deadlines. The earlier you start, the more options you will have. The more industry-relevant your project is, the more funds we can leverage to support your work.

The most common graduate scholarships are NSERC Canada Graduate Scholarships (usually due in late November for funding starting the following year), and the RDC Ocean Industries Student Research Awards (usually due in February, for support starting the same calendar year). Students can hold both awards at the same time.

Tuition in our province is among the lowest in Canada. Details about costs can be found here:

You will also be expected to work as a Teaching Assistant at least once during your program. This is to support yourself financially and to provide essential experience.

Our Goals for You

Our goal is for M.Sc students to complete their programs in two years at CSAR. Ph.D projects are less predictable, and the length is variable. Where appropriate, we support students transitioning from M.Sc programs directly into Ph.D’s. This can lessen overall completion time, but the merits of making this transition depend entirely on the student, supervisor, project, and funding availability.‌

Throughout your program, you will build skills in quantitative analysis, writing (journal articles, funding applications, popular articles, etc.), study design, and presentation skills. Our goals are for you to leave here with the experience and skills needed to pursue the career that interests you – whether that career is academic or otherwise, and we will aim to tailor the experience accordingly.

We will support you in publishing your work in international science journals. Regardless of your career goals, publishing is a critical component to establishing your visibility as a scientist, and we will train you to do it well.

Prospective Post-docs

We also mentor post-doctoral researchers for applied fisheries research projects. Please feel free to contact us as above, and we will be happy to discuss research ideas.

Post-doctoral research can be supported a number of ways, including through NSERC industrial postdocs, NSERC academic post-docs, special project funding, and through private funding. Each of these sources require comprehensive applications, and success rate is low. You should begin applying for post-doctoral funding as you enter your final year of graduate school.

Life in St. John’s, Newfoundland

St. John’s, (not to be confused with Saint John, NB) is a beautiful coastal city in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. It is the easternmost and oldest city in North America, and is located on Newfoundland’s Avalon Peninsula.

The St. John’s area (population ~200,000) has an active local music scene, an avid outdoor culture, and a vibrant downtown core with lots of character. The city has all the amenities of other towns in Canada, ranging from small cafes that dot the streets, to big-box chains (e.g. Costco) and banks.

While we have a reputation for difficult weather, we are in fact tied with Halifax for the third-mildest winter of any major city in Canada. During this period, you can take advantage of the many cross-country skiing trails that run through city parks, or warm up in any of the charming bars and restaurants downtown. Summers are beautiful, and outdoor activities abound. For example, the East Coast Trail (a 540 km hiking trail on the eastern shore of Newfoundland, and which connects to St. John’s) has been ranked one of the ten best adventure destinations in the world.

More information, along with photos of the region, can be found online. While these sites are obviously promotional and designed to spark interest in the town, their photos are representative of the city’s look and feel.

Supervisor Bios