The Ashfords Marine Research Prize

Leading law firm, Ashfords LLP, is delighted to sponsor the Ashfords Marine Research Prize at the University of Plymouth. 

The prize is open to University of Plymouth students whose final year research project is within the marine sector and is of relevance to UN Sustainable Development Goal 14 (Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources). Projects also need to demonstrate a tangible impact or benefit to Plymouth and or other coastal regions.

“I’m delighted that we are able to partner with Ashfords to launch the Ashfords Marine Research Prize at the University of Plymouth. This is an area where the University and indeed, Plymouth in general are amongst the best in the world. We are rightly proud of the work our students do in this field and it is encouraging to have a local firm supporting and encouraging them in this way.” – Professor Kevin Jones

The prize

Ashfords LLP has generously committed a £2,000 donation which will be divided between four students – a winner, runner up, and two honourable mentions.

Staff from Ashfords will be invited to join a Prize Panel alongside nominated business and faculty contacts, meeting students and learning about their work (NB this will be a virtual meeting). The winner of the Ashfords Marine Research Prize will be announced at the graduation ceremony.

The prize is open to current undergraduate students whose final year research project relates to the marine sector.

Applications should be completed and returned to marineinstitute@plymouth.ac.uk by the deadline below.

Deadline for submissions: undergraduate students Friday 7 May 2021, supporting statements from academic advisors Friday 14 May 2021.

Support for marine students from Ashfords

We are very pleased that continuing support from Ashfords has funded prizes for final student dissertations relating to UN Sustainable Development Goal 14 on life below water, as well as bursaries to retain top marine students in Plymouth. Details of the call for applications for the next round (2020–21) will be announced shortly.


2020 prizewinners

1st Prize: Luka Wright, BSc (Hons) Marine Biology and Coastal Ecology
2nd Prize: Ffion Blundell, BSc (Hons) Marine Biology and Oceanography
Honourable Mention: Miranda Soskin, BSc (Hons) Oceanography and Coastal Processes
Honourable Mention: Emily Hunt





Watch the 2020 prizewinners discuss their projects and plans for future research.

Ashfords Marine Research prizewinners celebrate at graduation

Ashfords LLP support of the University of Plymouth’s Marine Prize has been recognised at this year’s graduation celebrations on Plymouth Hoe.

The Ashfords Marine Research Prize, awarded to final year University of Plymouth students, has been led by Professor Richard Thompson, OBE, and Director of the University’s Marine Institute. He said of the prize,

“This is the first year of the Ashford’s Marine Research Prize and we have been very pleased with the quality of applications from final year students across the Marine Institute. By focusing on one of the UN Sustainable Development Goals – to Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources, we are founding this project firmly on environmental research here in Plymouth.”

The prize-winner Jemima Dimbleby’s, project examined The Effect of Outplant Depth on the Survival and Growth of Acropora cervicornis Fragments for the Purposes of Coral Restoration in Northern Haiti. This work will provide vital information for the local managers into where best to transplant corals in an attempt to regenerate reef systems that have been lost to a range of local and global pressures. 

Professor Thompson went on to say, “The University of Plymouth has an excellent reputation for its research and teaching across the marine sector. Our students are a key part of that with many of our undergraduate and masters students getting their research published in the peer-reviewed literature. Winning such a prize is a fantastic way to start your career – well done to all.”

Thanks to Ashfords LLP for their support of this prize and the acknowledgement of outstanding achievement it brings to our students.

2019 prizewinners

  • 1st Prize: Jemima Dimbleby
  • 2nd Prize: Emma Joanne Shaw
  • Honourable Mention: Lani Crocker
  • Honourable Mention: Liam McCabe

Ashfords Scholarship

If you are interested in the Ashfords Marine Research Prize, you may also be interested in applying for the Ashfords Scholarship.

The Marine Institute has secured funding to support two scholarships to enable current final-year undergraduate students to continue their education at the University via a marine-related postgraduate masters level course.

This scheme has been made possible via a generous donation from Ashfords Solicitors with a key aim of helping to retain talented students in the region. Two scholarships each of £2000 are available for students who are offered a place on one of our marine-related postgraduate masters level courses starting in September 2021.

Find out more

Marine-themed courses at the University of Plymouth