Keen to attend an aquaculture conference to help with your study, but don’t have the resources to make it happen?

If you’re a postgraduate student at a Scottish university, and your study is supported by an aquaculture company in Scotland, you could be eligible for a SAIC conference grant.

Grants available
Travelling to a conference within Europe? Grants of up to £500 are available from SAIC. Travelling even further afield? You can apply for a grant of up to £800. Grant money can be used to cover the conference registration fee, with the remainder helping towards travel and subsistence costs.

How to apply
You can apply any time up to one month before the start date of the conference. Simply download the SAIC conference grant application below and return your completed form. We will then be in touch as soon as possible to tell you if your application has been successful.

Fish Vet Society – grants for undergrads too
We also offer conference grants for undergraduate vets and postgraduate fish health-focused aquaculture students to attend the annual Fish Vet Society conference in Scotland. SAIC travel and conference grants are available to students based in Scotland, and it’s a great opportunity to find out about what’s happening (including career opportunities) in Scottish aquaculture.

Download and complete the SAIC conference grant applications form below and email it

Meanwhile, why not read about the experiences of students who have already benefited from a SAIC conference grant, below?

Grants available for taking part in VIV Asia

Are you considering taking part in VIV Asia in Bangkok this March? If you’re part of an exporting SME in the field of aquaculture or other food production, you may be eligible for a grant of £2000 to cover exhibition costs and £500 for other expenses. However, quick action is needed, as the deadline for UKTAG applications is 8th February 2019.

What is VIV Asia?

“With more than 1,250 international exhibitors, VIV Asia offers a unique selection, including global market leaders and regional as well as national Asian players of growing importance. Professionals active in the production of pig meat, poultry meat, eggs, fish and dairy all have numerous reasons to meet up in Bangkok.”

The event takes place 13-15 March 2019, and you can find the full technical programme and show information here.

There will be a British Pavilion at the event, where the stand holders’ management fee includes the services of an experienced mentor accompanying the participants as well as a shared interpreter; a 4m2 stand with graphics; and entry in a UK brochure.

Grant eligibility criteria and how to apply

We have received the following information from UKTAG on eligibility criteria and how to apply:

  1. Complete online the stand booking and hotel forms. Please indicate on this form if you want a hotel booked for you, and email
  2. Print forms, sign and return to UKTAG/BPA office
  3. Make payment by cheque made to The British Pig Association or by BACS to account British Pig Association Nat West Bank Ltd, Sort Code 60 00 08, A/C nos 48949930

All forms with cheque or BACS payment advice to be sent to Chris Jackson UKTAG/BPA, Trumpington Mews, 40b High Street, Cambridge CB2 2LS.

When the signed forms have been received, UKTAG will issue grant application forms for immediate completion. Without the signed forms, the organisation would be unable to book space or process grant applications.

If you have any queries or wish to arrange a one-to-one meeting to discuss this event, please contact Chris Jackson on 07801 826069 or email


Postgrad conference grants: Gill Health Initiative

Rosslyn Watret – an MSc student undertaking Applied Marine and Fisheries Ecology at the University of Aberdeen – attended the Gill Health Initiative meeting in Bergen, Norway, with the help of two scholarships: one from her University, the other from the Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC).

Q: Why did you choose to attend the Gill Health Initiative (GHI)?
A: My thesis aims to look at the scoring methods for gill health across different countries, and how they differ. The GHI was perfect for me, as it was comprehensive and featured a range of countries (such as Australia, Chile and Norway), the challenges they’re facing, and the methods they use to score gills.

Q: How easy was it to apply for the SAIC grant?
A: When I was applying for Aberdeen, there was information about the SAIC scheme in induction emails and course manuals. I emailed to apply and Cori – an Aquaculture Innovation Manager at SAIC – replied quickly, guiding me through the process.

Later, while at the conference, I also spoke to Robin from SAIC who was attending. It’s much easier when people want to talk to you and help you, and also want you to make use of these studentships to attend conferences and Masters programme. They were proactive about wanting to help and supply the grant which was fantastic.

Q: Did the SAIC grant help you?
A: The SAIC grant definitely helped, especially with the little things while in Bergen. At the conference, people wanted to go out for dinner to get to know colleagues from across the world. Thanks to the grant, I was able to go out too and this was when I really got to know people, speaking to them about their work and their companies. I met attendees from Ireland, and found out differences between how Scotland and Ireland aim to tackle gill disease – for example, differences in freshwater versus hydrogen peroxide use, which is variable between the two countries.

Q: Do you think the conference helped you with your studies?
A: Absolutely – lots of the things I wrote about for my literature review were discussed there, and authors of papers I wrote about were speakers. There were also ideas emerging on issues that have not been the subject of papers yet, such as net cleaning practices. Australia, Chile and Scotland all highlighted that this was a problem, and there were ideas of where everyone needs to be going in the future. Ideas brought up were not just for one country, but what everyone should be co-operating on. There is the aim to collaborate and get people working together with no divide.

Q: Did anything unexpected come out of the conference?
Maybe not unexpected, but some things did surprise me. There was more of a focus on fish biology – looking further than just the pathogen. There’s so much more than the pathogen that should be looked at as well – the fish biology, genetics, and immune system. That was an eye-opener for me as previously my experience has been with people focusing on pathogen presence and removal, but maybe that’s not the best way to do it.

Q: What would you say the key messages from the conference were?
A: One, we should be collaborating on a global level, with global environmental epidemiology being a priority. Looking into why there are outbreaks of gill disease in certain areas – has there been an environmental variance such as an increase in salinity or temperature, or are there other factors at play

Two, there’s no single answer or approach to gill health disease. One management plan won’t work for all sites, even when those sites are highly similar in stock density, size and location. Equally, when looking at gill disease, we can’t narrow it down to just one agent – the industry is increasingly recognising the complex nature of gill disease.

Q: Will you be attending similar conferences in the future?
A: I’ll definitely attend similar conferences in the future – I want to move into gill health, whether it’s a PhD or another academic area. If I stay in academia, it is definitely worthwhile to keep up to date with what’s happening both in this country and all over the globe. This well-organised global initiative is the perfect way to keep up-to-date.