Date of Birth: 23rd Aug 1947
What institutions did she attend?
- St. Rose’s Girls Intermediate School, Trinidad
- Holy Name Convent, Port of Spain, Trinidad
- The University of the West Indies (UWI), St. Augustine, Trinidad- BSc in Chemistry and Zoology
- Chair of the Board of Trinidad and Tobago Pan Instruments Ltd
- Member of the Executive Committee and the Science Sector Committee of the National Commission for the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) (2004 to present)
- A key player in the establishment of the College of Science, Technology and the Arts of Trinidad and Tobago
(COSTAATT), the Accreditation Council of Trinidad and Tobago (ACTT), and the Association of Caribbean Tertiary Institutions (ACTI)
- Member of the OAS Inter-American Science and Technology Committee (1996 -1998)
- Fulbright fellowship to visit higher education institutions across the United States (1994)
Mrs Manchouck enjoys gardening, cooking and the rich cultural life of Trinidad and Tobago. She has visited over 50 countries and more than 30 science centres and museums around the world.
Caribbean Women in STI
Maureen Manchouck, President of the National Institute of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology (NIHERST), has spent all of her professional life promoting science and technology (S&T) in the Caribbean. As a senior public administrator, she has led several pioneering initiatives over the last 30 years, from research and development (R&D) projects in priority areas to improving S&T education and literacy. She was a key player in the formulation of the 2005 CARICOM/CCST/CTA draft regional science policy, and three draft science policies for Trinidad and Tobago. Her commitment to building capacity through the fostering of a wider culture of S&T spawned important science popularisation programmes, including the Caribbean Youth Science Forum and the science and technology festival, Sci-TechKnoFest. Due to her vision also, NIHERST now has the only dedicated regional capability for collecting S&T statistics to guide planning and development. She was also responsible for the institute taking the lead in sector foresight and innovation studies to drive economic diversification.
In 1989, Mrs Manchouck oversaw the launch of a modest mobile science exhibit called Yapollo, which toured Trinidad and Tobago and seven countries in the region. Through her persistence, Yapollo evolved into a more permanent exhibition space, the NIHERST/NGC National Science Centre (NSC), which is the only one of its kind in the English-speaking Caribbean. It houses an ever expanding range of interactive exhibits and offers a unique programme of activities, all designed to raise the level of interest and engagement in S&T of the average citizen, and to boost creativity and innovation. NSC is also a guiding light and resource for other agencies in the region striving to develop a similar capability.
Over the years, Mrs Manchouck has held influential positions with several national, regional and international agencies. She chaired the Commonwealth Science Council from 1997-2000 and has been the Secretary of CCST since 1999. She was Vice-Chair of the Government of Trinidad and Tobago’s Vision 2020 Sub-Committee on Science, Technology and Innovation, and is a founding member and former Secretary of the Global Water Partnership’s Caribbean chapter.
Maureen Myrna Manchouck (née Ou Young) was born on 23rd August, 1947 in Port-of- Spain, Trinidad. Her father passed away when she was 12, compounding her responsibilities in the home and family grocery, but she persevered in her studies. She enrolled at The University of the West Indies (UWI), St Augustine to pursue her degree in chemistry and zoology. After graduating, she began working in 1972 as a projects officer and documentalist, first at the National Scientific Advisory Council, and later at the National Council for Technology in Development, where she went on to serve as Acting Executive Director before joining a fledging NIHERST in 1979.
Mrs Manchouck’s career path illuminates the varied and groundbreaking work available to those with a passion and aptitude for science. In her words, “Although I was a science graduate, I didn’t want a life in academia or research laboratories, but I did want to work in the world of science. At NIHERST, I have been able to promote all the sciences, not just the disciplines I studied, and to help inspire many more people to discover their own niches, and make their unique contribution to the advancement of science and technology.”
What is a science administrator?
Science administrators manage organisations that are dedicated to advancing and promoting science and technology, along a variety of avenues including policy formulation, R&D, multilateral development programmes, training and capacity building, and public education and engagement. Their work involves strategic planning, project management, information dissemination, science communication, the securing of grant funding, and overseeing the day-to-day operations of their organisations. Their success relies heavily on networking among a wide range of stakeholders. Science administrators work at research institutes, science and technology councils, development agencies, science centres and museums, professional societies, as well as government and university departments.
Areas of Specialisation
- Contract and grants administration
- Research administration
- Science communication
What do I need to study?
At CSEC and CAPE: Chemistry, Mathematics, Biology, Physics
Tertiary level qualifications in the sciences, mathematics or engineering are a requirement, as well as training and/or experience in administration and project management. In specialised research or academic institutes and development agencies, a doctorate in a relevant scientific field would be expected.
What skills and traits do I need?
- Organisation and management skills
- Leadership ability
- Ability to network effectively
- Negotiation skills
- Communication skills
- Knowledge of scientific research methods
- Knowledge of developments and trends in science and technology
Famous Science Administrators
- Margaret Chan
- Alice Abreu
- Nancy Edwards
- Catherine Foley
- Liv Jorunn Jenssen
- Sue Hordijenko