The Seafarers’ Charity is funding the Seafarers International Research Centre at Cardiff University to carry out research into the welfare needs of women working on cargo ships.

We are supporting this research because we know that while all seafarers working at sea face difficult challenges, research has suggested that women seafarers may face specific problems because of the male-dominated nature of the industry. Despite this context, it has been noted that women seafarers do not make as much use of welfare facilities in port as their male counterparts. In undertaking this new study, we want to gain a better understanding of what challenges women seafarers face as a consequence of their work and how welfare services might be developed to provide better support for their needs.

We hope that you might be able to help us! If you are a woman seafarer who works in the cargo sector and if you would be willing to consider taking part in a confidential online interview we would love to hear from you. By sharing your views you could help to make a difference to the delivery of welfare services to seafarers and help to ensure that they meet the needs of female seafarers as well as they meet the needs of male colleagues.

How to participate in the reserach

If you decide to participate, you will be sent a copy of our Participant Information Sheet and a consent form to keep for your records.

If you are interested in participating, please contact either Helen Sampson ( or Iris Acejo ( at the Seafarers International Research Centre.

We can answer any questions that you may have and make arrangements for you to get involved. We very much look forward to hearing from you.

Many thanks in advance!

1. What is the purpose of this research project.

The aim of the study is to find out about the port-based welfare needs of women seafarers in the cargo sector and how effectively these are being met.

2. Who can take part?

We would like to encourage any women seafarers working in the cargo sector to take part in the research.

3. What would taking part involve?

If you agree to participate, you will be invited to take part in a voice-recorded online interview (via Zoom or similar). The interview would probably last for between 60 and 90 minutes, however, its length would be partly determined by the contribution that you make.

4. Would I be paid for taking part?

Participants will not be paid for taking part but the research findings will result in recommendations relating to the provision of welfare services with specific reference to the needs of women seafarers. We hope that the recommendations will drive improvements in welfare provision for women seafarers in the future.

5. Would there be any risks associated with taking part?

In the course of the interview, we will ask about your experiences of working at sea. It is possible that in drawing on these memories you might recall some unpleasant things which are disturbing. We hope that talking with experienced women researchers who have themselves worked (as researchers) on cargo ships, will allow you to share information in a supportive confidential environment minimising the risk of emotional harm.

6. Will my taking part in this research project be kept confidential?

All information collected from you during the research project will be kept confidential and any personal information you provide will be managed in accordance with data protection legislation. Please see ‘What will happen to my Personal Data?’ (below) for further information.

7. What will happen to my Personal Data?

Your consent form will be retained for five years and may be accessed by members of the research team and, where necessary, by members of the University’s governance and audit teams or by regulatory authorities. In the event that you withdraw your consent, your previously completed consent form will be destroyed. Anonymised information (where you will not be identifiable) will be kept for a minimum of five years. It may be published (without identifying details) as part of the research project and/or retained indefinitely, where it is likely to have continuing value for research purposes.

8. What happens to the data at the end of the research project?

On completion of the study, we will publish a publicly accessible online report. We may also construct additional presentations/reports/written accounts for stakeholders in the maritime sector. The research may also be drawn upon by the research team in writing academic books and articles. These materials may include verbatim quotes from interviewees. These would be anonymised with all identifying information about individuals, companies, and ships removed, although interviewee rank, age and nationality may be used.

9. What will happen to the results of the research project?

The online report will be accessible on the website of the Seafarers International Research Centre by the end of 2022. It is our intention to publish the results of this research project in academic journals and present findings at conferences. Participants will not be identified in any report, publication or presentation. Verbatim quotes may be used alongside general demographic information such as age, rank and nationality.

10. Who is organising and funding this research project?

The research is organised by Professor Helen Sampson in the School of Social Sciences at Cardiff University. The research is being funded by The Seafarers’ Charity.

11. Who has reviewed this research project?

This research project has been reviewed and given a favourable opinion by the School of Social Sciences Research Ethics Committee, Cardiff University.

12. Further information and contact details

Should you have any questions relating to this research project, you may contact us during normal working hours. Contact details as follows: Professor Helen Sampson, Seafarers International Research Centre, 52 Park Place, Cardiff University CF10 3AT. Telephone: 02920874475. Email

Photo kindly provided by IMO.