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Get Involved

The UK subscription to IODP via ECORD provides all scientists based at UK research institutions with exciting and unique opportunities to participate in frontier science in challenging environments that would otherwise be inaccessible to us:


  • All IODP expeditions are open to applications to participate from UK Scientists

  • UK Scientists are eligible to submit proposals for drilling using IODP platforms

  • UK Scientists represent the scientific community on IODP and ECORD boards and panels

In addition:


Apply to join an expedition

Anyone based at a UK research institution who is interested in participating in any expedition is encouraged to complete an application. The most up to date Expedition Schedule is available on the IODP website; cruise dates may be subject to modification. Additional information about all expeditions can be found on the IODP and ECORD websites. Participation in an expedition as a science party member gives each scientist exclusive access to the samples and data produced by the expedition, within the moratorium period. UK-IODP provides funding for UK scientists to cover participation costs and to support research to be carried out during the moratorium period directly post-cruise.


UK scientists must submit their applications to the ECORD Science Support Advisory Committee (ESSAC) and must also send copies of their application to the UK IODP Programme Manager and UK ESSAC Representative. Guidelines and application forms can be found on the ECORD website here. Staffing decisions are made in consultation with co-chief scientists and the implementing organisations (Science Operators). Final staffing authority lies with the respective platform Science Operator. Successful UK applicants should notify the Programme Manager and Knowledge Exchange Coordinator at the earliest opportunity, that they have been offered, and have accepted, a berth on an IODP expedition. UK participants must also submit a Moratorium Award application three months before sailing.

Join an Expedition
Submit a drilling proposal

Submit a Drilling Proposal

The submission of proposals gives individuals/groups of scientists the opportunity to respond to IODP's scientific priorities as expressed in the IODP Science Plan, and to recommend appropriate targets for drilling. Calls for proposals are published twice a year, approximately two months before the deadlines of 1st April and 1st October, and provide specific information about the types of proposals that are being sought. Proposals can be submitted for the use of the JOIDES Resolution, Chikyu and Mission Specific Platforms (MSPs). Proposals that involve drilling both on land and at sea are also invited, through coordination with the International Continental Scientific Drilling Program (ICDP). Proponents are strongly encouraged to contact the facility Science Operators to discuss platform-specific operational and fiscal constraints before developing proposals.

It is important to recognise that the IODP proposal system is a constructive process designed to transform exciting science into successful expeditions. This iterative approach encourages communication between the science proponents, the IODP Advisory Panels, and the drilling platform’s Science Operator. If you have a new idea for scientific ocean drilling you are advised to first submit a Preliminary Proposal before engaging in the preparation of the lengthier Full Proposal. The IODP Proposal Guidelines document provides detailed information on all aspects of the process.

Proposals must be submitted via the web-based IODP Proposal Database System (PDB). All submissions must be received by the IODP Science Support Office (SSO) by 23:59 UTC on either of the semiannual deadlines of 1st April or 1st October. Drilling proposals are peer-reviewed within the IODP framework by the Science Evaluation Panel (SEP) aided by anonymous external reviewers in a process facilitated by the Science Support Office. The SEP typically meets in January and June and reports containing the outcome of the review are sent to the lead proponent by the Science Support Office within one month of the panel meeting. 

The UK IODP Programme Advisory Group is available for consultation in the preparation of drilling proposals, please contact Prof. Tony Morris in the first instance. For more information on proposal requirements and submission procedures please click here or contact Daniel Knight.


Board & Panel Membership

IODP activities are overseen by several panels and boards:

  • The IODP Platform Providers have established Facility Boards to make or inform decisions on the effective use of the drilling facilities in fulfilling the objectives of the IODP Science Plan.

  • The IODP Science Evaluation Panel (SEP) is an advisory body of the JOIDES Resolution Facility Board (JRFB) that is also currently used by the ECORD Facility Board and Chikyu IODP Board. The SEP primarily reviews proposals to use the IODP drilling platforms but can advise on other scientific topics. It is composed of volunteer domain experts from IODP member countries.

  • The IODP Environmental Protection and Safety Panel (EPSP) is an advisory body of the JOIDES Resolution Facility Board (JRFB) that is also currently used by the ECORD Facility Board and Chikyu IODP Board. The EPSP primarily carries out a site-by-site review of proposed or scheduled IODP expeditions from the point of view of safety and environmental protection. It is composed of volunteer domain experts from IODP member countries.

  • The IODP Forum is a venue for exchanging ideas and views on the scientific progress of the International Ocean Discovery Program. The Forum is the custodian of the IODP Science Plan and provides advice to the IODP Facility Boards on Platform Provider activity. The IODP Forum meets annually and membership is open to all countries, consortia, or entities that provide funds to IODP platform operations.

Each board/panel includes UK scientists. Vanacancies and calls for new members will be advertised to the UK scientific community here when open.

Image credit: William Crawford & IODP JRSO

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