Call for Expressions of Interest in Collaborative Research on R/V Falkor in 2020

Schmidt Ocean Institute

Grant amount: Unspecified amount in in-kind support

Next anticipated deadline: Dec 29, 2018 (Letter of inquiry)

Later anticipated deadlines: Jun 15, 2019 (Full proposal)

Applicant type: Postdoctoral Researcher Research Scientist Faculty

Funding uses: Research

Location of project: Anywhere in the world

Location of residency: Anywhere in the world

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Schmidt Ocean Institute provides researchers from around the world with access to Falkor to foster a deeper understanding of the global ocean through technological innovation. We support the following types of projects:

  • Environmentally focused and societally relevant ocean research
  • Projects with high intrinsic scientific value and meaningful impact potential
  • Research effectively leveraging innovative technologies
  • Oceanographic research encouraging student participation

Submit an Expression of Interest

Schmidt Ocean Institute is uniquely structured as an oceanographic research facility operator on a mission to transform ocean sciences with innovation in research technologies, marine operational practices, and information sharing. We seek to advance the frontiers of global ocean research by providing state of the art operational, technological, and informational support to pioneering marine science and technology development projects at sea. Our select collaborators are provided with free access to the research vessel Falkor, its on-board research facilities and equipment, and associated expert technical, operational, and informational support.

What We Support

Schmidt Ocean Institute has been supporting several technology development initiatives in preparation to the upcoming research cruises on R/V Falkor, and support is also available for the provisioning of innovative research instrumentation, advanced robotic systems, platforms, sensors, high-performance shipboard computing, data analysis, interpretation, and distribution services. Schmidt Ocean Institute determines which projects will receive its operational support between one and two years in advance of the respective research cruises.  We recommend that Schmidt Ocean Institute support is leveraged in applications to other sources to fund related land-based scientific activities.

Our research program development efforts are informed through a continuous dialogue with the global oceanographic research community. Please refer to the following links for reports on the findings and recommendations stemming from our recent 2013 Research Symposium, 2014 Planning Workshop and 2015 Planning Workshop.

Our 2020 research cruise program will give special consideration to expressions of interest that seek to address topics concerning how coral reefs (from deep to shallow water corals) around the world are being affected by global climate change and what can be done to improve their resiliency. We seek projects that aim to improve our understanding of coral reef ecosystem structure and processes by targeting:

  • Platforms: advancing marine robotic autonomy, endurance, and operational intelligence;
  • Sensors: advancing biosensor technologies to suitability for long-term deployments on autonomous platforms; and/or
  • Data services: making data rapidly accessible via open / RESTful / cloud APIs; creating a platform for collaborative development of open source software for marine scientific data analysis, use, interpretation, visualization, and robot decision support.

We aim to improve coral reef science and empower conservation with coherent robotic surveys, open data services, AI, online engagement, and knowledge dissemination.

Our supported projects:

  • will have strong promise to advance global ocean research and exploration through effective, exemplary use of innovative technologies – or will be focused on advancing scientific technologies and practices, through research, development, and testing at sea,
  • will be likely to produce scalable impact,
  • may be out of funding focus of other agencies, e.g. due to high risk, yet will offer an even higher potential reward,
  • will substantially and uniquely benefit from a collaboration with Schmidt Ocean Institute onboard R/V Falkor,
  • will be fully committed to openly sharing the research findings and resulting scientific data.

Project Locations

The region where R/V Falkor will support oceanographic research projects in 2020 will be selected to accommodate the top ranking Expressions of Interest that Schmidt Ocean Institute will receive in response to this call. This will help us maximize overall Schmidt Ocean Institute program impact potential in alignment with the SOI Strategic Focus Areas. Should your project be flexible with regards to the geographical regions where it can be carried out, please be sure to describe that in your Expression of Interest.

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • Schmidt Ocean Institute encourages applications that provide innovative and unique outreach opportunities which go beyond what is already offered. 
  • Schmidt Ocean Institute currently does not provide assistance with the following projects, but welcomes applications that wish to include:
    • Citizen science development and projects
    • Technology development for outreach (e.g.) websites, 3-D modeling, image tagging, etc.
    • Related curriculum or lesson plan development
    • Collaborations with educators, education institutions, museums and aquariums
    • Collaborations with artists, art installation projects, or related arts-based activities
    • Featured stories or articles with magazines, papers, television programs
    • Documentaries or broadcast programming
    • Multidisciplinary outreach programs or projects


  • Schmidt Ocean Institute does not provide for the costs of shore-side scientific activities at our collaborator’s host institutions, or scientists’ salaries