Scientific Ocean Drilling Proposals

International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP)

Suggest an update

Grant amount: Unspecified amount in in-kind support

Deadline: Apr 1, 2019 3:59pm PDT

Applicant type: Postdoctoral Researcher Faculty Working Professional

Funding uses: Research

Location of project: Anywhere in the world

Location of residency: Anywhere in the world

View website    Save Need help writing this grant?


The International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) explores Earth's history, structure, dynamics, and deep biosphere using geological samples and data acquired by seafloor drilling, coring, and downhole measurements. The IODP is based on proposals to use the program's drilling platforms for hypothesis-drive science in line with the themes and challenges outlined in the program's Science Plan Illuminating Earth's Past, Present, and Future. 


Full details on the themes of highest priority are described in the IODP Science Plan Illuminating Earth's Past, Present, and Future

Climate and Ocean Change: Reading the Past, Informing the Future


  • How does Earth’s climate system respond to elevated levels of atmospheric CO2?
  • How do ice sheets and sea level respond to a warming climate?
  • What controls regional patterns of precipitation, such as those associated with monsoons or El Niño?
  • How resilient is the ocean to chemical perturbations?

Biosphere Frontiers: Deep Life, Biodiversity, and Environmental Forcing of Ecosystems


  • What are the origin, composition, and global significance of deep subseafloor communities?
  • What are the limits of life in the subseafloor realm?
  • How sensitive are ecosystems and biodiversity to environmental change?

Earth Connections: Deep Processes and their Impact on Earth's Surface Environment


  • What are the composition, structure, and dynamics of Earth’s upper mantle?
  • How are seafloor spreading and mantle melting linked to ocean crustal architecture?
  • What are the mechanisms, magnitude, and history of chemical exchanges between the oceanic crust and seawater?
  • How do subduction zones initiate, cycle volatiles, and generate continental crust?

Earth in Motion: Processes and Hazards on Human Time Sales


  • What mechanisms control the occurrence of destructive earthquakes, landslides, and tsunami?
  • What properties and processes govern the flow and storage of carbon in the subseafloor?
  • How do fluids link subseafloor tectonic, thermal, and biogeochemical processes?


IODP is seeking quality scientific ocean drilling proposals for its three types of drilling platforms that permit operations in a variety of environments:

  • the D/V JOIDES Resolution (JR);
  • the riser-equipped (with riserless option D/V Chikyu; and
  • Mission-Specific Platforms (MSP), which provide a range of technologies for drilling and long coring in various environments not accessible or suitable to JR and Chikyu.  

The JR is planned to operate 10 months per year in 2018 and 2019 under a long-term, global circumnavigation track based on proposal pressure. Future JR expeditions are projected to follow a path from the southwestern Pacific Ocean, through the Southern Ocean, and into the Gulf of Mexico and the Equatorial and South Atlantic, for opportunities for drilling there in 2019 and continuing into 2020. The JR is then expected to operate in the general area of the Atlantic and adjacent seas into 2021. Although JR proposals for any region are welcomed, pre- and full proposals for these future operational areas are strongly encouraged. 

MSP expeditions are planned to operate once per year on average, and proposals for any ocean are welcomed. Chikyu operations will be project-based, and new proposals to use Chikyu in riser mode must be Complementary Project Proposals (with cost-sharing). IODP aims to foster joint projects with the International Continental Drilling Program (ICDP). We therefore also invite proposals that coordinate drilling on land and at sea. 

Proponents are strongly encouraged to contact the platform Science Operators to discuss platform-specific operational and fiscal constraints before developing proposals.

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


  • The lead proponent need not be from an IODP member country. 
  • Proposals frequently involve collaborations between international researchers from the multiple geoscience disciplines.
  • Because proposals will not result in a financial arrangement (contract) with the proponent's institution, they are submitted by the individual investigator and not through the investigator's institution. 
  • Proposed drill sites must be supported by site characterization data that builds confidence that the targets are correctly identified, achievable, and safe.