Ocean Drilling Grant

National Science Foundation (NSF)

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Deadline: Rolling

Grant amount: Up to US $9,000,000

Fields of work: Oceanography

Applicant type: Organizations

Funding uses: Research

Location of project: Anywhere in the world

Location of residency: United States


NOTE: Full Proposal Accepted Anytime

Full post-expedition proposals should be submitted during the initial portion of the expedition moratorium period with the expectation that the work can be completed during the moratorium period. Full pre-expedition proposals may submitted at any time prior to the expedition.


International Ocean Discovery Program Operations

The International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) serves to advance basic research in the marine geosciences and is supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and its international partners. The science plan, Illuminating Earth's Past, Present, and Future: The International Ocean Discovery Program Science Plan for 2013-2023, provides justification for the United States' participation in the IODP and reflects the top priorities of the international science community. A multi-platform approach is required to address the goals outlined in the IODP science plan, including a non-riser vessel to collect widely-distributed high-resolution cores to address climate, environmental, crustal and observatory science objectives; a heavy riser-equipped vessel to reach the deep sedimentary and crustal layers; and mission-specific platforms to support high-latitude and shallow-water projects.

The light drillship, JOIDES Resolution, is provided by the U.S. National Science Foundation. Science operations for the JOIDES Resolution are conducted through a Cooperative Agreement with Texas A&M University with scientific planning conducted by the JOIDES Resolution Facility Board.

The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) of Japan provides the heavy drillship, Chikyu (Earth), to conduct the deep drilling projects in the new program. The Center for Deep Earth Exploration of the Independent Administrative Institution, Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC) operates the vessel for IODP. Scientific planning for Chikyu IODP operations is conducted by the Chikyu IODP Board.

Mission Specific Platforms (MSP) are provided by the European Consortium for Ocean Research Drilling (ECORD). The ECORD Facility Board conducts scientific planning for MSP expeditions and the platforms themselves are operated by the European Science Operator (ESO).

A Science Support Office (SSO) is provided by Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California San Diego under a Cooperative Agreement with the National Science Foundation. The SSO’s primary tasks include:

  • providing logistical support for the JOIDES Resolution Facility Board and its advisory panels
  • overseeing the proposal submission and review process
  • managing the Site Survey Data Bank 
  • providing a gateway website to IODP scientific planning 

United States Science Support for Drilling-Related Research

Grant support for drilling-related research performed by United States scientists is available from the NSF. Proposals for most pre-expedition (e.g., site characterization) and post-expedition studies should be submitted through the appropriate NSF programs, such as Ocean Sciences Marine Geology and Geophysics, Earth Sciences, Polar Programs, etc.

In addition to these NSF programs, the NSF Ocean Drilling Program (PD 14-5720) will provide support for small projects to be conducted during the expedition moratorium period to increase the scientific value of, and facilitate further research on, the expedition core, data, and associated samples. The expedition moratorium period begins with the co-chief approval of the expedition sampling plan and generally ends one-year following the post-expedition sampling party ( Refer here for specific moratorium dates for each expedition).

Examples of appropriate post-expedition work include, but are not limited to:

  • XRF, CT, or other scans of entire or selected critical sections of core
  • stratigraphic refinements for identified critical intervals
  • refinement of shipboard measurements/analyses/descriptions as deemed necessary by the shipboard scientific party

These Ocean Drilling Program (PD 14-5720) post-expedition proposals should be submitted during the initial portion of the expedition moratorium period with the expectation that the work can be completed during the moratorium period.

Limited support will also be provided through the Ocean Drilling Program (PD 14-5720) for critical, expedition-specific shipboard or downhole instrumentation (not meant for large instrumentation projects like CORKS) and for data synthesis/reprocessing critical for expedition implementation. Proposals of this type may be submitted at any time prior to the expedition.

Investigators are encouraged to contact the program directors identified in this program description prior to submission of a proposal to the Ocean Drilling Program (PD 14-5720) to discuss the appropriateness of the proposal for this particular program.

It is expected that results generated from Ocean Drilling Program (PD 14-5720) awards will be made available to other shipboard participants upon completion and, once the moratorium is over, to the broader scientific community as required by the NSF-OCE Data and Sample Policy.

Additional support for United States scientists may be obtained via the U.S. Science Support Program. Funding opportunities from this NSF-sponsored program include, but are not limited to:

  • planning activities, such as workshops on specific ocean-drilling scientific themes, regional areas, or topics
  • support for United States scientists participating on drilling expeditions and JOIDES Resolution advisory panels
  • educational programs

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This page was last reviewed May 21, 2024 and last updated May 20, 2023