Area of investment and support

Area of investment and support: International ocean discovery program (UKIODP)

This programme supports the UK’s membership of the International Ocean Discovery Program. This will enable UK scientists to carry out research to provide a better understanding of plate tectonic processes, the Earth’s crustal structure and composition, life in ancient oceans, and climate change.

Duration:
2019 to 2023
Partners involved:
Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)

The scope and what we're doing

Investigating the Earth and its history by exploring beneath the seabed

This research programme supports the UK’s membership in the International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP). IODP is providing a better understanding of plate tectonic processes, the Earth’s crustal structure and composition, environmental conditions and life in ancient oceans, and climate change. IODP builds upon the legacies of the early ocean drilling voyages, including the Deep Sea Drilling Project (1968 to 1983) and the Ocean Drilling Program (1983 to 2003).

IODP is made up of an international partnership of scientists and institutions building upon 40 years of ocean drilling. The UK is an integral member of the European Consortium for Ocean Research Drilling (ECORD), which, together with the US and Japan, funds and steers the research.

NERC’s research programme is supporting the UK’s membership in IODP, enabling UK scientists to:

  • help ensure that IODP carries out the best and highest priority science
  • participate in and obtain material from drilling legs
  • capitalise on the results of IODP drilling and UK technologies, allowing them to benefit from technological advances in deep sea drilling.

Why we're doing it

The need for deep-sea drilling

Perhaps planet Earth should be named planet ocean? Oceans cover more than 70% of Earth, holding important information about the planet’s past, present and future.

Over 40 years, scientists have drilled over 2,000 holes into the Earth’s undersea crust, trying to learn what makes the Earth tick. Even so, many important processes are poorly understood, and vast areas of the ocean floor and the Earth’s interior remain virtually unknown.

We need to keep sampling sediments and rocks from beneath the seafloor. Together with seafloor observations, they will show us how the Earth system operates, for example revealing climate history, improving our knowledge of plate tectonics, volcanoes, earthquakes, sea-level changes, and how life has evolved. So far, scientists have just barely scratched the surface.

Opportunities, support and resources available

Funding opportunities

Site survey investigations for scientific ocean drilling

The IODP Moratorium award funding

Moratorium awards are only available for expedition participants.

They combine funding to cover:

  • costs for time on board ship or, for Mission Specific Platform participants only, during science parties
  • travel and subsistence for travelling to and from expeditions, sampling parties and post-cruise meetings
  • support for moratorium period research work to be carried out during the moratorium period directly post-cruise.

All UK IODP expedition participants are required to:

  1. notify the UK-IODP Programme Manager, at the earliest opportunity, that they have been offered and have accepted a berth on an IODP expedition
  2. submit a Moratorium Award application in advance of sailing.

All awards will be made at 80% full economic costs (FEC).

For more information read the NERC guidance for IODP moratorium awards.

Resources

IODP science plan 2013 to 2023

European Consortium for Ocean Research Drilling

Who to contact

Ask a question about grant funding and finance for this programme

Daniel Knight, Programme Manager (Research)

Email: iodp@nerc.ukri.org
Telephone: 07928 668935

Ask a general question about this programme

Dr Jude Coggon, UKIODP Knowledge Exchange Coordinator

University of Southampton, UK
Email: jude.coggon@soton.ac.uk
Telephone: 023 8059 6539

Governance, management and panels

International Ocean Discovery Program advisory panel members

  • Chair: Professor Damon Teagle, Ocean and Earth Science, National Oceanography Centre Southampton, University of Southampton
  • Dr Kate Littler, University of Exeter
  • Professor Anthony Morris, School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Plymouth University
  • Dr Julie Prytulak, Durham University
  • Professor Dick Kroon, University of Edinburgh
  • Professor Lisa McNeill, University of Southampton
  • Dr Rosalind Coggon, University of Southampton
  • Dr Jude Coggon, University of Southampton, UK International Ocean Discovery Program Knowledge Exchange Coordinator
  • Dave McInroy, British Geological Survey
  • Dr Alexandra Turchyn, University of Cambridge
  • Professor Uisdean Nicholson, Heriot Watt University
  • Professor Tim Reston, University of Birmingham
  • Dr Mike Webb, NERC, Head of Research (Marine)
  • Jessica Surma, NERC, Senior Programme Manager (Polar and Marine).

International Ocean Discovery Program executive board members

  • Dr Mike Webb, NERC, Head of Research (Marine)
  • Professor Damon Teagle (Chair of the programme advisory panel)
  • Jessica Surma, NERC, Senior Programme Manager (Polar and Marine)
  • Dr Jude Coggon, University of Southampton, UK International Ocean Discovery Program Knowledge Exchange Coordinator.

Last updated: 17 October 2022

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