The Integrated Ocean Drilling Program is a critical partner of C-DEBI. Of course IODP provides the lion’s share of the resources required to access the deep subseafloor, from deep-sea drilling platforms to installations of CORK observatories. IODP also provides a wealth of other opportunities for researchers, students and educators, including access to and development of other physical assets, networking with existing and new colleagues world-wide, professional scientific and leadership development and involvement in IODP’s outstanding educational outreach programs. Initially, the IODP can appear to be an intimidating and unfathomable organization. However, with a few helpful hints and the encouragement of your friends, you should soon find yourself in the middle of a treasure-trove of valuable resources and opportunities.
For starters, check out the IODP webpage. It is vast and amazingly informative and fun to surf, but not all that easy to navigate with purpose. A first suggestion is to use your browser’s “Bookmark” function liberally in order to quickly return to those pages that you find particularly important. Also, IODP maintains a IODP News mailing list; subscribe here. Direct links to key IODP websites are noted below.
Getting Involved in Expeditions
A list of recent and upcoming expeditions, along with cruise information can be found at the IODP expeditions webpage. If you click on a particular expedition, you will find additional links to background information, “Applications to sail”, “Requests for samples/data” and a plethora of other important related information.
A researcher can be involved in an expedition as an on-board participant or as a shore-based participant. If you apply for and are chosen as either an on-board or shore-based participant, you will receive a series of instructive emails that will guide you through the participation process (e.g., necessary forms, on-board and post-cruise sample request procedures). Links to much of this information can be found through the expeditions webpage. To apply to participate in an expedition, go to the IODP Apply to Sail webpage; then, if you will be affiliated with a U.S. institution at the time of the expedition, click on the USA (USSSP) link and follow the application instructions. Application deadlines float with the timing of individual expeditions; they are announced on line and on the IODP News mailing list.
The Proposal Process
Yikes! But not as scary as it first seems; take it one step at a time and ask for advice from one of your experienced C-DEBI colleagues (e.g., Geoff Wheat, Andy Fisher, Steve D’Hondt, Wolfgang Bach and others).
The level of required commitment from IODP determines the type and complexity of the proposal process. Information on “Drilling Proposals” and specific guidelines for developing IODP drilling proposals are available from the IODP website. Questions regarding proposals submission and proposal handling can be directed to the IODP-MI Science Coordinators.
Drilling Project Proposals. Proposals to use one of IODP’s drilling platforms are submitted to the IODP Management International, Inc. (IODP-MI). The process is rigorous; it is helpful to enlist experienced IODP PIs among your proposal proponents and to talk to other successful proposers. The process starts with a preliminary proposal, followed, if advised to do so by the Science Steering and Evaluation Panel (SSEP), by an extensive Full proposal. Check the guidelines (see web pages above) for submission deadlines.
Complementary Project Proposals are scientifically motivated proposals having a commitment from a third party source of at least 70% funding for the platform operating costs of the expedition(s) arising from the proposal. The science operating costs and the remaining portion of the platform operating costs are the responsibility of the IODP. Complementary Project Proposals must satisfy normal Site Survey Panel (SSP) and Environmental Protection and Safety Panel (EPSP) requirements. Generally, Complementary Project Proposals are fast-tracked within the science advisory structure.
Ancillary Project Letters (APLs). APLs are short (5 pages) proposals for work requiring only 3 days or less of dedicated platform time, that would be ancillary to an expedition’s primary project. Ancillary projects could involve drilling, logging, CORK installation and/or technician time, as well as a platform berth.
Participating in the IODP Advisory Structure
Participation in the U.S. Advisory Committee for Scientific Ocean Drilling (USAC) or the IODP Science Advisory Structure (SAS) is an invaluable way to learn about the IODP structure and proposal process, while both serving the scientific drilling community and keeping it informed of deep biosphere discoveries and issues. Information can be found on the web for USAC and SAS and the SAS Committees and Panels.