Issue date: 20 May 2024

The Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources of the Federal Republic of Germany (BGR), in accordance with its exploration contract for polymetallic sulphides signed with ISA on 6 May 2015, is offering two (2) at-sea and post cruise training opportunities for candidates from developing States within its 2024-2025 training programme.

The training is divided into two stages:

I. At-sea onboard training

Trainees will join the exploration cruise onboard the research vessel Pelagia to the BGR contract area in the Indian Ocean. The cruise is planned for 29 October – 17 November 2024 (20 days at sea including transit from harbour to working area and back; specific details for the cruise to be determined, port call will be in Port Louis, Mauritius).

The major objectives of this cruise will be the investigation of the sub-seafloor mineralization of selected hydrothermal systems in the BGR contract area in the Indian Ocean applying deep-towed geophysical instruments such as controlled-source electromagnetics (CSEM), magnetics, and self-potential. Additionally, biodiversity investigations based on video inspection and bathymetric mapping will be carried out. Also, four moorings with sediment traps and current meters will be serviced.

On land, airborne and ground electromagnetic methods are established standard geophysical technique for locating and mapping massive sulphide deposits. Published marine electrical and electromagnetic field observations and petro-physical analysis of surface and drill core samples already proved the high significance and sensitivity of electrical property measurements for the exploration and assessment of polymetallic seafloor massive sulphides deposits. However, marine CSEM induction and magnetic methods demand sensitive instruments that can operate in conductive seawater and can be handled from a ship or underwater vehicle with high lateral and near-seafloor resolution. BGR has developed a novel electromagnetic deep-sea profiler (“Golden Eye”). This instrument as well as BGR’s deep-towed bathymetry sled, equipped with a vector-magnetometer and towing three-axial self potential sensors, will be deployed during the cruise.

During the cruise, trainees will be integrated into the station work for recording the geophysical data. The training will also include:

  • Instructions in vessel navigation techniques and planning of an exploration survey.
  • Preparation, on-board handling, and deployment of specialized geophysical surveying instruments.
  • Operation of geophysical instruments at depth.
  • Data handling and storage, data quality control.
  • Recovery and deployment of sediment trap moorings.
  • General aspects of work and environmental safety at sea.

II. Post cruise training

Subsequent to the research cruise, the trainees will have the opportunity to visit BGR’s offices, in Hannover, Germany, during spring/summer 2025 for a four-week post cruise training. During this part of the training, trainees will work on the results of the cruise which will mainly deal with 1D and 3D inversion modelling of and interpreting the geophysical data. Therefore, applicants must have a strong background in geophysics in order to fully benefit from the offered training programme.

Other components of the training will include:

  • Introduction into laboratory facilities at the BGR.
  • Introduction into data processing, modelling, and interpretation.
  • Exemplary work on selected data samples under supervision.
  • Compilation of the cruise report and preliminary resource evaluation

Qualification requirements:

Candidates must meet the following requirements:

  1. Education: A bachelor’s /master’s degree in marine geophysics or equivalent education.
  2. Experience: A solid and proven background in standard geophysical data processing techniques.
  • Programming experience in higher programming languages is desirable.
  • At least one-year practical experience in the candidate’s field of specialization.

     3. Language: A sound knowledge of English attested by a certificate, where applicable.

     4. Health: Good state of health, suitable to work at sea.

    5. Recommended: seagoing experience (seaworthiness).

6. Proof of full vaccination against Covid-19 according to German law (three shots with a vaccine recognized in the EU).

Cost bearing:

In addition to the costs directly related to training, BGR undertakes to cover roundtrip travel expenses (economy class) to port of call and Hannover, Germany, accommodation and daily allowance according to the governmental regulations of the Federal German law for travel expenses.


Prior to embarking on the training, the selected trainees shall be required to obtain medical certificates from a medical institution confirming that they are in good health and fit to work at-sea as well as proof of COVID-19 vaccination.

Trainees will be required to sign the Code of Conduct for Trainees of the Contractors’ Training Programme prior to the start of the programme. Trainees will also be required to sign a confidentiality agreement with BGR.

No later than four (4) weeks after the training has ended, each trainee shall submit an end-of-training report to BGR and ISA outlining, amongst other things, the training completed, the benefits of the training opportunity, the knowledge gained and how the training will advance their career/educational pursuits. The report shall also include key performance indicators to assess the effectiveness of the training activities.

Upon successful completion of the programme, trainees shall receive a certificate from ISA.


All interested applicants are invited to register and submit their applications on the ISA CTP Application Portal, along with their supporting documents, including:

  • A coloured passport sized photo
  • A copy of their passport biographical page or national identification card.
  • Duly completed Nomination and Recommendation Form [doc/pdf]
  • Copy of degree(s) and/or relevant certificate(s)
  • Curriculum Vitae (CV) or résumé
  • Proof of language proficiency

Applicants must select the following options when applying for this training opportunity on the Application Portal:

Contractor Name:            Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources of the Federal Republic of Germany (BGR)/PMS

Year:                                 2024

Programme Name:         At-sea and post cruise training

Specialization:                Geophysics


Application Deadline: 5 July 2024. Late or incomplete applications will not be processed.


One of the Voluntary Commitments registered by ISA at the 2017 UN Ocean Conference (#OceanAction 40768) and reiterated in 2022 was ‘Enhancing the role of Women in Marine Scientific Research through Capacity Building’ – As partner of the Women in Deep-Sea Research project (WIDSR), BGR has pledged to allocate 50% of the training opportunities to qualified women applicants.