Issue date: 10 June 2024

In accordance with its contract for exploration for polymetallic nodules, signed with ISA on 15 April 2016, Cook Islands Investment Corporation (CIIC) is offering one (1) Master’s Fellowship to a candidate from a developing State in 2025.



The “Master of Marine and Lacustrine Science and Management” programme will be organized by CIIC in collaboration with the Faculty of Science of the Free University of Brussels, Antwerp University and Ghent University. The programme adopts a multidisciplinary approach integrating physical, chemical, geological, ecological, and societal aspects, including nature conservation and sustainable development.


In general, the Oceans & Lakes programme puts strong emphasis on acquiring skills, both in marine and lacustrine research and management. It requires full-time attendance and active participation in lectures and practical exercises, visits to marine research centres, field trips and excursions.


The course programme consists of six (6) parts:

For further information on the master’s programme, please visit:



The master programme in “Master of Science in Marine and Lacustrine Science and Management” (Oceans & Lakes) is a two-year fellowship with enrolment slated for September 2025.



To be considered for this programme, candidates must meet the following requirements:

  • Education: Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree in biology, biochemistry and biotechnology, chemistry, geology, geography and geomatics, bio-engineer science, or environmental sciences, with good overall scores (at least upper second class or equivalent) from a university or recognized equivalent.
    • For other bachelor’s in science, applied science and life sciences, equivalency will be evaluated based on scientific competences and skills of the students.
  • Language: Proof of sufficient knowledge of English (spoken and written).
  • Nationality: Applicant must be a national of a developing country that is a Member State of the International Seabed Authority.


ISA Member States are encouraged to nominate qualified candidates, who must be from developing countries, for the training programme and should give assurance that:

  • All information supplied by the candidate is complete and correct.
  • The candidate will be made available at the time and for the period required for the training;
  • The candidate will be placed on leave of absence with pay for the duration of the period of the training (if applicable);
  • Upon successful completion of the training, the candidate will be appropriately employed in their professional capacity or in a related field.


Please note that following pre-selection by ISA, the candidate will then be required to apply directly to the University for admission to the Ocean & Lakes master’s programme. Final selection will therefore be dependent on the University’s acceptance of the candidate. The decision to approve or deny an applicant’s request for enrolment is made by the University and is independent of ISA and CIIC. The procedure and requirements for enrolment can be found on the website: Requirements | Oceans & Lakes (



The successful candidate will benefit from a full-ride scholarship. CIIC will cover all relevant costs including visa fee, application fee(s), flight, transportation, lodging, food, books and living expenses.



The selected candidates will be required to sign the ISA Contractors’ Training Programme Code of Conduct for Trainees prior to the start of the programme.


No later than four (4) weeks after the training has ended, each trainee shall submit an end-of-training report to CIIC 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.

Trainees shall also be required to submit a supplementary report to ISA five (5) years after the training has been completed, to allow for an assessment of the long-term benefits of the programme.



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
  • Duly completed Nomination and Recommendation Form [doc/pdf].
  • Copy of degree(s) and/or relevant certificate(s)
  • Curriculum Vitae (CV) or résumé
  • Proof of sufficient knowledge of English.


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

Contractor Name:    Cook Islands Investment Corporation (CIIC)/PMN

Year:                            2025

Programme Name: Master’s Fellowship

Specialization:        Not Applicable


Application Deadline: 19 November 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 at the 2022 UN Ocean Conference aims at “Advancing women’s empowerment in marine scientific research”– As partner of the Women in Deep-Sea Research project (WIDSR), CIIC has pledged to allocate 50% of its training opportunities to qualified women applicants.