Framework for application to ISAPF by external stakeholders 

What type of activities are eligible for funding?

  1. The development and implementation of marine scientific research programmes in the Area, in line with the strategic research priorities identified in the ISA Action Plan in support of the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, which will benefit qualified scientists and technical personnel as well as relevant national and regional institutions from developing countries and regions.
  2. The development and implementation of training programmes in line with the decision of the Assembly relating to the ISA Capacity development strategy, particularly those addressing the priority needs for capacity development identified by developing States members of ISA.
  3. The development and implementation of technical assistance programmes and activities that will enhance the implementation of the ISA Strategic Plan for 2019-2023, the High-Level Action Plan, the Action Plan for Marine Scientific Research and the ISA Capacity development strategy.
  4. The engagement of multilevel partnerships on the conduct of marine scientific research programmes in the Area and dissemination and sharing of their results with interested Member States, contractors, relevant ocean industry sectors, the United Nations and its funds and programmes, relevant sub regional, regional and international organizations, scientific communities and relevant civil society organizations.

The ISA Partnership Fund may finance eligible expenditures for ISA-executed activities, such as staff costs, contractual services, equipment and office premises lease costs, media, workshops, conferences and meetings, and travel expenses. All recipient-executed activities funded by ISA must be in accordance with the applicable policies and procedures of ISA. 

Call for proposals

Ahead of a meeting of the ISA Partnership Fund Board, the secretariat invites stakeholders to submit their proposals for consideration by the Board through a call for proposals. Calls for proposals are advertised on ISA website and remain open for at least three weeks.

Who is eligible to apply?

Proposals can be submitted by an individual expert or a team of experts on behalf of: 

  1. Member States of the International Seabed Authority;
  2. Competent regional and international organizations;
  3. Academic and scientific institutions;
  4. Non-governmental organizations, whose purposes or activities are related to the work of the Authority, with expertise and capacity to contribute to the achievement of the objectives of the Partnership Fund;
  5. Private foundations.

Proponent experts shall meet the following eligibility criteria:  

(i)  A minimum of years of proven previous professional experience in the field related to the proposed activity as specified under the call for project proposals;  

(ii) Record of previous successful experience in design and organisation of projects in the field of capacity development and marine scientific research; 

(iii) Excellent written and oral communications skills; 

(iv) Good level of familiarization with the work of ISA; 

(v) Ability to deliver outputs against tight deadlines. 

How do I apply?

Please check the eligibility criteria to make sure that your intended activity is eligible for funding.  

All applications must be submitted in English using the formats provided in the call for project proposals.  

Proposal must be submitted by the set deadline at Only complete proposals will be taken into account. 

Who is responsible for the selection of proposals?

The Board is responsible for the selection of proposals in accordance with the selection criteria available on ISA website.  

Before submission to the ISA Partnership Fund Board, proposals are screened against the following eligibility criteria: 

  1. Be submitted by an eligible individual or team of individuals on behalf on an eligible entity;
  2. Be submitted on or before the deadline set for submission;
  3. Adhere to the guidelines for submission;
  4. Contribution to the objectives of the Partnership Fund;
  5. Benefit for Member States that are developing countries or the advancement of knowledge of the ocean and its resources.

What is the overall funding available?

In accordance with ISBA/27/A/10, an amount not exceeding $400,000 per year, from 2022 to 2026, from the capital and accumulated interest of the International Seabed Authority Endowment Fund for Marine Scientific Research is drawn down as a contribution to the Partnership Fund to be used exclusively for the purposes set out in its terms of reference. Additional contributions to the Partnership Fund can be made from time to time by any State, contractor, international organization, academic and scientific institution, private corporation, philanthropic entity or private individual. 

What happens if a proposal gets awarded?

ISA will enter into grant agreements with recipients consistent with the purposes of the Partnership Fund and on the terms and conditions set forth in the grant agreements. Such agreements may be entered into up to the maximum amount of the contributions that all donors have agreed to make available under the administration agreements between the secretariat and the donors. The secretariat will be responsible for the supervision of the activities financed under any grant agreement.