Issue date: 25 March 2024

Pursuant to its contract for exploration for polymetallic nodules, signed with the International Seabed Authority (ISA) on 20 June 2001, L’Institut Français de Recherche pour l’Exploitation de la Mer (IFREMER) is offering two (2) internship opportunities with focus on environmental studies to candidates from developing States in 2025.


The internships will focus on taxonomic identification of meiofauna via innovative imaging tools to improve techniques for investigating deep-sea marine biodiversity. The candidates will be trained in meiofauna taxonomy as well as in binocular imaging and high-resolution digital acquisition techniques. They will also receive training in artificial intelligence and contribute to developing innovative tools to improve taxonomic knowledge for marine biodiversity.

The activities of both internships will include:

  • Tests on samples (replicas) of identification of living benthic meiofauna via artificial intelligence and image scanning.
  • Comparison with (real) faunal data previously identified on samples from Clarion Clipperton Zone and/or Mid-Atlantic Ridge.
  • Validation of the identification technique using artificial intelligence and evaluation of its efficiency compared to the conventional method (taxonomic sorting).


The internships will take place within IFREMER’s deep-sea ecosystems studies laboratory in Brest, France for two months (approximately from early May to end of June 2025) The exact dates will be confirmed closer to the anticipated start of the programme.


To be considered for this training opportunity, candidates must meet the following criteria:

  • Education: A bachelor’s degree-level education (preferably in natural sciences) and should be enrolled in a first master’s level course (or equivalent) in biology, preferably in marine biology, biodiversity and ecology or molecular biosciences.
  • Language: Proficient in either English or French (both written and spoken).
  • Other: Hold a passport with sufficient validity after the planned departure from France to comply with French Visa requirements.


IFREMER will cover all relevant costs for the training opportunity which includes:

  • International airfares (economy class, return ticket)
  • Accommodation
  • Local transportation in France (if required) and
  • Meals for the duration of the training.


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

No later than four (4) weeks after the training has ended, each trainee shall submit an end-of-training report to IFREMER 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:            Institut Français de Recherche pour l’Exploitation de la Mer (IFREMER)/PMN

Year:                                      2025

Programme Name:         Internship

Specialization:                Environmental Studies


Application Deadline: 27 September 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), IFREMER has pledged to allocate 50% of its training opportunities to qualified women applicants.