Applications are now open for five (5) at-sea on-board training opportunities for candidates from developing States, Members of the International Seabed Authority (ISA). The placements are provided by Deep Ocean Resources Development Co., Ltd. (DORD), in accordance with its obligations under its contracts for exploration for polymetallic nodules (PMN) with ISA.

The objective of the training is to expose trainees to skills and techniques used for the exploration of deep-sea mineral resources. The goal of the programme is for trainees to acquire basic planning skills for marine survey and on-board survey techniques. DORD wishes to deepen trainees’ understanding of Japan’s marine mineral resource development through the historical development and current status of Japan’s domestic non-ferrous mining, smelting and refining business.

The programme is planned to run for approximately 30-40 days between October and mid-December 2023 (Exact dates may be subjected to change due to prevailing COVID-19 measures undertaken by the Japanese Government. Candidates will be notified with as much prior notice as is possible).

The programme will be conducted in two phases:

Phase 1: At-sea training on-board a research vessel for a 10-day cruise survey. Training will include marine seismic reflection survey, marine geological survey using magnetometer and gravimeter, and marine geological mapping, as well as practical training on exploration technology of marine mineral resources.

Phase 2: On-land training for 20-30 days which will include tours of the facilities related to former mine sites, parts of the heritage that shows history of the Japanese industry; marine resource development such as marine geology and seabed mineral resources; as well as lectures by the experts in various field related to marine resource development.

Candidates should hold a bachelor, master’s or doctoral degree in science or engineering in the relevant field of geology, geophysics, oceanography or have an equivalent educational background. Candidates must have sufficient knowledge of the English language and at least one year of experience in the field of specialization.

Please visit this link for more information and to apply. Applications by qualified candidates should be received no later than 31 May 2023. 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), DORD has pledged to allocate 50% of the training opportunities to qualified women applicants.


All contractors with ISA have a legal obligation to provide and fund training opportunities for personnel from developing States and those of ISA.

The legal basis for the requirement stems from the provisions of UNCLOS and the 1994 Agreement and is set out in the standard terms of contracts. Its purpose is to ensure that personnel from developing States are provided with appropriate operational expertise to enable them to participate in deep-seabed mining.

Please visit this page to know more about the Contractor Training Programme.


For additional information, please contact:

Ms. Annekah Mason, Training Coordinator, ISA,