Applications are now open for four (4) at-sea and post cruise training opportunities for candidates from developing States, Members of the International Seabed Authority (ISA). The placements are provided by the Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources of the Federal Republic of Germany (BGR), in accordance with its obligations under its contracts for exploration for polymetallic nodules (PMN) with ISA.

Two (2) placements will be geology based whilst the other two (2) will focus on biology. The training will be comprised of two parts:

Part 1:  An exploration campaign which will take place on-board R/V KILO MOANA within the BGR PMN contract area of the north-eastern Pacific Clarion-Clipperton Zone. The schedule dates are from 28 March to 14 May 2023, at the port of call Honolulu (USA).

The major objectives of the cruise are the surveying, sampling and processing of manganese nodules, sediments and the water column for nodule resource evaluation, environmental studies (pore water and water geochemistry; oceanography) and benthic as well as pelagic biodiversity assessments.

The training will, inter alia, include: instructions on vessel and deep-sea equipment navigation techniques and the planning of an exploration survey; introduction into the different types of deep-sea research equipment used; sediment and nodule sampling, description and processing for the determination of e.g. shear strengths and metal concentrations; geochemical sampling of sediments, pore waters and bottom waters for later determination of trace metal concentrations in the home laboratories; oceanographic analysis of the water column and bottom waters based on CTD data as well as current data obtained from Ocean Bottom Moorings; sampling and processing of biological samples for both benthic and pelagic biodiversity studies, involving fauna of all size classes; as well as instructions on the use of geophysical mapping techniques (swath bathymetric profiling, sediment echo sounding).

Part 2: Post-cruise training where trainees will visit BGR in Hannover, Germany for a four-week stay to work on the results of the cruise. The post-cruise training will, inter alia, consist of: an introduction into the laboratory facilities at BGR; sample processing for physical sediment properties (dry bulk density, porosity); geochemical analyses of sediment and water samples; grain size analytics; interpretation of seafloor images; preliminary resource evaluation; visits to other research facilities in Germany, for example, the laboratories for analyses of biodiversity and geochemistry; a longer visit and training in deep-sea biodiversity assessments (morphological and genetic analyses) for the two biology trainees in supporting the objectives of ISA’s SSKI; scientific writing and reporting.

Candidates must hold a qualified bachelor’s or master’s degree in marine biology, marine environmental sciences, marine geology, geophysics or oceanography. At least one year of practical experience in the candidate’s field of specialisation is required. Candidates should have sound knowledge of the English language, attested by a certificate, as required.

Please visit this link for more information and to apply. Applications by qualified candidates should be received no later than 31 January 2023.

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 (WIDSR) project, BGR 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,