Applications are now open for one (1) internship for a candidate from a developing State, Member of the International Seabed Authority (ISA).  The placement is provided by Ifremer (French Research Institute for Exploitation of the Sea), in accordance with its obligations under its contracts for exploration for polymetallic sulphides (PMS) with ISA.

The internship will take place within the deep-sea ecosystems’ studies laboratory of Ifremer, in Brest, for a duration of two months (approximately from April to May 2024 or earlier if the candidate is available).

The internship will focus on the characterization of the fauna (especially meiofauna) colonizing experimental substrata deployed at the peripheries of active vent sites as well as in inactive areas around the TAG and Snake Pit vent fields along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. This experiment was deployed for four years, with the goal to characterize colonization processes and to provide a perspective on ecosystem restoration through the evaluation of the potential of artificial substrata as a tool promoting organism’s settlement. Substrata have been recovered, and colonizing fauna has to be sorted and identified, before comparison with natural communities established in the vicinity. At the start of the internship, the candidate will receive a short training in meiofauna sorting and identification of major taxa.

The activities of the internship will include:

  • Extracting and counting meiofauna individuals from the 20-300 µm fraction of the material collected on substrata (binocular work)
  • Sorting individuals into major taxonomic groups (copepods, nematods, halacarids…)
  • Imaging and taking morphometric measurements on some macrofaunal taxa previously sorted from the > 300 µm fraction collected on substrata

As a minimum requirement, candidates should hold 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. Moreover, it would be appreciated if candidates already had experience in marine biology, biology laboratory work and skills in sorting meiofauna, or at least motivation for careful work under a binocular magnifying glass. All candidates should possess sound be proficient in English (both written and spoken).

Please visit this link for more information and to apply. Applications by qualified candidates should be received no later than 30 November 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), Ifremer 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. Melissa Beckles-Golding, Staff Assistant, ISA,


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