Applications are now open for two (2) at-sea on-board training opportunities for candidates from developing States, Members of the International Seabed Authority (ISA).  The placements are being provided by Ifremer (French Research Institute for Exploitation of the Sea) in accordance with its obligations under its contracts for exploration for polymetallic nodules (PMN) with ISA.

The at-sea on-board training will take place on board one of Ifremer’s research vessels for a duration of approximately 45 days (including mobilization and demobilization) between the end of 2024 (at this stage the mobilization is envisioned in December 2024) and Quarter 1 of 2025. The exact dates will be confirmed based on the ship’s scheduling.

The objective of the at-sea on-board training is to provide practical experience about polymetallic nodules exploration cruises and activities related to the environmental baseline studies. The activities will include:

  • Processing of sediment cores, including cutting cores in depth layers;
  • Sieving each depth layer and sorting Meiofauna (and potentially Macrofauna) samples;
  • Preserving samples.

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.

Candidates should have at least one year of work experience in the relevant field. Experience in sorting of meiofauna samples would be highly desirable.

In addition, candidates must be proficient in either French or 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 9 February 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 at the 2022 UN Ocean Conference aims at “Advancing women’s empowerment in marine scientific research”– 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. Annekah Mason, Training Coordinator, ISA,