The International Seabed Authority (ISA) is inviting proposals for a consultancy to develop a strategic roadmap to implement scientific programmes under the Endowment Fund for Marine Scientific Research (MSR) in the international seabed area (“the Area”).

The Endowment Fund was established by the Assembly at the 12th session of ISA in 2006 to promote and encourage the conduct MSR in the Area for the benefit of humankind, with a focus on supporting the participation of qualified scientists and technical personnel from developing countries in MSR programmes, and offering them opportunities to participate in training, technical assistance and scientific cooperation programmes.

As of June 2020, 145 qualified personnel from 50 countries had benefitted from training, research and other activities carried out by various institutions with grants allocated under Fund. From 2008 to 2019, 22 contributions by nine Member States and one contractor were made to the Fund, which as of June 2020, presented a working capital of USD$3,513,567.

However, according to the findings of a review commissioned by the ISA Secretariat in 2019  on the effectiveness of all capacity-building initiatives implemented since 1994, and the recommendations from participants at the ISA ‘Capacity development, resources and needs assessment workshop,’ held in February 2020, the operation of the Fund is faced with several challenges that require to be addressed.

The COVID-19 pandemic has presented further challenges in the implementation of 2020 programmes that would have been supported by the Fund, and as a result, activities under the Fund have been postponed until 2021.

In the meantime, the ISA Secretariat is looking to recruit a consultant to develop a strategic roadmap to implement scientific programmes under the Fund.

Interested candidates with the requisite experience in Oceanography, Marine Environmental sciences, Ocean Resources Management, and related fields should submit their proposals, in line with the Terms of Reference which can be found here:  to by 25 September 2020.

For enquiries:

Ms. Marie Bourrel-McKinnon, Senior Policy Officer – Special Assistant to the Secretary-General, ISA (


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