SG's Award for Excellence in Deep-Sea Research

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ISA launched a Voluntary Commitment to encourage and disseminate research through the ISA Secretary-General’s Award for Deep-Sea Research Excellence at the UN Ocean Conference in New York in June 2017 (#OceanAction15796). The Award recognizes and encourages the achievements of young researchers from developing countries who have made outstanding contributions to the advancement of scientific knowledge of the deep-sea environment, or to the development of environmentally sustainable regulatory frameworks.

Since 2018, the Secretary-General’s Award is sponsored by Monaco.



  • Cash Prize: US$4,000
  • Cost of attendance of Awardee to annual Session of ISA’s Assembly covered
  • Cost of participation of Awardee to one ISA workshop on matters of expertise covered
  • Cost of publication fees of an article written by Awardee in scientific journal (open access journal) covered
  • Cost of participation in the upcoming joint TOML-NORI environmental and exploration campaign to the Clarion-Clipperton Zone (departing in November 2021)

Download the 2020-2021 Edition flyer


The Secretary-General’s Award is intended to recognize individual accomplishment. However, there may be cases where the research has been undertaken by a team, consisting of eligible candidates. In this case, a team nomination may be submitted.

  • Only candidates under the age of 35 at the date of nomination who are nationals of a developing country, as defined by the United Nations, are eligible to apply.
  • The results of the research for which the nomination is submitted should have been published either in English or in French no earlier than one year prior to the date of submission.
  • Any individual or team that has previously received the Secretary-General’s Award shall not be eligible for nomination.

Nomination procedure

Nominations and applications must be supported by two sponsors and should be sent to no later than 15 July 2021. The name of the awardee will be announced on 24 July 2021.

The following documents should be attached to any nominations:

  • A letter from the nominator summarizing the research and outlining the national or international significance of the work submitted. The letter should not exceed 750 words;
  • The curriculum vitae of the candidate;
  • Any publication derived from the research undertaken;
  • Two letters from sponsors outlining the type and impact of the research carried out by the nominee and attesting to its significance and quality.

Advisory committee

A five-member voluntary Advisory Committee has been appointed by the Secretary-General, with responsibility for evaluating nominations. All members are recognized for their expertise in the field of deep-sea science (natural and/or applied); social sciences and humanities with experience in the law of the sea; international law; or management of marine resources.

The members of the Committee are listed here.


2019 Edition – Dr. Mauricio Shimabukuro, Brazil

2018 Edition – Dr. Diva Amon, Trinidad & Tobago