Call for applications



Deadline to apply: 1 September 2024

The European Consortium for Ocean Research Drilling (ECORD) is currently a major contributor to the International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP). As a platform operator, ECORD has developed a unique European-distributed research infrastructure that connects research facilities at multiple sites across Europe and Canada that are engaged in multidisciplinary aspects of subsurface scientific research and have a longstanding culture of cooperation in science, technology, and education.

The ECORD Science Support and Advisory Committee (ESSAC) is the IODP Program Member Office for ECORD and has a central role in coordinating and managing the participation of scientists from all ECORD members in all IODP expeditions.

The end of the current phase of IODP is now scheduled for 30 September 2024. After decades of unified international programmes, from DSDP to the current IODP, there will be major changes in the organization of international scientific ocean drilling activities. ECORD and Japan have agreed to build a joint scientific ocean drilling programme: The International Ocean Drilling Programme – IODP3 (IODP-cubed) by implementing jointly MSP (Mission Specific Platform) expeditions, inclusive of Chikyu, and further develop the MSP concept by diversifying drilling and coring technologies, as determined by scientific priorities, and operational efficiency (

IODP3 will begin immediately after the conclusion of the current IODP and will maintain the ESSAC Office as the ECORD Program Member Office.

ESSAC is now seeking applications from active senior scientists from ECORD member nations to act as ESSAC CHAIR for a three-year term from 1 January 2026 to 31 December 2028 and host the ESSAC Office in the same period. This is an exciting opportunity to take on a leading role within IODP, and to contribute to the successful continuation of scientific ocean drilling into its next major phase.

Role of the ESSAC Office and the ESSAC Chair within IODP3:

The mandate of the ESSAC Office is to manage and be responsible for the scientific planning and coordination of ECORD’s contribution to and participation in IODP3.

Specific tasks of the ESSAC Office are coordinate expedition and SPARC (Scientific Projects using Ocean Drilling Archives) applications, nominating science party members, reviewing the quota of science party members with respect to national financial contributions, to advise ECORD member countries on IODP3 Issues, coordinate training and outreach programs, evaluating and nominating candidates to IODP3 entities such as Facility Boards, and the Science Evaluation Panel and other IODP3Advisory panels, initiating and monitoring workshops, providing stimulation and guidance for writing scientific drilling proposals, assisting and advising the ECORD Managing Agency  (EMA) and the ECORD Science Operator (ESO) on public outreach.

The ESSAC Chair reports directly to the ECORD Council and acts as a liaison to EMA, ESO and other IODP3 entities. The ESSAC Chair is responsible for running the ESSAC Office, coordinating nominations of ECORD members for IODP3 expeditions, SPARCS and advisory panels, and for organizing and leading biannual ESSAC meetings. The Chair represents ESSAC as a member of the MSP Facility Board, the IODP3 Outreach Task Force, the Vision Task Force, and the Scientific Drilling  Forum. The ESSAC Office coordinates the evaluation of applications and funding of ECORD Grants, ECORD Summer Schools, ECORD Scholarships and the Distinguished Lecturer Programme. The ESSAC Chair is also expected to propose and co-convene an IODP3/ICDP-related special session at the European Geosciences Union
(EGU) General Assembly each year.

(Detailed description of ESSACs role in ECORD and IODP3, can be found in the preliminary ECORD MoU download here)

Term, Conditions and Compensation:

The ESSAC Chair is appointed by the ECORD Council, based on nominations by ESSAC. The ESSAC Chair rotates every three years together with the location of the ESSAC Office.  In addition, the selected ESSAC Chair will serve as incoming Vice-Chair beginning on January 1st 2025  and outgoing Vice-Chair for 18 months after the end of the term.

The ESSAC Office is funded by ECORD with a budget that will be paid annually and administered by the host institution. The budget shall be sufficient to include: (i) the salary of a full-time Science Coordinator, to be selected and appointed by the Chair, who assists with day-to-day duties of the office; (ii) travel and subsistence costs to allow the Chair and Science Coordinator to attend essential ECORD and IODP3 business meetings; and (iii) funding for the various activities managed by the office (e.g ECORD Research Grants, Scholarships, Summer Schools, Distinguished Lecturer Program). The budget also provides an annual compensation for the time spent by the Chair on ESSAC business. The Chair is free to use this compensation for any purpose (subject to the regulations of the host institution). Previous uses have included the appointment of academic staff to cover most of the Chair’s teaching responsibilities or the hire of staff to maintain the Chair’s research activities during their term in office.

Please note that the ESSAC Chair also serves as an ESSAC delegate representing the ECORD member country. Therefore, candidates will need to demonstrate that they are endorsed by their respective national IODP3 offices when appropriate.


Application Process:

Potential candidates are strongly encouraged to contact the current ESSAC Office ( or the ESSAC Chair (Angelo Camerlenghi, for advice and guidance prior to applying.

Interested scientists from ECORD member countries should email the following documents (as pdf files) to the ESSAC Office:

1) a letter of interest including scientific expertise and previous involvement in scientific ocean drilling.

2) a two-page summary CV including the most relevant recent publications.

3) a letter from the head of their institute/department confirming that the home institution agrees to host the ESSAC Office.

4) a short letter (or email) from their national office or research council representative indicating that they are aware of and approve the application.

Deadline to apply: 1 September 2024

Applications will be assessed by ESSAC, with a final nomination submitted to the ECORD Council for approval in October 2024.


For further information or questions, please contact the current ESSAC Office:

ECORD Science Support & Advisory Committee
Angelo Camerlenghi (ESSAC Chair)
Hanno Kinkel (ESSAC Science Coordinator)
Istituto Nazionale di Oceanografia e di Geofisica Sperimentale – OGS
via Beirut n. 2
34151 Trieste – Italia