The International Ocean Drilling Programme (IODP3) will begin in January 2025 and will succeed the current International Ocean Discovery Program which ends in 2024. IODP3 will be led jointly by ECORD and Japan as Core Members and involve collaboration and partnership with other non-platform-providing ocean drilling research entities or consortia as Associate and Temporary Members.

On 18 September 2023, ESSAC and J-DESC have opened a call for expressions of interest from senior scientists based in IODP3 Core Member nations to lead and host the new IODP3 Science Office (IODP3-SO). An external committee has now thoroughly evaluated the applications received and recommended the appointment of Antony Morris (University of Plymouth, UK) and Nobu Eguchi (JAMSTEC/MarE3, Japan) as joint Directors of the Science Office for the five first years of IODP3 (2025-2029). It will be located in the University of Plymouth.

The IODP3-SO will:

  • Implement a programme-wide application portal for all aspects of IODP3 activities including calls for expedition participation, panel and board membership, training events, scholarships, and grants.
  • develop and maintain a database management system for community-led drilling proposals and their evaluation, together with an associated site survey data bank, accessible to Science Evaluation Panel (SEP) members and other IODP3
  • Provide logistical support for the SEP, the Mission-Specific Platform Facility Board (MSP-FB), and the Scientific Drilling Forum.
  • Gather and analyze data (statistics and metrics) aimed at monitoring and improving equality, diversity, and inclusion within IODP3, and propose measures to further facilitate an inclusive culture in scientific ocean drilling.
  • Design and maintain the IODP3 website that will act as the primary source of programmatic information for the international scientific ocean drilling research community.
  • Develop and implement an online, open-access publication system for IODP3 expedition-related reports, including associated editorial and reviewing processes, and maintain an expedition-based bibliographic database.

The IODP3-SO will start its activities in May 2024 to provide a start-up period for establishing IT systems, workflows, and protocols prior to the start of IODP3 on 1 January 2025. During this period, the IODP3-SO will also interact with the current IODP Science Support Office to ensure a smooth transition between the two programmes.

A review of the IODP3-SO will be conducted in the first quarter of 2029 by the IODP3 Executive Board to guide a decision to either re-compete or renew the contract for a second five-year period (1 January 2030 – 31 December 2034).


Gilbert Camoin, Director of the ECORD Managing Agency,

on behalf of the ECORD-Japan Evaluation Committee


Download the ECORD Headlines #23 HERE