Letter from the USAC Chair

August, 2014

Dear Colleagues,

I want to take this opportunity to make sure you are aware of some recent changes to the funding structure within NSF related to scientific ocean drilling research, and how this might impact pre- and post-expedition research funding, as was recently announced in newsletters and on the NSF website.

Moving forward, the NSF Ocean Drilling Program (PD 14-5720) will now only provide support for small projects to be conducted during the expedition moratorium period to increase the scientific value of, and facilitate further research on, the expedition core, data, and associated samples. The expedition moratorium period begins with the expedition’s Sample Allocation Committee approval of the sampling plan and generally ends one-year following the post-expedition sampling party (see http://iodp.org for specific moratorium dates for each expedition). Examples of appropriate post-expedition small projects include: XRF, CT, or other scans of entire or selected critical sections of core; stratigraphic refinements for identified critical intervals; refinement of shipboard measurements/analyses/descriptions as deemed necessary by the shipboard scientific party. These Ocean Drilling Program (PD 14-5720) post-expedition proposals should be submitted during the initial portion of the expedition moratorium period with the expectation that the work can be completed during the moratorium period.

Limited support also will be provided through Ocean Drilling Program PD 14-5720 for critical, expedition-specific shipboard or downhole instrumentation (not meant for large instrumentation projects like CORKS) and for data synthesis/reprocessing critical for expedition implementation. Proposals of this type may be submitted at any time prior to the expedition.

Investigators are encouraged to contact the NSF program officers in this program prior to submission of a proposal to the Ocean Drilling Program (PD 14-5720) to discuss the appropriateness of the proposal for this particular program. It is expected that results generated from Ocean Drilling Program (PD 14-5720) awards will be made available to other shipboard participants upon completion and, once the moratorium is over, to the broader scientific community as required by the NSF-OCE Data and Sample Policy.

Most other larger pre-expedition (e.g., site characterization/site surveys) and post-expedition studies (both pre- and post-expedition moratorium) should now be submitted directly to other OCE programs (e.g., Biological Oceanography, Chemical Oceanography, Marine Geology & Geophysics) and not to the ODP program. Please contact the NSF ODP program officers if you have questions about which program is best suited for your pre- and post-expedition science.

If there are questions about this message, please feel free to contact me or any of the current members of the U.S. Advisory Committee for Scientific Ocean Drilling (USAC).

All the best,

John M. Jaeger
Chair, U.S. Advisory Committee for Scientific Ocean Drilling