Request for Proposals: Novel Projects in Support of Scientific Ocean Drilling



The U.S. Science Support Program (USSSP) invites members of the U.S. IODP community to submit proposals for novel projects and activities that will enhance and advance the goals of scientific ocean drilling.


DEADLINE: Friday, October 20, 2023 by 11:59pm Eastern Time


With this request for proposals (RFP), USSSP aims to foster innovative, out-of-the box projects that may address elements of the current IODP Science Plan or focus on the future of scientific ocean drilling (2050 Science Framework).


Novel Projects proposals may explore a range of topics, including (but not limited to):


Legacy Data and Cores: Analytical projects using existing DSDP/ODP/IODP data and samples to explore new scientific questions, revisit existing data sets with new techniques, or synthesize multi-expedition data to address broader scientific themes


Outreach and Communication: Develop resources for communicating our science to a wide variety of audiences, including communication through non-traditional, creative means (e.g., digital media, StoryMaps, storytelling, etc.)


Career Development: Develop training opportunities or resources for the next generation of scientists who will engage in scientific ocean drilling research, including in areas of expertise critical and perhaps unique to IODP (e.g., borehole observatories); important for future scientific discovery (e.g., new technology, methods); or designed to enhance engagement of historically underrepresented communities in geosciences


This Novel Projects RFP is intended to stimulate new ideas, foster opportunities for unique projects and collaborations, and encourage community engagement related to scientific ocean drilling. Proposals should identify specific, realistic outcomes or products that will be developed within the scope of the project.


This RFP is not intended to replace USSSP’s Planning Workshops, Pre-Drilling Activity, Post-Expedition Activity, or Schlanger Fellowship Programs. Projects that fall within the scope of existing funding programs should be submitted as proposals to those programs, through the USSSP Application Portal.


USSSP remains committed to a policy of broad participation and inclusion, and to providing a safe, productive, and welcoming environment for all program participants and staff.

Submit a Novel Projects Proposal

Novel Projects proposals must include:


1.  Application form, with a title and short summary (max. 200 words) stating the purpose of the proposed activity and its expected impacts.

2.  Proposal (max. 8 pages, including any figures and references): Describe the proposed activity, including motivation, goals, anticipated audience/collaborators, expected outcomes, impacts, and assessment strategies, and any plans for involvement of early career researchers, groups underrepresented in STEM or beyond the existing IODP community.

3.  Budget and Budget Justification (1-3 pages, advised): A full budget for the proposed activity should be submitted, including institutional overhead where appropriate. Small, cost-effective budgets are encouraged. The budget justification text should explain and provide justification for all budget items, including an institutional overhead statement where appropriate. These can be uploaded as a single, combined PDF file, or two separate documents.

4.  Curriculum Vitae (max. 2 pages), for the primary investigator (PI) that highlights any experience, activities, and/or publications that are related to the proposed project.

5.  Demographic Information Form: Information may be shared with reviewers. If you do not wish to fill out any of the information (excluding your name), please check the appropriate box.

6.  Conflict of Interest Disclosure Form

7.  Supporting Letters (Optional): Letter(s) of support or intent from collaborators, co-funders, host facilities/labs (for example) may be included, but are not required.



PIs must have a primary affiliation with a U.S. institution or organization. Proposals should be submitted to the Novel Projects (RFP) through the online USSSP Application Portal.


Project period and budget


Proposed projects should be completed within one year (12 months) following award notification. At this time, USSSP can commit to funding projects that extend as far as February 2025. A final report is required within 3 months of project completion. Given the wide range of potential projects that could be submitted, budgets may vary greatly but generally should not exceed $50,000 ().


Review process


Novel Projects proposals will be reviewed by the U.S. Advisory Committee for Scientific Ocean Drilling (USAC) and external reviewers, if needed to evaluate the subject matter. Proposals will be evaluated based on their relevance/interest for scientific ocean drilling; use of novel techniques or approaches; engagement of early career researchers, underrepresented groups, and/or new communities; quality of written proposal; specific, realistic outcomes or products; and capabilities of investigator(s) (and collaborators, where appropriate). Funding decisions will be made by the U.S. Science Support Program within three (3) months of proposal submission.




Proponents are encouraged to discuss ideas for Novel Projects with USSSP staff prior to submitting proposals. For further information about the Novel Projects RFP and to discuss your ideas, please contact the USSSP Office at


Submission Deadline: Proposals for the current Novel Projects RFP will be accepted through October 20, 2023. USSSP anticipates issuing RFPs for Novel Projects semiannually.



() Proponents should contact USSSP to discuss any potential project for which a budget greater than $50,000 may be required.