The U.S. Science Support Program sponsors Pre-Drilling Activities to provide funds in quick response to an opportunity to acquire data or information that will enhance a drilling expedition. Priority is given to projects that support expeditions already on the ship’s schedule. The definition of this activity is deliberately flexible to allow consideration of exceptional or unusual requests for drill site data enhancement.
Some categories of Pre-Drilling Activities are:
- Use of ships of opportunity to collect site-specific data that will significantly enhance the scientific yield of a planned IODP expedition;
- U.S.-based scientist participation in non-U.S. shipboard programs that are in direct support of IODP drilling objectives;
- Mini-workshops or focused planning groups that bring together scientists to integrate site-specific or regional data into a mature drilling proposal;
- Non-routine downhole measurements or innovative experiments that increase the overall scientific return from an IODP expedition;
- Assembling data sets or reprocessing existing data sets (e.g., from site surveys) for sites in regions of interest to IODP.
Proposals must be submitted by researchers affiliated with a U.S. institution. Pre-drilling proposals may be submitted at any time and will be considered as soon as they are received via a process established by the U.S. Advisory Committee for Scientific Ocean Drilling (USAC). Approximate time between proposal receipt and funding notification is 2-3 months. The proponent must justify how the proposed activity will enhance a drilling expedition or support IODP drilling objectives. Pre-drilling funds are limited and are meant for supplementing existing work and generally not for new initiatives or stand-alone proposals.