The U.S. Science Support Program sponsors workshops to promote the development of new ideas to study the Earth’s processes and history via scientific ocean drilling. The primary goal is to identify promising new scientific objectives and research opportunities. The workshop program encourages wide scientific community involvement to bring a broader and multidisciplinary approach to standing hypotheses and to explore new directions for research.


Workshops may focus on a specific scientific theme or topic, or they may focus on a geographic region, integrating multiple topics. Regionally-focused workshops offer opportunities to develop drilling proposals for future target areas based on projected ship tracks, or to synthesize scientific results from past expeditions.


Workshop proposals must be submitted by researchers affiliated with a U.S. institution. Funding may be requested for U.S.-based workshops or to support U.S. participants at large, international workshops. Proposals are accepted biannually and evaluated competitively by an independent review panel.


Submission deadlines are June 1 and December 1. Notification of funding can be expected the following August or February, respectively.


The anticipated planning period for a typical workshop is at least 5 months following funding notification. The planning period allows both workshop organizers and USSSP a reasonable time for developing advertising materials, circulating an open call for participation, and arranging participant travel logistics. 



Upcoming Workshops


Upcoming workshops available for participation are listed below. If you are interested in organizing a workshop, please see Submit a Workshop Proposal (below) for more information.



  • IBM Arc System and Analogs
    October 27 – November 2, 2019 – Izu Peninsula, Japan
    Workshop Organizers: Cathy Busby (US) and Harue Masuda (Japan)
    Deadline to Apply: May 1, 2019.

Submit a Workshop Proposal

The next proposal cycle (June 1, 2019 deadline) will begin in the spring and will be announced on the USSSP IODP mailing list. Proposals should be submitted through the online USSSP Application Portal. All workshop proposals require the following materials:


1.  Workshop Proposal Cover Sheet: A completed, signed cover sheet is required for proposal submission. Official institutional approvals must be included on all workshop proposal cover sheets. The cover sheet can be downloaded here or from the USSSP Application Portal and filled in offline; then, the completed, signed document can be uploaded during the online submission process.

2.  Application: A one-page online form requesting basic contact information for the lead proponent on the proposal.

3.  Curriculum Vitae: A two-page CV, for the proponent listed on the cover sheet.

4. Workshop Proposal: The proposal contents must not exceed 10 pages (including references) and must include:


a.  Scientific Motivation and Goals: The proposal must contain a description of the scientific motivation for the workshop, the topic’s relation to the International Ocean Discovery Program, and the workshop’s goals.

b.  Agenda: The proposal must contain a description, such as an agenda or detailed outline, of how the workshop will accomplish the stated goals.

c.  Workshop Education and Outreach Plan: In addition to the primary goal of identifying promising new scientific objectives and research opportunities, identify if the workshop will have any opportunities for education and outreach.

d.  Participants: Except under special circumstances, such as space limitations, workshops are open to all participants. Participants supported with USSSP funding should be selected from an open application period. The proposal must contain a description of the potential participants (e.g., number of participants, disciplines desired or needed, number of early career researchers) and how applications will be evaluated.  If your workshop will include groups who are not traditionally users of IODP data, what plans to do you have to sustain their interest and draw further on their expertise?

e.  Travel and Location: The proposal should contain a proposed date and location, with options. Sponsored travel must be consistent with the USSSP Travel Policy. The USSSP office can assist in making arrangements for the meeting place and airline tickets. USSSP travel funds are reserved for U.S.-based participants; exceptions can be discussed.

f.  Advertising: Workshops must be advertised electronically or, if justified, in print (e.g., US IODP mailing list, Eos, GSA Today, AAPG Explorer). All advertising should acknowledge support of the U.S. Science Support Program associated with the International Ocean Discovery Program. The notice should state that the workshop is open to all participants. Advertisements must be reviewed by USSSP prior to placement.

g.  Budget Summary and Budget Justification: Budgets normally should be within $40,000. Proponents are encouraged to seek co-sponsorship of the workshop with other programs. Budgets should consist mostly of travel support for the participants, but items such as supplies, advertising, and meeting facility costs are also allowed if properly justified. Please note that, by policy, USSSP workshop funds cannot cover field trips.

h.  Summary of other relevant current support and prior work by lead proponent with scientific ocean drilling programs (1 page max).


 5.  Demographic Information Form: This is a required online form. Information will not be disclosed to external peer reviewers. If you do not wish to fill out any of the information (excluding your name), please check the appropriate box.





A final report summarizing workshop motivation, discussions, and recommendations is required within six months following the workshop. The report must contain an executive summary, a list of recommendations, a list of participants, and a synopsis of possible drilling expeditions and strategies. The report should be of moderate length (~35 pages) and be delivered as a PDF. The convener may be requested to also provide a summary article for USSSP and should consider publishing reports results in scientific newspapers.


Supplementary Workshop Participation


In addition to workshop funding, USSSP supports the participation of U.S. scientists in international IODP and IODP/ICDP workshops. Proposals are accepted and evaluated on a rolling basis, but there is no dedicated call for proposals. A request should be submitted by a U.S.-affiliated scientist to Angela Slagle (, with a short proposal including the workshop’s aims, agenda, and setting. The request should also include: (1) a list of scientists from U.S. institutions to be supported, (2) their CVs, and (3) specific scientific motivations and potential contributions for each of the proposed participants to attend the workshop. USSSP encourages diversity among the invited participants, in terms of career level, gender, and institution. A letter of support from the organizer of the workshop is helpful, but not required. The lead U.S. proponent can request a maximum of $12,000 to support a group of U.S. scientists. Funding may be used for travel support only and cannot exceed $2,750 per person.





Proponents are encouraged to discuss their ideas for workshops with the U.S. Science Support Program. Contact



Past Workshops


Past workshops have led to development of new technology and many successful IODP expeditions. View archived reports, articles, and other information here.