Please review the program details on the website here and the frequently asked questions below before contacting with any other questions.

Are these funded positions? Are scholarships available? Are there any costs associated with the Student Opportunities program?
Schmidt Ocean Institute does not charge for a Student Opportunity berth on R/V Falkor. We are a non-grant giving organization and the Student Opportunities positions are not funded and scholarships are not available. If selected, round-trip economy travel to research vessel Falkor will be provided. Food and lodging while onboard are also provided, any other travel related costs included ground transportation, luggage fees and meals during transit will not be covered. Students traveling internationally may require a visa to enter the country for participation. Any visa applications and related costs are the responsibility of the student.

What is the time range for the program? Is it for a one month period, over the course of an entire summer, etc.
The program is for berths of opportunity at any time during 2019. This means if there an available berth after the science team is filled, we open that space to a student or artist. If you are selected, SOI will match you with an appropriate expedition/transit as it becomes available. This can happen at any point during the year. Expeditions can run anywhere from 10 to 30 days. We aim to notify those selected at least two months in advance of the expedition so that they have a chance to accept or decline the offer.

Should I have an acceptance letter from a professor who has worked with Schmidt Ocean Institute?
Your letters of recommendation can come from anyone who has first-hand experience with your academic performance and can also discuss your character and personality. We encourage at least one to be from a professor with whom you have worked with in the past, but this is not a requirement.  

What should the letter of reference address? I want to make sure that I choose the right person to refer me.
The letters of recommendation are important as they provide information about applicants that cannot be found on their CV or academic transcript. Character and personality are considerations in our evaluation process to ensure that you are the right fit for the selected cruise. Therefore, someone you have worked with who can speak directly to personal interactions and provide examples would be an ideal. Being able to work in a team, communicate with people, and keep a good attitude are important traits.

Does Schmidt Ocean Institute provide classes or award certificates?
No, Schmidt Ocean Institute does not offer any classes or award certificates. The Student Opportunities program strictly provides berths of opportunity for students and recent graduates to gain sea-going research experience.

What documents will I need if selected for a Student Opportunities berth?
If selected for a student opportunities berth, you will be asked to provide a valid copy of your passport that does not expire within six months of the cruise end date and proof of medical insurance that will cover you while at sea. You will also be asked to complete a confidential medical form, cruise personnel form, and media waiver. Students traveling internationally may require a visa to enter the country for participation. Any visa applications and related costs are the responsibility of the student.

Am I guaranteed to get the research cruise I requested?
We would love to be able to place artists with the specific cruise they are interested, but logistics, berth space, and availability do not always allow this.

I have a previous engagement that overlaps with the research cruise – can I come late/ leave early?
No. This is a working research vessel with science as its main mission. The ship must leave from the expedition on time, and once launched, will not return with the exception of an emergency. If you are selected and agree to participate, you are committing to being on the ship for the entire length of the expedition. Any personal logistics are the sole responsibility of the participant, and need to be worked out well ahead of accepting the time on board.

How should I submit supplemental information?
All supplemental material must be separately emailed to by the deadline indicated on the website. We will not review or accept any supplemental materials after the deadline, even if the online form has been completed. Please ensure all supplemental material is clearly labeled with your full name and what document it is.

Should I email Schmidt Ocean Institute to confirm they received my application?
No, you should receive a confirmation from the Google form once submitted. If you do not receive this you may email Please do not email us to ask about decisions. The evaluation and review process takes several months to complete due to the numerous applications we receive. We apologize in advance, but we cannot field all status inquiries.

Should I keep a copy of my application submission?
Yes, we suggest that you record the answers in a separate document first, where they can be spell-checked, edited, and saved before copy/pasting into the Google form. In case there is an issue with receipt of your application, you will still have your materials saved.

Upcoming OpportunIties

Due to an overwhelming number of applications we will not be accepting new applicants for the 2020 program year. If you want to be added to our contact list for when we open our call please email

Please review the program details above and the Frequently Asked Questions before contacting with any other questions.