SUBMISSIONS FOR EXPRESSIONS OF INTEREST ARE OPEN FOR 2025 UNTIL DECEMBER 31, 2023

OVERVIEW

Schmidt Ocean Institute (SOI) is soliciting Expressions of Interest (EOI) for collaborative, multidisciplinary research at any time and for any location and year identified as an area of operation for R/V Falkor (too). EOIs and full proposals are accepted on a rolling basis and are reviewed twice per year. Investigators may request R/V Falkor (too)’s full berthing allotment for science in an EOI or may be partnered with additional projects at the full proposal stage to maximize the use of the vessel.

SOI provides investigators and teams with free access to the full range of the capabilities of R/V Falkor (too), its onboard scientific facilities, analytical tools, and lab equipment, as well as pertinent technical, operational, communications, and informational services. A requirement of this asset and support is the timely sharing of the data, research and development outcomes, and real-time sharing of expedition research.

SOI expects that investigators will provide the funds and associated resources to bring forth their research program and to meet the objectives of projects conducted aboard R/V Falkor (too). This includes salary, travel, shipping, and research analysis.  Limited support is available for the provisioning of robotic platforms, sensors, instrumentation, high-performance shipboard computing, and open-source publication.

The SOI Strategic Framework describes the scientific and technological areas of highest priority for support aboard R/V Falkor (too).

Research Priorities & Locations

Schmidt Ocean Institute’s (SOI) mission is to catalyze the discoveries needed to understand our Ocean, sustain life, and ensure the health of our planet through the pursuit of impactful scientific research and intelligent observation, technological advancement, open sharing of information, and public engagement at the highest levels of international excellence. SOI’s Strategic Framework describes seven topical areas for support aboard R/V Falkor (too)

  • Mapping the Seafloor: Including systematic mapping of uncharted regions, plate boundaries, deep sea floor environments and seamounts.
  • Frontiers of Biodiversity: Including discovery and preservation of life, extreme environments, deep sea biodiversity, and microbiology.
  • Stability of Ocean Health: Including research into poorly monitored marine gases and nutrient cycles, ocean carbon cycle, deoxygenation, and microplastics.
  • Power of Nature: Including boundary layer dynamics, dynamical features, fine-scale physical processes, and vertical mixing.
  • Exploring the Deep: Including full ocean depth exploration, trench and back-arc basins, volcanoes and hydrothermal vents, seamounts and deep-sea coral.
  • Technologies for the Future: Including autonomous, remotely operated, coordinated robotics, biorobotics, biomimicry, brain-computer interface, smart, miniature, efficient technology, virtual and augmented reality, and intelligent use of data, machine learning, and artificial intelligence.
  • Human Effect: Including characterization of the high-seas and deep-ocean, research and mitigation of marine pollutants, scientific study of deep sea resources, and solutions for mitigation of extreme anthropogenic climate impacts.

SOI is committed to supporting the fundamental representation of the populations from the geographies in which R/V Falkor (too) operates and strongly encourages the teams assembled for EOIs to meaningfully engage these communities in research planning, execution, outreach, and data-sharing activities.

The regional sailing map for R/V Falkor (too) is provided on our website and below and EOIs may be submitted for any location and year identified as an upcoming area of operation. The territorial seas or Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) for preferred research site locations must be identified in the EOI. After proposals have been accepted for ship-time, expeditions are contingent upon receiving diplomatic authorization from the respective nation to conduct Marine Scientific Research.

Proposals seeking operations in 2025 and onwards are welcome at any time.

Maximizing Vessel Utilization

Submitted EOIs should request the berthing required to meet research project goals, up to 40 science party members, including students. In cases where projects do not fully utilize all of the available berths aboard R/V Falkor (too), those projects, in collaboration with the investigators, may be matched with other proposed projects to maximize the use of the vessel. Those matched projects will be invited to submit a combined full proposal leveraging their strengths and meeting the objectives of all participants.

Data Management

The open sharing of data is a pillar of SOI’s Mission. All data collected by the suite of systems aboard R/V Falkor (too) will be openly shared by SOI. We encourage investigators to consider how all types of data sets collected during the proposed research cruise will be processed post-cruise, managed, and shared with the public. At the full proposal stage, investigators will be required to document their open data-sharing policies, plans, and commitments regarding any additional data collected by systems they bring aboard R/V Falkor (too).

Expedition Outreach

SOI will provide communications support, including the collaborative development of an expedition outreach plan aligned with SOI’s goals and the science team’s objectives. Investigators are invited to propose innovative outreach opportunities that complement SOI’s communications support, such as: 

  • Citizen science projects, especially those with a regional focus.
  • Technology development for outreach (e.g. websites, 3-D modeling, image tagging, AR/VR).
  • Related curriculum or lesson plan development.
  • Collaborations with educators, education institutions, museums, and aquariums.
  • Collaborations with artists, art installation projects, or related arts-based activities.
  • Featured stories or articles in magazines, papers, television programs, or documentaries.
  • Multidisciplinary outreach programs or projects.

Guidelines

Expressions of Interest may be submitted in either written or video format and must be emailed to proposals@schmidtocean.org, following the guidelines below.

Written Submissions (3-page maximum)

Cover Page

  • Full project title at the top of the page in bold.
  • Names and affiliations of all Principal Investigators and Co-Principal Investigators.
  • Identify the planned region and year and describe the targeted location(s) of research within that region. 
  • Specify the estimated science party, amount of ship time (60-day standard maximum, but 4-month operations may be considered), and major equipment requested (e.g. 3 weeks on R/V Falkor (too), 4500m ROV, AUV, high-performance computing system, GPU (Graphic Processing Unit) array, etc.). 
  • Include map image(s) of the region and sites of interest.

Body

  • Written in English, no more than 2 pages of body text typed in single-spaced 12-point font, including any figures, tables, references, and any other supplementary materials. 
  • Formatted as .doc, .docx, or .pdf.

Video Submissions (10-minute maximum)

This format is solely for investigators whose primary language is not English.

Presentation

  • Full project title of the project.
  • Names and affiliations of all Principal Investigators and Co-Principal Investigators.
  • Identify the planned region and year and describe the targeted location(s) of research within that region. Include map(s) of the region and sites of interest.
  • Specify the amount of ship time (60-day standard maximum, but 4-month operations may be considered) and major equipment requested (e.g. 3 weeks on R/V Falkor (too), 4500m ROV, AUV, high-performance computing system, GPU (Graphic Processing Unit) array, etc.). 

Format

  • Presentations may be delivered verbally or accompanied by slide/video/image-based descriptions.
  • Presented in English, no more than 10 minutes in length, including any slides, images, figures, tables, references, and any other supplementary materials. 
  • Submissions must be in .mp4, .mpeg, .mov, .wmv., or .avi format.

Overall Contents

Submission must address:

  • The goals of the project and its intended scientific and technological impacts.
  • How this work aligns with the Schmidt Ocean Institute Strategic Framework.
  • How this work contributes unique knowledge, innovative technology, societal, economic, or environmental protection benefits, outstanding public engagement, or other significant local, regional, or international impacts. 
  • The tentative cruise plan, including route and duration. Please include if your project has flexibility with regard to the geographical regions where it can be carried out.
  • What R/V Falkor (too) research facilities and instruments will be used.
  • What additional equipment will be used (or would be desirable) and where/how will it be obtained (if not already owned by the host institution/organization).
  • Any local (community where the expedition takes place) partnerships, collaborations, or co-principal investigators who are included in your proposed science or technology development. How will those relationships be cultivated prior to the expedition? 
  • How you will share the work conducted by your team with local, regional, and international audiences. What partnerships or collaborations will you engage in to bring the work to scientific and general audiences?
  • Any plans for the data collected; how it will be shared, the destination repositories, and the timeline for making the data publicly available.
  • Any parts of the project that have already been funded or will be funded prior to the year of the cruise including, but not limited to, salaries and associated land-based research.

Review Process

EOIs will be reviewed on a rolling basis internally by SOI staff familiar with the subject matter and operational logistics knowledge required to conduct oceanographic research as well as by members of SOI’s Advisory Board. The panel will be assessing the EOIs’ merits and feasibility with consideration of how the EOI meets SOI’s priorities and availability. Invitations for full proposal submission will be made pending review with priority for projects seeking expeditions with the earliest departure dates.