The International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) will serve to advance basic research in the marine geosciences and will be supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and more than 20 international partners. The IODP builds on a rich legacy of scientific ocean drilling pioneered by the NSF in the 1960's with the Deep Sea Drilling Project, which provided a test of the plate tectonic hypothesis and a basic reconnaissance of deep-sea sediments and crustal rocks. The Ocean Drilling Program followed in 1985 and focused on examination of earth, ocean and climate processes. The Integrated Ocean Drilling Program, which began in 2003, served as an expanded program of scientific ocean drilling that used multiple drilling platforms and new technologies. The IODP commenced October 1, 2013 and builds upon lessons learned in the previous programs to implement a multi-platform international program based on cooperation rather than integration.
This solicitation seeks the services of a qualified provider to facilitate and enhance the participation of the U.S. scientific community in the IODP. The initial period of the award, to be administered as a Cooperative Agreement, is intended to cover the period March 1, 2015 through February 28, 2020. A Program review will be held prior to completion of the initial period and the results will guide a decision to either re-compete or renew the Cooperative Agreement for a second five-year period.