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Accessing the Deep: Deep Ocean Training & Mentoring Program

Exploring the Ocean with Low-Cost Tools

Applications due June 14, 2024

Ocean Discovery League (ODL) is launching a new training program for early career individuals in the Pacific region to address head-on the inefficient, expensive, and inequitable deep sea exploration and research practices that continue to hinder our ability to explore the deep ocean at scale. 

This global inequity creates multiple challenges, including shaping research agendas, limited scientific exploration, hindered development of sustainable ocean-based economies, and the exclusion of individuals from appreciating the deep ocean's value. We aim to increase the number of people and diversity of community within deep-sea exploration.

Participants will receive comprehensive online training in technical and oceanographic knowledge from international deep-sea science experts. The course will focus on low-cost, accessible approaches to exploring waters deeper than 200 m. It will also assist participants with crafting research proposals incorporating accessible tools and solutions for localized deep-sea exploration.

After the training, attendees will be mentored by deep-sea or regional experts to develop research proposals tailored to localized deep-sea exploration, ensuring they are equipped to make meaningful contributions to the field.

The deep sea covers two-thirds of our planet, yet over 99% remains unexplored. Let's discover it together!

Program Details

Duration: Six-month program launching week commencing on July 15, 2024 comprised of online training followed by virtual mentoring.

  • Online Training: 10 weekly virtual training sessions using Zoom held on weekday mornings (Palau time) from July 15 to September 11, 2024.

  • Online Mentoring: Four months of online mentoring to support participants in developing localized research proposals and applications (September to December 2024). 


During the online training, each week, participants  will:

  • Participate in a live online training call and discussion session held using Zoom. ​​​

  • Engage in conversation with other participants and instructors using a dedicated WhatsApp group.


Following the online training, participants will be partnered with a mentor and are expected to:

  • Meet with the mentor each month to discuss the progress of their application. 


Note: The online training content will be offered in English, and participants will be asked to communicate in English. Online sessions will be recorded but only available to participants who were unable to attend the class or wish to revisit the material. Recordings of discussion sections will not be made public to protect vulnerable questions or conversations. Participants are expected to use their own computing devices with microphones, cameras, and internet access to participate in this program. They must be able to connect to the workshops using their accounts. Up to USD $50 may be requested for internet bandwidth to participate in online programs.

Who Should Apply

Applicants should hold at least an associate's degree or demonstrate equivalent experience and be at least 21 years old. 


We seek enthusiastic individuals with a marine science background, whether gained through formal academic study or equivalent hands-on experience, and a strong passion for ocean exploration. While previous hands-on experience in deep-sea research is not mandatory, a keen interest in the field is highly valued. We're particularly focused on individuals interested in expanding their work into deep-sea applications and how to use low-cost technology to achieve those goals. 


This 2024 training and mentoring opportunity is aimed at individuals from the Pacific Islands, focusing on candidates from Palau, American Samoa, Samoa, Niue, and the Cook Islands, receiving priority consideration. Individuals from these countries who are studying or living abroad are also welcome to apply. We strongly encourage applications from historically excluded communities.


Selected participants will receive a stipend of USD $1000 to support their involvement in the program.

Selection Criteria

Participant eligibility for the program will be determined by ODL based on the following criteria:

  1. Demonstrated interest in deep-sea exploration and research.

  2. Compelling motivation for participation in the program.

  3. Clear articulation of how the training will contribute to their local community.

  4. Availability to participate in the online training. 


Candidates will be notified by email of their selection status by May 31, 2024, and selected candidates will have 5 days to confirm acceptance to participate in the program.

Application Process and Deadline

Complete the online application form via the link below by Monday, May 27, 2024, at 11:59 PM (Palau Time).

“People just don’t know what’s beneath the water surface. If they don’t know, they don’t love it, and they won’t protect it.”

— Veta Wade, Founder & Director of Fish ‘N Fins, Montserrat

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