Applying for Sea Time

Supplementary application for sea time (Second call)

The Marine National Facility supports Australian researchers and their international collaborators in carrying out research in Australia’s regional seas and oceans.

Under direction of an independent Steering Committee, the Marine National Facility is owned and operated by CSIRO on behalf of the Australian Government.

Supplementary applications for sea time are to utilise unused capacity on research voyages and transit voyages on RV Investigator.

RV Investigator

The Marine National Facility’s new state of the art research facility is currently under construction. Following a commissioning year in 2013-2014 RV Investigator will be available for research from 2014-2015.

RV Investigator is a highly advanced research vessel with a broad range of scientific equipment to support marine scientists in the following disciplines:

  • oceanography and climatology
  • fisheries, marine ecosystems
  • marine environmental research
  • marine geosciences

Application process

The application process involves submitting a Supplementary application for sea time to fill any unused capacity on research voyages and transit voyages that become necessary in developing RV Investigator’s schedule.

Application period

The next supplementary application period opens in March/April 2014.

See Timetable for an outline of the application process.

Unused capacity on a research voyage

Unused capacity on a research voyage means there are berths not being utilised so a group or possibly individuals can apply through the supplementary application process to use the berths. This provides the opportunity for groups or individuals to do underway science, training and testing of new equipment.

Depending how well a supplementary application integrates with a research voyage, there will be limited capacity to do on-station work unless it can be done concurrently within the primary objectives of the voyage.

Supplementary applicants should note they will be required to stay on board for the duration of the voyage.

Transit voyage

A transit voyage occurs where the vessel needs to sail between the port where one research voyage finishes and the starting port of the next. This provides the opportunity for groups to do underway science, training and testing of new equipment.

There will be some capacity to do research work on station but the time available will be dependent on the arrival and departure times of adjacent research voyages. The expected time available will be indicated for each voyage.

Science that can be undertaken

The supplementary application process provides the opportunity to carry out science, training and testing in a wide range of areas that is not in conflict with the research voyage or transit voyage objectives.

Supplementary applications are designed to utilise unused capacity and need to work within the constraints stated for the voyage. Science involving the collection and analysis of samples and data while the vessel is underway is particularly suited to supplementary applications as it is more likely to integrate with research voyage activities or transit voyage on station time constraints.

There will be an allowance for some on station time but this will vary depending on the voyage. For each voyage the expected amount of time will be indicated.


Universities and agencies that provide marine science education are encouraged to submit applications.

Institutions are encouraged to develop training and education programs for onboard delivery that integrate with campus based studies.

Student groups should consist of a Lead Principal Investigator to supervise the group, watch leaders/ supervisors and students.

Student groups should be aware they may be sharing bench space and facilities with other research and training groups on the vessel.

Applications from individual students may also be accepted if they can be linked with an existing research or training group. This will provide the opportunity for students to collect samples and data for their project.

Opportunities also exist for carrying out advanced short courses for universities and institutions working in marine science. This may be to develop skill sets for use on future voyages or to support land-based research outcomes.

Testing equipment

The supplementary application process provides the opportunity for researchers and technical staff of research institutions to test new equipment and processes at sea, which may later be used to provide proof of concept to underpin future research voyage applications.

Submitting applications

All applications must be submitted electronically as Microsoft Word documents by the due date. Incomplete applications will not be accepted.

Please send all applications to:

Linda Gaskell
Ph: +61 3 6232 5596

Application documents

Application documents for the next call will be available in March/April. See Timetable.


Last updated: 9/08/13

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