SG's Award for Excellence in Deep-Sea Research

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Since 2017, the International Seabed Authority promotes and encourages excellence of young researchers from developing States by recognizing the best of them through the ISA Secretary-General’s Award for Excellence in Deep-Sea Research  (#OceanAction15796).

The Award is supported by Monaco and is aimed at recognizing and encouraging the achievements of young researchers from developing countries who have made outstanding contributions to the advancement of scientific knowledge of the deep-sea environment, or to the development of environmentally sustainable regulatory frameworks. Since 2020, with the support of Nauru Ocean Resources Inc. (NORI) and Tonga Offshore Minerals Ltd. (TOML), the Awardee is also offered the opportunity to participate in an exploration and environmental campaign in the Clarion-Clipperton Zone.

SG Award 2022


  • Cash Prize: USD4,000
  • Participation in an environmental exploration cruise in the Clarion-Clipperton Zone (2022/2023)
  • Cost of attendance of Awardee to annual Session of ISA’s Assembly
  • Cost of participation of Awardee in one ISA's workshops on matters of expertise
  • Cost of publication fees of an article written by Awardee in a scientific journal (open access)

Download the 2022 edition flyer


The Secretary-General’s Award is intended to recognize individual accomplishment. However, there may be cases where the research has been undertaken by a team, consisting of eligible candidates. In this case, a team nomination may be submitted.

  • Only candidates under the age of 35 at the date of nomination who are nationals of a developing country, as defined by the United Nations, are eligible to apply.
  • The results of the research for which the nomination is submitted should have been published either in English or in French no earlier than one year prior to the date of submission.
  • Any individual or team that has previously received the Secretary-General’s Award shall not be eligible for nomination.

Nomination procedure

Nominations and applications must be supported by two sponsors and should be sent to no later than 3 June 2022. 

The following documents should be attached to any nominations:

  • A letter from the nominator summarizing the research and outlining the national or international significance of the work submitted. The letter should not exceed 750 words;
  • The curriculum vitae of the candidate;
  • Any publication derived from the research undertaken;
  • Two letters from sponsors outlining the type and impact of the research carried out by the nominee and attesting to its significance and quality.

Advisory committee

A five-member voluntary Advisory Committee has been appointed by the Secretary-General, with responsibility for evaluating nominations. All members are recognized for their expertise in the field of deep-sea science (natural and/or applied); social sciences and humanities with experience in the law of the sea; international law; or management of marine resources.

The members of the Committee are listed here.


2021 Edition - Dr. Kirsty McQuaid

2019 Edition – Dr. Mauricio Shimabukuro, Brazil

2018 Edition – Dr. Diva Amon, Trinidad & Tobago