Applications for the 2023 Deep-Sea Expedition Leadership Master Class are due November 7, 2022. Please find more information on the COBRA website:

The COBRA is a “Master Class” trains early career researchers (ECRs) in deep-sea expedition planning from start to finish. The Master Class – delivered virtually over the course of 13 weeks – is designed to equip participants with the skills and tools to successfully design, propose, execute, and report on deep-sea oceanographic field research with a collaborative, just, equitable, diverse, and inclusive approach. Topics covered include reviewing the types of assets for conducting deep-sea research and exploration, funding and proposal writing tips, developing concepts through respectful and reciprocal engagement with others, cruise preparation how-to, at-sea operations planning, using telepresence for research and outreach, permitting and reporting, data management, and ocean law.

The 2023 Master Class will be held virtually for 13 weeks beginning the week of February 20, 2023 and ending the week of May 15, 2023. Synchronous virtual sessions are held on Tuesdays from 2:00-4:00PM US eastern time using Zoom. Asynchronous learning and networking is supported by the Master Class website intranet and a dedicated Slack channel.

For the 2023 Master Class, participants will also have the opportunity to remotely participate in a leveraged “shakedown” expedition of the RV Falkor (too) in June 2023. This expedition is sponsored by the Schmidt Ocean Institute – a COBRA partner – and is intended to explore seamount ecosystems in the Pacific Ocean within Costa Rica’s Exclusive Economic Zone to inform conservation of biodiversity. All Master Class participants are eligible to participate remotely via telepresence in the expedition, and to design a small research project during the virtual Master Class that can be implemented during the expedition.

As an international network, COBRA seeks participation from US-based and international ECRs, with an intention to create a larger, more diverse pool of talent engaged in leading deep-sea research that addresses societal needs. In this context, an ECR is defined as a senior graduate (Ph.D.) student, postdoctoral scientist, junior faculty less than 10 years from their terminal degree, and/or other junior professionals such as an early career employee of a government, non-governmental organization/non-profit, or company. Given the leveraged expedition opportunity, the 2023 Master Class will seek to advance research related to seamount ecosystems, translating science to inform conservation management policy, and/or capacity development in the Group of Latin American and Caribbean Countries United Nations regional group.

Participants selected for the virtual Master Class training opportunity are eligible to receive a US$2,000 stipend to support their participation. Participants are also eligible to receive an additional US$1,000 stipend to support their remote participation in the June 2023 cruise telepresence learning opportunity. Previous hands-on experience with deep-sea research, outreach, or policy is not required. Participants are considered COBRA Fellows for the 2023 calendar year and are eligible for additional COBRA leadership training opportunities.

More information and the link for the online application portal is available on the COBRA website: