ANZIC (Australian & New Zealand IODP Consortium) is delighted to confirm the securing of operational funding until 2024, following the announcement of its successful ARC LIEF bid on 16 November. 

Professor Steve Eggins (ANU Research School of Earth Sciences) wearing his thankyou gift of an IODP jacket for all his work on ANZIC’s ARC LIEF application.

The grant, which provides $4,378,196 in funding – the largest single LIEF grant – over two years, will ensure ANZIC’s ongoing membership and participation in the International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP), the world’s largest and longest-running collaborative research program in Earth and ocean sciences. The successful bid is the product of a great deal of work by many people, and was led by ANU Research School of Earth Sciences Professors Steve Eggins and Eelco Rohling. 

“Award of this LIEF project will ensure continuation of our participation in the International Ocean Discovery Program for another two years,” Professor Rohling explains. 

“This will not only allow participation in the Program’s globally unique drilling expeditions, but also supports continuing research based on those expeditions, and training and international network development for early-career researchers.” 

ANZIC Director Dr Ron Hackney says this membership is crucial in providing ANZIC member institutions across Australia and New Zealand with access to global-ranging geoscience research infrastructure. 

“IODP membership delivers unique enabling capabilities to explore, sample and monitor geological and biological activity deep beneath the seafloor,” Dr Hackney explains. 

“It facilitates research into past global environmental change on multiple time scales, the deep biosphere, plate tectonics, formation and distribution of resources, and generation of hazards, addressing multiple national science and research priorities and underpinning future societal and economic prosperity.” 

Confirmation of funding for from 2023-24 will enable ANZIC to push forward with a diverse array of planned initiatives to expand marine geoscience research capability in our region and support researchers of all stages to participate in offshore and onshore science.  

With its immediate future secured, ANZIC is progressing an ambitious vision for the future that places scientific drilling – both at sea and on land – at the heart of our national research infrastructure. Central to this strategy is aligning with AuScope through a potential NCRIS partnership to bolster our region’s integrated research infrastructure and provide enhanced access to the subsurface and advance scientific knowledge across diverse fields. ANZIC is also exploring opportunities in continental drilling afforded by partnering with the International Continental Scientific Drilling Program (ICDP).