Research vessel Investigator at sea

Supplementary applications

Each year after Investigator’s Primary annual voyage schedule has been approved, Supplementary applications are called to utilise unused capacity on scheduled Research and Transit voyages. The distinction between these types of voyages is described below.

RV Investigator

RV Investigator

In addition to being ranked against the MNF assessment criteria of scientific/technical excellence, national benefit and applicant’s ability, Supplementary applications are assessed for logistical integration with the Primary voyage (if applicable) and training and educational criteria. Once assessed, successful Supplementary applicants are offered berths on a MNF Granted Research or Transit voyage.

Supplementary applications

A call for Supplementary applications to fill unused capacity in the 2017-18 and 2018-19 schedules is now open.

Space is available on the following Research and Transit voyages:

Application documents

The applications process involves submitting a Supplementary application for a MNF Granted Voyage to fill any unused capacity on Research and Transit voyages that become necessary in developing Investigator’s Primary schedule.

Application period

The application period closes 12 midnight AEST Monday, 15 May 2017

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.

What is unused capacity on a voyage and how can it be accessed?

Unused capacity on a voyage arises when there are scientific berths available for use on Research voyages or any Transit voyages which may be scheduled.  This provides the opportunity for individuals or groups to perform underway science, undertake student training and/or test new equipment.

The availability of unused capacity on Research or Transit voyages and the various ways this can be utilised leads to a range of options for Supplementary applicants.  For example, a Supplementary project for a Transit voyage could involve utilising all berths on the vessel for underway science, supervised student training and equipment testing, as well as using any additional time that might be made available for on-station and/or off voyage track work.  On the other hand, a Supplementary project could involve a single berth on a Research voyage for opportunistic science.  Alternatively, a student training project could involve a small supervised student team assisting with the Research voyage objectives, or working alongside an underway science team from a separate Supplementary project on a Transit voyage.

The following information provides further guidance around the Supplementary applications process.

Research voyages

For Research voyages, the Supplementary application process provides the opportunity to carry out opportunistic science, student training and equipment testing provided there are spare berths available and there is no conflict with the Research voyage objectives.  Supplementary applications that integrate well with the Research voyage will therefore have the best chance of success.  Successful Supplementary projects will work with and under the Chief Scientist for the Research voyage.

Opportunistic science involving the collection and analysis of samples and data while the vessel is underway is particularly suited to Supplementary applications as it is less likely to impact the Research voyage activities.

There may be additional time provided for Supplementary projects to perform on-station and/or off voyage track work during a Research voyage, however, the actual time available will depend on how the Research voyage progresses.  Any expected additional time available for these activities will be indicated for each Research 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 undertake underway science, student training and testing of new equipment and combinations of these opportunities will be considered favourably.

For each Transit voyage, a lead Supplementary project and associated Chief Scientist will be selected.  Other Supplementary projects may also be approved and will work with and under supervision of the Chief Scientist. 

There may be additional time provided for Supplementary projects to perform on-station and/or off voyage track work during a Transit voyage, however, the actual time available will depend on how the Transit progresses.  Any expected additional time available for these activities will be indicated for each Transit voyage.

Student training

Universities and agencies that provide marine science education are encouraged to submit Supplementary applications and develop training and education programs for on board 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 who 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.

Equipment testing

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.

Relevant policies and documents

Updated: 21 April 2017