For Scientists

Resources and information for scientists

Requesting Field Support

If you are preparing a proposal that includes any kind of support from IDP, you must include a Letter of Support/Scope of Work (LoS/SoW) document from IDP in the proposal. Researchers are asked to provide IDP with a detailed support request three weeks prior to the date the LoS/SoW document is required. Early submissions are strongly encouraged.

One aspect that has changed in our Letter of Support is that the costs for IDP driller salary associated with providing the field drilling support is no longer requested from the NSF Science Program Managers, rather it is provided from within our Cooperative Agreement with NSF. This means that the IDP costs to NSF science projects are lower than they have been in the past.

To request IDP support, follow these simple steps:

  1. Complete the FIELD PROJECT SUPPORT REQUIREMENTS form and email it to three weeks in advance of when you require the support letter and cost estimate. Early submissions are strongly encouraged. Your email will be received by IDP, and personnel from IDP will contact you to discuss your needs and provide a LoS/SoW document for your project.
  2. Include the LoS/SoW document in your proposal. If you are submitting a proposal to NSF, it is also recommended that you notify the relevant NSF Program Officer that your proposal requires support from IDP.
  3. If you are submitting a non-NSF proposal, familiarize yourself with the IDP Policy on Drilling Support to Scientists Who Are Not Funded by NSF.

Please note that following the completion of your field season, IDP will contact you and provide you with a survey form (End of Season Project Support Evaluation Form) regarding IDP's support of your field season. Your feedback assists IDP in providing the best possible support for field projects.

In addition, please acknowledge IDP support in any publications or articles that result from your IDP supported fieldwork with the following statement "We thank the U.S. Ice Drilling Program for support activities through NSF Cooperative Agreements 1327315 and 1836328."

Long Range Science Plan

The Ice Drilling Program (IDP) was established by the National Science Foundation to lead integrated planning for ice coring and drilling. The IDP and its Science Advisory Board (SAB) update this Long Range Science Plan annually in consultation with the broader research community. The purpose of this plan is to articulate goals and make recommendations for the direction for U.S. ice coring and drilling science, and for the development of drilling technology, infrastructure and logistical support needed to enable the science.

The Long Range Science Plan is revisited and revised as appropriate each spring.

Download Long Range Science Plan (.PDF)

Long Range Drilling Technology Plan

The Long Range Science Plan lays out recommended directions for U.S. ice coring and drilling science. This companion Long Range Drilling Technology Plan begins with a discussion of the drills and technologies needed to successfully implement the Science Plan. It then discusses field projects that would use the drills. Finally the Technology Plan addresses briefly the funding allocated for its implementation.

This plan is revisited and revised as appropriate each spring.

Download Long Range Drilling Technology Plan (.PDF)


IDP maintains and operates existing drill equipment, and develops new systems with two principal foci:

  1. to provide high quality ice cores, and
  2. to produce boreholes that provide access to the interior and beds of ice sheets and glaciers for such purposes as embedding instruments, collecting gas samples, setting seismic charges, studying subglacial processes, collecting subglacial bedrock core, and borehole logging.

Visit the Equipment section of the website to learn more about the existing equipment that is available to the scientific community.

You can also download operator manuals for several of the drills in the IDP inventory.

Outreach Support

The mission of IDP's Education Program is to enable effective educational outreach to teachers, students and the public on behalf of, and in collaboration with, the ice drilling and coring community.

To learn about how IDP can help you with your outreach needs, visit Outreach Support for Scientists.


For a list of IDP sponsored meetings, visit the Meetings section of the web site.

Projects Utilizing IDP Services

Visit the Expeditions page to learn about current (and forthcoming) projects that utilize IDP services.