Constitution of the Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research

Purpose and Functions

  1. SCOR is a Scientific Committee of ICSU. Its purpose is to further international scientific activity in all branches of oceanic research. To achieve this purpose, SCOR should perform the following functions:
  1. Examine problems of oceanic research and identify elements that would benefit from enhanced international action. For this purpose, organize scientific meetings on topics of broad interest and importance for progress in the marine sciences. Develop plans for appropriate kinds of international action and promote their implementation.
  2. Establish working groups or other kinds of subsidiary bodies, either alone or in conjunction with other appropriate organizations, for detailed examination of problems related to international ocean activities and studies of the marine environment, including improvement of scientific methods, design of critical experiments and measurement programs, and relevant aspects of science policy.
  3. Foster recognition of the contribution of individual marine scientists and laboratories, bringing to their attention specific problems requiring their consideration and encouraging an adequate level of support for their activities.
  4. Ascertain the views of marine scientists and interested ICSU bodies on scientific aspects of international ocean activities and represent these views in appropriate international discussions. Develop support among marine scientists for international ocean research programs.
  5. Cooperate with national and international organizations concerned with scientific aspects of ocean affairs. Review and comment on scientific aspects of international ocean programs. Cooperate with and support Affiliated Organizations and interrelate their activities with those of SCOR.


  1. SCOR is composed of three categories of members:
  1. Nominated Members
  2. Representative Members
  3. Invited Members
  1. Nominated Members are nominated by Committees for Oceanic Research, as defined in Article 6(a). In order to provide broad disciplinary representation, each such body may nominate up to three scientists as Nominated Members.
  2. Representative Members are the elected Presidents and Secretaries of Affiliated Organizations (ex-officio), the Chairmen of active SCOR Subsidiary Bodies (ex-officio), the SCOR Scientific Reporters (ex-officio), and the nominees of ICSU and of its Scientific Unions and its Scientific and Special Committees that wish to participate in SCOR.
  3. Invited Members are individual marine scientists who have been invited by the Executive Committee from countries that have not established a Committee for Oceanic Research.

Organizational Relationships

  1. In cooperation with organizations concerned with the scientific aspects of ocean affairs, SCOR will maintain particularly close relationships with the following kinds of organizations and will invite their representatives to appropriate meetings:
  1. Committees for Oceanic Research that have been accepted as appropriate adhering bodies to SCOR. Only one such adhering body per country or group of countries shall be admitted to SCOR, except where a General Meeting decides otherwise.
  2. Affiliated Organizations as defined in Article 7.
  3. Sponsoring Organizations, which are intergovernmental organizations that provide financial support and other services to SCOR or for which SCOR may perform functions specified by mutual agreement.
  4. Corresponding Organizations are other international organizations designated by SCOR and wishing to associate their activities with those of SCOR.
  1. Affiliated Organizations are international non-governmental organizations devoted to some aspect of marine science and engineering and wishing to interrelate their activities with those of SCOR. Upon designation of such organizations by SCOR, their elected Presidents and Secretaries will become Representative Members of SCOR (Article 4); their Presidents will become ex-officio members of the Executive Committee (Article 8). These organizations will normally maintain their usual links with their parent bodies. They will collaborate with SCOR in organizing scientific meetings and other appropriate activities, will assist SCOR in evaluating scientific problems related to intergovernmental programs, and will help in identifying experts to serve on SCOR working groups and other subsidiary bodies. They will meet jointly with SCOR in oceanographic assemblies, in addition to holding their own meetings.

Executive Committee

  1. The Executive Committee of SCOR shall consist of elected, ex-officio, and other members determined in the following manner:
  1. at General Meetings, SCOR shall elect from its Nominated Members a President, three Vice-Presidents, and a Secretary (see appended procedures);
  2. the Past President is a member of the Executive Committee;
  3. the President of each Affiliated Organization, or his or her nominee, shall be an ex-officio member of the Executive Committee;
  4. the Executive Committee may co-opt up to two additional members to undertake specific responsibilities, each for a period not exceeding four years.
  1. The terms of office of the President and Secretary are four years and they are not eligible for re-election for a consecutive term. The terms of office of the Vice-Presidents are two years and they are eligible for re-election provided that not more than two terms of office are served consecutively.
  2. The Executive Committee shall be responsible for dealing with all matters concerning SCOR’s work between General Meetings.

Subsidiary Bodies

  1. Working groups and other subsidiary bodies may be established at any General or Executive Meeting on the basis of proposals from Members, Committees for Oceanic Research, or Affiliated or Sponsoring Organizations. Subsidiary bodies may be sponsored by SCOR alone or jointly with other organizations prepared to contribute toward their support. In consultation with other sponsors, the Executive Committee is responsible for formulating appropriate terms of reference and for selecting members and chairmen.
  2. At General Meetings, the progress of each subsidiary body will be reviewed, and a decision will be made on its continuation or reconstitution.


  1. General Meetings will normally be held at two-year intervals; between General Meetings, there will usually be one meeting of the Executive Committee.
  2. The agenda of General and Executive Meetings will normally be submitted to Members, Committees for Oceanic Research and Affiliated and Sponsoring Organizations at least two months in advance of the date of such meetings.  Recipients may present additional items for inclusion in the agenda.
  3. Authorized travel and subsistence expenses incurred by members of the Executive Committee in attending meetings of that body may be paid by SCOR.  However, SCOR funds shall not normally be used to pay such expenses for the participation of Members in General Meetings.


  1. Funds for the administration and activities of SCOR may be received from its Committees for Oceanic Research, ICSU and its constituent bodies, UNESCO and other Sponsoring Organizations, foundations and other sources.  These funds may be deposited with ICSU or in designated SCOR accounts.
  2. The President and/or Secretary, together with the Executive Director, shall prepare budgets, which will include estimates of the contributions required from its Committees for Oceanic Research and Sponsoring Organizations; budgets shall be forwarded to ICSU for information.
  3. The President or Secretary shall be responsible for budgetary control.  The President or Secretary shall inform the Executive Committee of the financial situation of SCOR if necessitated by a foreseeable deficit. The Executive Committee shall be consulted on all questions concerning the search for additional resources.
  4. At every annual meeting (General and Executive Committee), an ad hoc Finance Committee comprising two Nominated Members, not members of the Executive Committee, together with the Treasurer of ICSU ex-officio, shall be established to examine and to report on financial statements and budget estimates.
  5. Accounts shall be maintained in accordance with regulations established by the officers of ICSU. Audited accounts shall be submitted annually to the Treasurer of ICSU.
  6. In the event of the dissolution of SCOR, its assets shall be ceded to one or more charitable organizations, to be utilized in conformity with the aims of SCOR and ICSU.


  1. For the purpose of elections and other occasions when a vote is taken at a General Meeting, only one Nominated Member from each Committee for Oceanic Research shall have a vote. One Representative Member from each Affiliated Organization may also vote.
  2. For any questions not covered by this text, the ICSU Statutes and Rules for Scientific and Special Committees will apply.
  3. This Constitution can be amended by agreement of two-thirds of voting members, as defined in Article 22, present and voting at a General Meeting, with subsequent approval by ICSU.

Adopted at the Tenth General Meeting of SCOR in Tokyo, September 1970. Amended by the Thirteenth General Meeting in Edinburgh, September 1976; the Fifteenth General Meeting in Woods Hole, September 1980; the Seventeenth General Meeting in Roscoff, October 1984; the Nineteenth General Meeting in Acapulco, September 1988; the Twenty-second General Meeting in Victoria, October 1994; the Twenty-third General Meeting in Southampton, September 1996; and the Twenty-fifth General Meeting in Washington, D.C., October 2000.

Appendix – Procedures for the Nomination and Election of SCOR Officers

  1. A call for nominations from national committees and affiliated organizations must be issued more than 6 months before the General Meeting. Nominations should include a suggestion of the position for which the candidate is being proposed, and a brief curriculum vitae. Candidates proposed must be Nominated Members of SCOR (see Constitution 8a). National committees may propose candidates from their own or any other member country.
  2. A Nominating Committee of three SCOR members will be appointed by the Executive Committee meeting prior to each General Meeting at which an election will take place. The Nominating Committee will normally include the Past-President as its Chairperson. The role of the Nominating Committee is to provide an Executive Committee for SCOR that is balanced in terms of disciplinary, geographic, and gender distribution.
  3. Nominations will not be accepted later than 4 months before the General Meeting except as provided for in clause 4.
  4. Between 2 and 4 months before the General Meeting, the Nominating Committee, after scrutinizing the nominations received, may seek additional nominations for specific positions through direct consultations with national committees and/or affiliated organizations. This process may be needed in order to maintain the appropriate disciplinary, geographic, and gender balance on the Executive Committee.
  5. The Nominating Committee will prepare a final slate of candidates, one per position, and will confirm that the members of this slate are willing to serve.
  6. Two months before the General Meeting the Nominating Committee will announce its proposed slate and send it, along with all nominations received, to all voting members of SCOR as defined in Clause 21 of the SCOR Constitution (Nominated Members and Representative Members of Affiliated Organizations). Nominations received as a result of action taken under clause 4 will be identified.
  7. Clause 22 of the SCOR Constitution states that when elections are held “only one Nominated Member from each Committee for Oceanic Research shall have a vote.  One Representative Member from each Affiliated Organization may also vote.”
  8. No further nominations will be allowed after the Nominations Committee has announced its slate of candidates.
  9. If three or more national committees do not agree with the proposed slate of the Nominations Committee, they may request that a formal election be held and that all nominations received be included on the ballot. Notice of a request must be received not less than 2 weeks before the start of the General Meeting and the election will be held on the last day of the General Meeting.
  10. If no vote is requested, the slate proposed by the Nominating Committee will be declared elected at the end of the General Meeting.
  11. This procedure has been approved by the 24th General Meeting of SCOR (Amsterdam 1998) and may only be modified by a majority decision taken at a General Meeting.*

*Modifications were made at the 2008 General Meeting, inserting the word “gender” in steps #2 and 4.