Constitution of the Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research

Purpose and Functions

1.SCOR is a Thematic Organization of the International Science Council (ISC). Its purpose is to further international scientific activity in all branches of oceanic research. To achieve this, it performs the following functions:

(a) SCOR examines problems in oceanic research and identifies elements that would benefit from enhanced international action. For this purpose, it organizes scientific meetings on topics of broad interest and importance for progress in the marine sciences. It also develops plans for appropriate kinds of international action and promotes their implementation.

(b) SCOR establishes Working Groups (WG) or other kinds of subsidiary bodies, either alone or in conjunction with other appropriate organizations. These bodies carry out 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.

(c) SCOR fosters 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.

(d) SCOR seeks the views of marine scientists and interested ISC bodies on scientific aspects of international ocean activities and represents these views in appropriate international discussions. It develops support among marine scientists for international ocean research programs.

(e) SCOR co-operates with national and international organizations concerned with scientific aspects of ocean affairs. It reviews and comments on scientific aspects of international ocean programs. It co-operates with and supports Affiliated Organizations and interrelates their activities with those of SCOR.



2. SCOR has two categories of members: Nominated Members and Representative Members.

3. Nominated Members are selected by the National SCOR Committees, as defined in Clause 5 (a). To provide broad disciplinary representation, each National SCOR Committee may select up to three Nominated Members.

4. Representative Members are the elected representatives of Affiliated Organizations (ex-officio), active SCOR Subsidiary Bodies (ex-officio), the SCOR Scientific Rapporteurs (ex-officio), and the nominees of ISC, its Scientific Unions and its Scientific Committees that wish to participate in, and are agreed by, SCOR.


Organizational Relationships

5. In co-operation with organizations concerned with the scientific aspects of ocean affairs, SCOR maintains particularly close relationships with the following kinds of organizations and will invite their representatives to appropriate meetings:

(a) National SCOR Committees 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 SCOR Annual Meeting decides otherwise.

(b) Affiliated Organizations as defined in Clause 6.

(c) Sponsoring Organizations that are intergovernmental organizations that provide financial support and other services to SCOR or for which SCOR may perform functions specified by mutual agreement.

(d) Corresponding Organizations are other international organizations designated by SCOR and wishing to associate their activities with those of SCOR.

6. 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 or one designee per organization will become Representative Members of SCOR (Article IV) and ex-officio members of the Executive Committee (Article V). These organizations will 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.


7. SCOR meets annually. At its meetings, SCOR provides updates of all its activities, considers and approves new working group proposals, considers and approves the SCOR budget for the following year, and receives reports from SCOR partner organizations. SCOR encourages Nominated Members (see Article II), representatives of partner organizations, and ocean scientists from the country hosting the meeting to attend its annual meetings since these provide opportunities for the broader SCOR community to participate in important decisions of SCOR.

8. Any changes in the fundamental aspects of how SCOR works, such as elections to its Executive Committee or changes to its Constitution, are considered at annual meetings.

9. The agenda for its annual meetings will be submitted to Members, National SCOR Committees, and partner organizations at least two months in advance of the date of such meetings. Recipients may present additional items for inclusion in the agenda.


Executive Committee

10. The Executive Committee of SCOR shall consist of elected, ex-officio and other members determined in the following manner:

(a) at meetings held in even-numbered years, SCOR shall elect from its Nominated Members a President, three Vice-Presidents and a Secretary;

(b) the Past President is a member of the Executive Committee;

(c) the President of each Affiliated Organization, or his or her nominee, shall be an ex-officio member of the Executive Committee;

(d) the Executive Committee may co-opt up to two additional members to undertake specific responsibilities each for a period not exceeding four years.

11. The term 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.

12. The Executive Committee shall be responsible for dealing with all matters concerning SCOR’s work between annual Meetings, either through electronic communication or at meetings of the Executive Committee.

Subsidiary Bodies

13. Working groups and other subsidiary bodies may be established at any annual Meeting on the basis of proposals from ocean scientists from any country, Members, National SCOR Committees, 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 reviewing and approving appropriate terms of reference, as well as members and chairs of the groups.

14. At annual SCOR Meetings, the progress of each subsidiary body will be reviewed, and a decision will be made on its continuation, termination, or reconstitution.


15. Funds for the administration and activities of SCOR may be received from National SCOR Committees, ISC and its constituent bodies, UNESCO and other Sponsoring Organizations including national funding agencies, foundations and other sources. These funds will be deposited in designated SCOR accounts.

16. The Executive Director and Finance Committee (see Clause 18) shall prepare budgets, which will include estimates of the dues levels required for National SCOR Committees. Budgets will be approved by participants at annual SCOR meetings.

17. The SCOR Executive Committee shall be responsible for oversight of the budget. The Executive Director shall inform the Executive Committee of the financial situation of SCOR on a quarterly basis, and if necessitated by a foreseeable deficit. The Executive Committee shall be consulted on all questions concerning the search for additional resources.

18. At every annual SCOR meeting, an ad-hoc Finance Committee comprising at least three Nominated Members, not members of the Executive Committee, shall be established to examine and to report on financial statements and budget estimates.

19. Accounts shall be maintained in accordance with regulations established by the country in which SCOR is incorporated.

20. SCOR funds shall not normally be used to pay such expenses for the participation of Member at SCOR Meetings. However, authorized travel and subsistence expenses incurred by individuals on the Executive Committee in attending meetings of that body may be paid by SCOR.

21. 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 ISC.


22. For the purpose of elections and other occasions when a vote is taken at an annual Meeting, only one Nominated Member from each National SCOR Committee shall have a vote. One Representative Member from each Organization shown in Clause 4 may also vote.

23. For any questions not covered by this text, the ISC Statutes and Rules for Scientific and Special Committees will apply.

24. This Constitution can be amended by agreement of the two-thirds of members, as defined in Article II, present and voting at a Meeting, as defined in Article 8, with addition of those absent defined by Appendix 2, and with subsequent approval by ISC.

Adopted at the Tenth General Meeting of SCOR in Tokyo, September 1970. Amended by the Thirteenth General Meeting in Edinburgh, September 1976, by the Fifteenth General Meeting in Woods Hole, September 1980, by the Seventeenth General Meeting of SCOR in Roscoff, France, 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, UK, September 1996 and the Forty-fourth General Meeting in Plymouth, UK, September 2018 and the Forty-sixth Meeting held “Virtually” in October 2020 .

Appendix 1 – Procedures for the Nomination and Election of SCOR Officers

1. A call for nominations from National SCOR Committees and affiliated organizations must be issued more than 6 months before appropriate Meetings. 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 Clause 3). 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 Appendix 1 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 3 of the SCOR Constitution (Nominated Members and Representative Members of Affiliated Organizations). Nominations received as a result of action taken under Appendix 1 Cause 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 SCOR 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 appropriate Meeting and the election will be held on the last day of that Meeting.
10. If no vote is requested, the slate proposed by the Nominating Committee will be declared elected at the end of the Meeting.
11. This procedure has been approved by the 24th General Meeting of SCOR (Amsterdam 1998). It may be modified by a majority decision taken at an appropriate Meeting.*

*Modifications were made at the 2008 General Meeting and at 2020 Meeting.

Appendix 2 – Voting procedure for changes in the SCOR Constitution

1. To allow National SCOR Committees that are not present at an Annual Meeting of SCOR to vote on any changes to the Constitution, a procedure for electronic voting will be used within 3 months after any Annual Meeting.
2. The voting will be overseen by the Executive Committee of SCOR.

Last revision to the Constitution approved by SCOR Nominated Members and Organization Representatives on the 21 of October 2020 during the 2020 SCOR Annual Meeting held on line.

Appendix 2 was added to the SCOR Constitution at the SCOR Annual Meeting in Plymouth 2018

A downloadable pdf version of the Constitution can be found here