The International Geoscience Programme (IGCP) is a joint endeavor of UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) and IUGS (International Union of Geological Sciences), within the International Geoscience and Geoparks Programme of UNESCO (IGGP). The primary aims of IGCP are to facilitate international collaboration amongst scientists from around the world in research on geological problems, particularly between those individuals from more industrialized and those from developing countries. Through long-term joint research efforts, meetings, field trips, and workshops, IGCP aims to promote the use of geosciences in global issues including, but not limited to, sustainable development, the health and safety of humanity and the reduction of the adverse effects of natural disasters and resource extraction.

IGCP is an international and multidisciplinary programme. It covers different fields in the Earth sciences and complements other UNESCO and IUGS scientific programmes. It supports interaction with disciplines such as hydrological, ecological, oceanographic, atmospheric and biological sciences. IGCP has proven to be a very successful and cost-effective way of promoting sustainable development by enhancing geoscientific knowledge and expertise in developing countries.


IGCP pursues four broad objectives:

  1. Improving our understanding of the geoscientific factors affecting the global environment in order to improve human living conditions;
  2. Developing more effective methods to find and sustainably exploit natural resources of minerals, energy and groundwater;
  3. Increasing understanding of geological processes and concepts of global importance, including an emphasis on socially relevant issues; and,
  4. Improving standards, methods and techniques of carrying out geological research, including the transfer of geological and geotechnical knowledge between industrialized and developing countries


An IGCP Project must

  • focus on high-quality science relevant to the scientific objectives of the IGCP;
  • meet a need of international importance and societal relevance;
  • emphasize interdisciplinary cooperation;
  • constitute international participation including scientists from developing countries;
  • demonstrate potential for both long-term and short-term geoscientific and/or societal benefits;
  • include capacity building workshops or activities and/or educational trainings, especially focused towards young scientists and scientists from the developing world
  • explicitly acknowledge the sponsorship of UNESCO, IUGS, and IGCP; and,
  • promote global geoscience visibility. For example, through the publication of scientific results using internationally recognized scientific journals, but also other forms of more informal media (e.g. website, internet access to database, TV programs, exhibits, public briefings for decision makers),
  • publish a report summarizing the scientific highlights and achievements in the scientific journal “EPISODES” after 3 years.

Funding Available

All new and ongoing IGCP projects are evaluated annually by the IGCP Council according to their progress and scientific merit (low-medium-high). All new projects receive funding for the first year based on the same criteria mentioned above. The IGCP Council submits a composite prioritized list of the projects to the Secretariat. The final allocation of available funds to individual projects is subsequently determined collaboratively by the IGCP Bureau.

Useful Links


CORIS Internal Review Please contact your Research Facilitator
cuResearch Checklist October 8, 2018
Submission to Sponsor October 15, 2018

Submitting Your Application

  • Applications must be submitted via cuResearch, through which Departmental and Associate Dean’s approval must be provided to complete the online application process.
  • More information on cuResearch can be found here.

Internal Contacts

If you would like assistance with proposal development and/or a substantive review of your proposal, please contact the appropriate Research Facilitator.