In 2011, the international scientific ocean drilling community released Illuminating Earth's Past, Present, and Future, the Science Plan for the International Ocean Discovery Program (2013-2023). This science plan has been the basis for ocean drilling research expeditions in line with IODP's principles of scientific investigation.  

Planning for a new science framework for the post-2023 era is now underway. International planning workshops were held from September 2018 through August 2019 in India, Australia, Japan, Europe, the United States, and China to capture the opinions of these international science communities. By the end of this process, over 800 participants had worked together to explore possibilities for a post-2023 science framework in support of future scientific ocean drilling. The highlights and key outcomes of the planning workshops are now available

The development of a new post-2023 science framework is being coordinated with the IODP Forum.  In July 2019, eighteen international delegates forming the Science Plan Working Group met to produce a draft Science Plan Structure and Road Map document highlighting the commonalities in the workshop outcomes and indicating a potential way forward towards a post-2023 science framework. The draft was improved by comments from the community and the revised Science Framework Structure and Road Map Document, entitled Exploring Earth by Scientific Ocean Drilling, was endorsed by the IODP Forum at its August 2019 meeting in Osaka, Japan. Key features are: 

  1. A strong emphasis on interdisciplinary science at the crosslinks between science themes;
  2. Enabling the next generation in scientific ocean drilling through a science plan that extends to 2050;
  3. Eight open-ended strategic objectives that form the core of the science plan;
  4. Five long-term, interdisciplinary flagship initiatives that address critical societal challenges;
  5. Five-year programmatic reviews that allow intermediate adjustments or additions.

Following discussion at the 2019 IODP Forum, a writing team is being assembled to develop the content of the post-2023 Science Framework with a target date for the first draft of January 2020. An additional group of 21 external reviewers will team up with the writers to provide feedback on specific chapters. A draft post-2023 Science Framework will be available in January 2020, with a revision planned for March 2020. The final version of the new Science Framework is planned to be available in June 2020.

Delegates (18) to the Science Plan Working Group:

 Anthony Koppers (Chair) Oregon State University U.S 
 Cristiano Chiessi University of São Paulo Brazil
 Gail Christeson University of Texas at Austin U.S. 
 Mike Coffin University of Tasmania Australia (ANZIC)
 Rosalind Coggon University of Southampton U.K. (ECORD)
 Stuart Henrys GNS Science New Zealand (ANZIC)
 Yoon-Mi Kim KIGAM Korea
 Iona McIntosh JAMSTEC Japan
 Katsuyoshi Michibayashi Nagoya University Japan
 Yuki Morono KCC, JAMSTEC Japan
 Antony Morris University of Plymouth U.K. (ECORD)
 Richard Norris Scripps Institution of Oceanography U.S. 
 Matt O'Regan Stockholm University Sweden (ECORD)
 Anais Pages CSIRO Australia (ANZIC)
 Dhananjai Pandey NCPOR India
 Sandra Passchier Montclair State University U.S.
 Zhen Sun S. China Sea Institute of Oceanology China
 Huaiyang Zhou Tongji University  China