GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel is one of the world’s leading institutes in the field of marine sciences. The institute investigates the chemical, physical, biological and geological processes of the seafloor, oceans and ocean margins and their interactions with the atmosphere. With this broad spectrum GEOMAR is unique in Germany. Additionally, the centre has successfully bridged the gap between basic and applied science in a number of research areas. The GEOMAR is a foundation under public law jointly funded by the federal (90 %) and state (10 %) government. GEOMAR has a scientific staff of 1,000 and a yearly budget of around 80 Mio Euro (Status 2018).

The institute has four major research divisions:

In addition, GEOMAR contributes to the Cluster of Excellence "The Future Ocean" and the collaborative research centre SFB754: "Climate-Biogeochemistry Interactions in the Tropical Ocean", funded by the German Science Foundation (DFG).

GEOMAR cooperates closely with the University of Kiel in the education of future marine scientists. Bachelor curricula include “Physics of the Earth System: Meteorology – Oceanography – Geophysics” and internationally oriented Master courses such as “Climate Physics: Meteorology and Physical Oceanography” and “Biological Oceanography.” Additional contributions to other curricula such as Geology and Geophysics are also provided. GEOMAR also has cooperative programmes with other universities around the world. Special programmes for pupils and teachers aim to stimulate interest in the marine sciences at an early stage.

In addition, the institute operates four research vessels, state-of-the-art equipment such as the manned submersible JAGO, the deep-sea robots ROV KIEL6000, PHOCA and ABYSS as well as several major laboratories, access to high performance computing facilities and an attractive public aquarium.

Since end of 2017, GEOMAR operates a science and logistic station on the Cap Verdean Islands, the Ocean Science Centre Mindelo.

GEOMAR is among the three leading institutions in the field of marine sciences in Europe. Jointly with the National Oceanography Centre in the United Kingdom and Ifremer in France, GEOMAR has established the “G3 group” of national marine research centres. 

GEOMAR cooperates with a number of small companies active in marine technology and science, some of which were founded by former staff members of the institute. 

In addition, GEOMAR is active in a number of national and international committees and strategic alliances such as the German Marine Research Consortium (KDM), the German Climate Consortium (DKK), the European Marine Board and the Partnership for Observation of the Global Oceans (POGO).