- The Scientific Advisory Board advises the Rector on all the foundation's scientific matters.
- On the basis of recommendations from the Board, the Rector appoints the institute’s Fellows.
The Scientific Advisory Board consists of scientists who represent one of the four fields of research at the HWK. Six members are appointed by the Foundation Board; additional members are co-opted by the Scientific Advisory Board. Memberships may last for a term of four years; reappointment for a second period is feasible.
- Prof. Dr. med. Stephan Brandt, Charité Universitätsmedizin, Berlin
- Prof. David Poeppel, PhD, Max-Planck-Institut für empirische Ästhetik, Frankfurt/ Main
- Prof. Dr. Christiane Richter-Landsberg, Carl von Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg, zugleich stellvertretende Vorsitzende des Wissenschaftlichen Beirates
- Prof. Dr. Helge Ritter, Universität Bielefeld
- Prof. Dr. Antje Boetius, Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar- and Marine Research, Bremerhaven
- Prof. Dr. Henk Brinkhuis, Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ), Texel and Utrecht University, The Netherlands
- Prof. Dr. Gert de Lange, Utrecht University, The Netherlands
- Prof. Dr. Kai-Uwe Hinrichs, University of Bremen, also Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board
- Prof. Dr. Ulrich Sommer, GEOMAR, Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel
- Prof. Dr. Wolfram Jaegermann, Technische Universität Darmstadt
- Prof. Dr. Michael Muskulus, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway
- Prof. Dr. Martin Heidenreich, Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg
- Prof. Dr. Johannes Huinink, University of Bremen
- Prof. Dr. Ilona Ostner, University of Göttingen
- Prof. Dr. Stefan Traub, Helmut Schmidt University, Hamburg
- Prof. Dr. Ingo H. Warnke, Universität Bremen