The UK’s only long term presence in the Arctic is the NERC Arctic Research Station (78° 56? N 12° E), operated and managed by the British Antarctic Survey, which is located in the research village of Ny-Ålesund on the Svalbard archipelago. The Station, established by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) in 1991, provides facilities and accommodation for researchers from UK universities, research institutes and other recognised organisations (and their international collaborators) wanting to carry out environmental research relevant to the NERC science remit. The Station is an ideal place for PhD students to gain skills in polar fieldwork techniques, and we particularly encourage applications from accompanied students.
The Station is open for approximately four months each year from June to September although it can operate earlier (March/April) if required.
7 projects used the NERC Arctic Research Station during the summer of 2013. Fieldwork locations include the Austre & Midre Lovénbreen, Austre & Vestre Brøggerbreen, Pedersenbreen and Botnfjellbreen glaciers.
A list of projects from previous seasons is also available from the UK Arctic Projects page.
Laboratory space and facilities
Travel and accommodation, clothing, health and safety
Communication, currency, insurance
Ny-Ålesund is owned by the Kings Bay Company who provide the community infrastructure including power and water supply, harbour facilities, air links to and from Longyearbyen and a shared dining facility. In 1991, it became the focus of an international research community, currently populated with fourteen research stations owned by ten nations. (Limited international research is also carried out in Longyearbyen, primarily focussing on space physics).
Visitors to Ny-Ålesund require the approval of one of these international research stations. Casual visitors are not allowed access to the infrastructure and are discouraged from walking on the local tundra or ice which are kept as pristine as possible for research purposes. Anyone wishing to visit Ny-Ålesund should contact their national operator or the Norwegian Polar Institute who cater for those from countries who do not own a station in Ny-Ålesund. Further information about Ny-Ålesund can be found on the Kings Bay website.