The UK’s only long term presence in the Arctic is the UK Arctic Research Station (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.), 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
The Station is open for approximately four months each year from June to September although it can operate earlier (March/April) if required.
A list of projects from previous seasons is now available from the UK Arctic Projects page.
You can also view a short video about one of the projects currently being undertaken in Ny-Ålesund. Dr Kevin Newsham, a Soil and plant ecologist working at the British Antarctic Survey talks about his research on the response of soil microbes to warming in the Arctic. He studies these microbes using open top chambers in Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard, an area experiencing unprecedented change. To see this short video, click here.
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.