Arctic Office Bulletin – November 2018

13th November 2018

Welcome to the latest edition of the NERC Arctic Office Bulletin. We’re trying out a new format which we hope will be easier for everyone to access from their inboxes. As always, your feedback is very welcome. Similarly, if you have ideas for future items in the Bulletin please let us know. If you have received this Bulletin via a colleague, why not register at and receive it direct in future, along with other updates and important news items? We aim to keep all updates brief and focussed.

Funding available – UK-Canada Arctic Partnership: Bursaries Programme 2019

Applications are now open to this year’s Bursaries Programme which provides up to £20,000 for UK-based researchers to join Canadian-led projects in the Canadian Arctic and High North in the 2019 field season. The Programme is funded by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and delivered in collaboration with the British High Commission in Ottawa and the NERC Arctic Office. The first two years of the Bursaries Programme have seen 30 research teams from the UK join Canadian-led projects across a broad range of terrestrial, marine, atmosphere, cryosphere and social research themes.

Full details of how to apply to the Bursary Programme are listed here. All applications must be received by 1600 on Friday 18 January 2019 and will be acknowledged by email. You are strongly advised to contact the NERC Arctic Office ( to check your eligibility prior to making an application.

Nominations sought – IASC Social and Human Working Group

Nominations are invited for two United Kingdom representatives to the International Arctic Science Committee’s (IASC) Social and Human Working Group. The deadline for receipt of nominations is Friday 11 January 2019.  This is an excellent opportunity for researchers with strong social and human science interests based in the United Kingdom to engage with colleagues from over 20 other countries to shape the priorities and activities of the Working Group; raise the profile of the Working Group within the UK community; and develop cross-cutting activities. Details on the role, eligibility criteria and nominations process are available here. Self-nominations are welcome.

Arctic Science Ministerial meeting, 25 – 26 October 2018, Berlin

Representatives from 30 countries – Arctic and non-Arctic states alike – and six Indigenous peoples’ groups gathered in Berlin at the end of October. The task was to agree practical action to: get better observations in the Arctic and find ways of effectively sharing expensive science kit like ships and research stations; understand the links between local and global effects; and to help build up the resilience of the Arctic environment and its societies. The UK was represented in the Ministerial meeting by Prof. John Loughhead, the Chief Scientific Advisor in BEIS. At the Science Forum the previous day the UK had a strong delegation, including speaker Prof. Julienne Stroeve (UCL). You can read Prof. Loughhead’s Blog here: The Joint Statement of Ministers is now also available.

Consultation – Ny-Ålesund Research Strategy

If you have worked at the NERC Arctic Station or other facilities in Ny-Alesund (Svalbard, Norway), or would like to in the future, your input into the Research Council of Norway’s draft research strategy for Ny-Alesund is very important. Norway is taking a keen interest in the development of the research facilities and particularly in creating a strategy that sets a clear framework for international research for the next decade. The new strategy – which will become operational in March 2019 – may offer new opportunities for better coordination and delivery of research projects. At the same time we are keen to ensure that the profile and role of the NERC station, its autonomy and its accessibility to the widest range of UK-based researchers across the UK Research and Innovation family, universities and beyond, is maintained.

You can find the consultation details, the draft strategy and also submit your comments here:
If you submit comments please do consider sharing them with the NERC Arctic Office too ( – it will be very helpful to know the views of the UK community. The NERC Arctic Office’s own consultation response will be available in the next Bulletin. The consultation is open until 11 December 2018.

21 February – NERC Arctic Research Station Open Day

The NERC Arctic Office and the British Antarctic Survey will be jointly hosting an Arctic Station Open Day on Thursday 21 February at the Aurora Innovation Centre, BAS. If you want to know more about the UK’s only Arctic research facility, meet researchers who have worked there, discuss your research ideas with the Station Manager, Nick Cox and much much more, then this is an invaluable opportunity. The informal event will be a mixture of presentations on the Station’s capabilities and recently supported projects, face to face opportunities to meet researchers, gain ideas and ask questions, and to hear about the Station’s role as a platform for the development and testing of innovative polar technology.

Earlier this year NERC committed to a ten year funding programme for the Arctic Station, in addition to capital investment in the laboratory facilities. We are committed to ensuring that the Station is as accessible as possible to the whole of the UK-based research community. If you would like to work at the Station in the near future, or would like to meet those who will, or you just have an idea of a future project, please come along and be part of the Arctic Station Open Day. Please register your interest via – further details to follow.

Meet the Teams – MOSAiC International Arctic Drift Expedition

In September 2019 the German research icebreaker Polarstern will depart from Tromsø, Norway and, once it has reached its destination, will spend the next year drifting through the Arctic Ocean, trapped in the ice. A total of 600 people from 17 countries, who will be supplied by other icebreakers and aircraft, will participate in the expedition. Find out more about the expedition here: Six research teams from across the UK will be participating, giving a UK profile across the whole of the expedition. The teams’ research is supported by joint investment from NERC and BEIS. You can meet the teams here:

Still time to apply for Fellowship opportunities – International Arctic Science Committee

The International Arctic Science Committee (IASC), in cooperation with the Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS), invites early career scientists to apply for the 2019 IASC Fellowship Program. The IASC Fellowship Programme engages researchers in the work of the IASC Working Groups: Atmosphere, Cryosphere, Marine, Social & Human, and Terrestrial. Each year, one Fellow per Working Group is chosen. UK researchers have a good track record of success in applying for these Fellowships. The application deadline is Monday 19 November 2018 at 13:00 GMT. Application details here

Nominations for the IASC Medal 2019

IASC Medals are awarded in recognition of exceptional and sustained contributions to the understanding of the Arctic. This is an important opportunity to recognise an individual who has made a real difference and recipients are invited to give a lecture at the annual Arctic Science Summit Week. IASC is keen to see nominations for a diverse range of medal candidates which reflect the breadth and depth of the Arctic research community. If you know a researcher who deserves to be considered, please put them forward – there is no limit to the number of nominations. Details here: and all nominations should be submitted by 31 December.

Arctic Science Summit Week 2019

It is expected that the next Arctic Science Summit Week will be in Arkhangelsk, Russia between 22-30 May. The details for registration and abstract submission, as well as the practical details for visa invitation letters and accommodation are expected to be confirmed soon by the organisers. We will share these details as soon as we have them.

Applications – Arctic Interdisciplinary Studies Field Course, February 2019

APECS Russia and UK Polar Network together with Kola Science Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences are seeking applications to attend an interdisciplinary field course in the Russian Arctic – “Arctic Interdisciplinary Studies – ARCTIS”. The field course will take place in Apatity, Kirovsk and Murmansk, Murmansk region, Russia. The course is supported by the UK Government Science and Innovation Network and the NERC Arctic Office and forms part of the wider bilateral UK-Russia partnership on which the Office is focusing, with key partners such as the UK Polar Network. You can follow more of this bilateral work via the UKPN website.

The main goal of ARCTIS is to facilitate bilateral and interdisciplinary cooperation of early career scientists from the United Kingdom and Russia on Arctic natural and social studies. The course will be designed to create a fruitful and interactive platform to share ideas, exchange knowledge and gain new skills and experiences by developing collaborative science project concepts as a result of the meeting. To apply for the field course, click here.  The application deadline is 22 November 2018.

UK Arctic Conference 2019

Loughborough University will be hosting the biannual UK Arctic Conference on 11-13 September 2019. Further details will be released over the coming months and in the meantime please reserve these dates. The Conference is an important opportunity for the UK Arctic community to gather together and provides good opportunities for researchers to share their work with colleagues from a broad range of disciplines.

Interested in writing a Blog?

As well as sections on research, the NERC Arctic Station, and resources, the NERC Arctic Office website hosts a Blog section. We very much welcome offers to contribute to this Blog with guest authors drawing on their research, visits or conferences or other interesting developments. Please get in contact if you have ideas –!

Contact details

Henry Burgess, Head, NERC Arctic Office
Tel: 01223 221426,
Nicola Munro, NERC Arctic Office
Tel: 01223 221468,
Nick Cox, NERC Arctic Research Station Manager
Tel: 01223 221503,