NERC Arctic Office Bulletin – July 2019

18th July 2019

Welcome to the July 2019 edition of the Arctic Office Bulletin. As it has been a little while since our last bulletin, we have lots to share this month!

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.

New opportunity – UK-Russia Arctic Bursaries Programme 2019-20
With financial support from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), the UK Science and Innovation Network in Russia and the NERC Arctic Office have launched a new Bursary programme. The programme is aimed at researchers who want to build new connections with Russia-based colleagues; access field sites, research stations and facilities; develop joint initiatives; and, where appropriate, undertake small-scale exploratory research. Awards of up to £7000 are available to cover travel and subsistence, visa and related costs and, where needed, equipment. The Bursary can also cover reciprocal travel for Russia-based partners to the UK. Smaller-scale applications are welcome and actively sought. All activity covered by any Bursary award must be complete by 31 March 2020. Applications by 1600 on Friday 27 September. Further details:

UK Arctic Conference 2019, University of Loughborough, 11-13 September
Taking place every two years, this is a fantastic opportunity for Arctic researchers based in the United Kingdom to present their latest findings; meet new collaborators; and help shape the direction of Arctic research. The conference is supported by the NERC Arctic Office in partnership with the University of Loughborough, which together means there is no registration fee. Good value accommodation on campus is readily available. The conference is multi-disciplinary and researchers from a wide range of fields – social sciences, economics, arts and culture, engineering and physical science, health and well-being, as well as natural environment science – are welcome, very much including students and early career researchers. The registration deadline is 16 August and places are filling up quickly, so please don’t delay if you would like to attend:

The UK Polar Network are conference partners and will be running a number of events at the conference, including a networking event in the evening of 10 September and a workshop on the morning of the 11th September. Further details can be found here:

Changing Canadian Arctic Workshop
Over 100 people attended this one-day UK Research and Innovation event in London on 19 June, focussed on practical opportunities for UK-Canada research collaboration in responding to the dramatic environmental changes happening in the Canadian Arctic. Attendees heard representatives from across Canada, including from senior figures within the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami organisation, Quebec Research Funds and from Canadian research funding Councils, about the importance of effective, respectful and mutually supportive engagement. Colleagues from NERC, ESRC, AHRC and EPSRC were joined by UK-based researchers to highlight existing UK-Canada Arctic connections and potential. A summary of the workshop, as well as copies of the presentations, is available here: Please watch this space for details about potential next steps.

NERC Arctic Research Station
After it’s starring role on BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme at the start of March this year, the UK’s only permanent Arctic research facility is having a busy and successful season. Projects supported so far this year include: meteorite hunting (Manchester); sea-air drones (Newcastle); ocean plastics, acidification and educational outreach (PML, Exeter & EncounterEdu); sediment and glacial meltwater (Loughborough); tundra vegetation growth rates (BAS); and digital sensing of vegetation growth (INTERACT, Aarhus). There are lots more projects to come this season, including work on river/glacial sediment release, AUVs, student polar field skills course, and more. NERC have invested in a whole new suite of laboratory equipment which has now been successfully installed. Early expressions of interest to use the Station are always welcome. The Station is here to support researchers in receipt of a very wide range of university, research council, European, charitable and other grants. If you’ve got an idea or would like to know more about what the Station offers please do get in touch. Further details here:

IASC Social and Human Working Group
Are you interested in representing the UK in the discussions and meetings of the International Arctic Science Committee’s Social and Human Working Group? We are looking for a second representative to join Prof. Klaus Dodds (Royal Holloway) as the UK’s representative on this group. You will be a researcher in social, economic, health or related research; able to attend the Arctic Science Summit Week (Akureyri 2020, Lisbon 2021); contribute to inter-sessional discussions and respond to ad hoc requests; and have good links to the wider UK social science and Arctic scene. Applications from UK-based researchers which reflect the diversity of the UK’s Arctic research community are particularly welcome. Please send a short CV and one page letter setting out your credentials and interests by Friday 27 September to  You are welcome and encouraged to talk through a potential application before applying. For further information on the SHWG please see:

UK Arctic and Antarctic Partnership (UKAAP)
The UKAAP is a forum for polar researchers to improve communication across their community in order to boost the relevance and impact of the UK’s research. Although not a funding body it is tasked with ensuring that there is a strong and collective voice for polar research and encourages new engagement. Further information on UKAAP is here: UKAAP will be hosting a workshop during the UK Arctic Conference in Loughborough to enable researchers from across the whole Arctic community to contribute their ideas and research priorities across a range of areas. Further details will be announced through the agenda for the conference. If you are not able to attend but would still like to contribute your thoughts and ideas we will make sure that they are included, either before or after the discussion. Please send them to

UKAAP relies entirely on its voluntary membership for all its activity and engagement. Members serve a three year term, with the option of a second term. There are two in-person meetings a year and a small number of other ad hoc requests. UKAAP will be appointing new members at its next meeting towards the end of the year. If you would like to nominate yourself or someone else, please follow this link:

The MOSAiC expedition on board RV Polarstern will be departing from Tromso for its year-long Arctic drift at the end of September. With the support of BEIS and NERC, seven teams from across the UK will now be participating in this amazing undertaking. Details on all seven projects can be found here: AWI are planning a dedicated communications programme during the drift. The NERC Arctic Office, UK Research and Innovation, and UK Science and Innovation Network will be working closely with them to ensure that we maximise the outreach and impact from the UK’s participation.

UK-Canada Bursary Programme 2019-20
There was an excellent response to the opportunity for a third year of funding from BEIS for the UK-Canada Bursaries Programme. Thirteen teams from across the UK have been funded to undertake research in partnership with Canadian projects, across topics ranging from sea ice productivity, beaver range expansion, community resilience to permafrost cliff erosion, through to fire-driven forest regeneration. We will be bringing you pictures and stories from this season’s fieldwork over the course of the next few months. We hope that a number of the projects will be able to showcase their partnership work at the ArcticNet meeting in Halifax, Canada later this year. In the meantime, summary details of all the projects are available here:

New access to Arctic research facilities in Russia
Working alongside the UK Science and Innovation Network Russia team we are focused on bringing new opportunities for international cooperation in the Russian Arctic. One key area is better promotion of and access to interesting Russian field stations and research locations, especially those which do not fall within the INTERACT network. The first of these is the ‘Belomorskaia’ Education and research Station operated by Saint Petersburg State University – a potentially very useful location for marine and terrestrial sampling, with access to a diverse range of environments. Details of the Station and how to make contact with the team who operate the Station are here: It is hoped that this will be the first of many other facilities that can be promoted and opened-up to wider international cooperation. If you would like to use the Station, or have ideas for other facilities/stations that should be more widely promoted, please let us know:

UK-Russia: Early Career Researchers
Are you interested in making connections with Russian ECRs and possibly developing collaborations?   There is a chance to meet with other UK and Russian researchers at a workshop in September (16-19) in Southampton. Expenses for the meeting are covered for participants. The Russian scientists come from Siberia and the Russian Far East.  The workshop is part of the activities of a network focused on long-term environmental change called DIMA ( Areas of interest include long-term (late-Quaternary) environmental change and recent change related to the Anthropocene. The focus is from 50N northward, on tundra and boreal forest ecosystems and permafrost-affected systems, and methods include a range of palaeoecological, ecological and remote-sensing approaches. There are a few funded places left for UK ECRs. Please send a paragraph giving a brief background and saying why you are interested in joining the workshop in an email: Mary Edwards ( & Maarten van Hardenbroek ( )

New map! Greenland and the European Arctic
The NERC Arctic Office has worked closely with the mapping team at the British Antarctic Survey to produce a brand new information resource which complements a new map of Greenland and the European Arctic. The combined map and information sheet is aimed at all visitors to the Arctic, as well as anyone interested to know more about the region. It provides a wealth of easily accessible information about the processes driving environmental change in the Arctic; gives the latest on polar bear and walrus research; as well as insights into the key challenges facing the Arctic. It also includes the internationally-approved guidelines for visitors to the Arctic to help ensure that those coming to the region minimise their impact. The work is a partnership between a large number of people, including UK Polar Network, WWF, Met Office, Scott Polar Research Institute, the Changing Arctic Ocean Programme and many others. You can see images of the map and information sheet, as well as links to purchase your own copy here:

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 –!