The Natural Environment Research Council have made available up to £20,000 in financial year 2022-23 to support access to the NERC Arctic Research Station in Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard. The Scheme is designed to support the access, travel, logistics, subsistence and accommodation and other related costs incurred by teams using this NERC facility.
The funding is available for the 2022-23 financial year. This means that all eligible costs must be incurred before 31 March 2023. It is possible to apply to use this Access Scheme to work at the NERC Arctic Research Station at any time before the end of March 2023. It may still be possible to support work in autumn 2022 but you should contact the Station Manager, Iain Rudkin (email@example.com) urgently if you are interested in this opportunity.
Researchers who are normally able to apply for funding from UKRI are eligible and encouraged to apply to this Access Scheme. We envisage supporting a maximum of three or four projects through this funding route and we welcome applications at different scales. In line with established practice, applications should be for a minimum of two people, to include researchers and field assistants/guides, as needed.
We particularly welcome applications from: new users of the NERC Arctic Research Station, especially from the under-represented polar research community, including women, people who identify as trans and/or non-binary, people from Indigenous, Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds, people from LGBTQIA+ groups and people who identify as having disabilities; early-mid career researchers; researchers proposing work using the new science equipment (ROV, Eco-sub, CTD, outreach equipment, new laboratory kit etc); and researchers scoping/establishing multi-year projects.
Applicants can include part-costs. In this case they should demonstrate in the application form the clear additional value to be provided by the Access Scheme, over and above the work funded through other routes.
The kinds of costs that can be included are:
- Medical and polar bear safety training
- Svalbard rifle permitting and background checks
- Flights from the UK to Svalbard and from Longyearbyen to Ny-Ålesund
- Subsistence costs – meals in Ny-Ålesund
- Personal equipment – cold/wet weather gear sourced from BAS
- NPI accommodation costs in Ny-Ålesund – where needed due to NERC Arctic Station occupation levels
- Equipment hire – e.g. snowmobiles, MV Teisten.
- Facility hire – e.g. NPI Marine Laboratory
Salary, personal allowances, UK laboratory and facilities costs, publication and related costs are not eligible under this Access Scheme. The final decision on eligibility will be taken by the NERC Arctic Office and BAS Operations in conjunction with NERC.
You are strongly encouraged to discuss your idea and application with the Station Manager, Iain Rudkin (firstname.lastname@example.org) prior to submission. Details of the Station, capabilities, equipment, laboratories and access details are available on the NERC Arctic Office website (https://www.arctic.ac.uk/uk-arctic-research-station/). There is normally a six week (minimum) lead-in period for medical screening and Svalbard rifle permits.
Please use the normal Station application form (https://www.arctic.ac.uk/uk-arctic-research-station/how-to-apply/) for your request, stating in a short covering letter that you are applying for funding through this NERC Access Scheme, the amount you are seeking and an overall breakdown of eligible costs. Applications will be assessed by the NERC Arctic Office and BAS Operations with final sign-off by NERC. We have no information on whether there will be a similar Access scheme in 2023/24.
Applications should be submitted to email@example.com by 1600 on 31 October 2022. All applications will receive email confirmation of receipt. If you are submitting an application that involves working at the Station in autumn 2022 you should apply by 15 August 2022 and contact the Station Manager prior to submission. Wherever possible we will strive to balance fair access across the eligible period.