The Natural Environment Research Council have made available up to £30,000 in financial year 2023-24 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 2023-24 financial year. This means that all eligible costs must be incurred and processed before 31 March 2024. 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 2024. It may still be possible to support work in autumn 2023 but you should contact the Station Manager, Iain Rudkin (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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 those who have not previously worked at the NERC Arctic Research Station and from those who have visited the Station as part of the NERC Advanced Short Course Safe and Effective Polar Field Training course in recent years. We also welcome applications from those who have worked at the Station in the past and who are proposing to return with new researchers.
Applications are especially welcome from the under-represented polar research community, including women, people from Indigenous, Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds, people from LGBTQIA+ groups and people who identify as having disabilities. Applications from early-mid career researchers are welcome. Researchers may wish to consider proposing work using the new Station science equipment with further details available through the Station pages on the NERC Arctic Office website. Researchers scoping/establishing multi-year projects are also welcome.
The Station has not traditionally opened in the dark months of mid- October to mid-February. However, through this Access Scheme we are interested in considering carefully thought-through applications for this period.
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 dental assessments and polar bear safety training in the UK and Norway, as needed
- Svalbard rifle permitting and background checks
- Flights or other travel from the UK to Svalbard and from Longyearbyen to Ny-Ålesund
- Subsistence costs as per UKRI travel policy – including meals and other costs in Ny-Ålesund
- Personal equipment – e.g. cold/wet weather gear sourced from British Antarctic Survey
- Science equipment and shipping costs – where appropriate and necessary
- Norwegian Polar Institute (NPI)/Kings Bay accommodation costs in Ny-Ålesund – where needed due to NERC Arctic Station occupation levels
- Equipment hire – e.g. snowmobiles, the local NPI-provided science vessel MV Teisten.
- Facility hire – e.g. the NPI Marine Laboratory hire and associated costs
Salary, personal allowances, UK laboratory and facilities costs, conference attendance, 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 (email@example.com) 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, although applicants are requested to start this process as quickly as possible.
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 Arctic Research Station 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.
Applications should be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org by 1600 on 14 July. All applications will receive email confirmation of receipt. If you are submitting an application that involves working at the Station in autumn 2023 you should apply by 16 June and contact the Station Manager prior to submission. Later submissions may be accepted, depending on demand. Please check with the NERC Arctic Office. Wherever possible we will strive to balance fair access across the eligible period.
Date of Release: 2nd May 2023