United Kingdom – Greenland Arctic Research Bursaries Scheme

12th October 2022


An opportunity for United Kingdom-based researchers to apply for bursaries ranging from £5,000 to a maximum of £20,000 to support active participation in new joint partnerships with researchers based in Greenland in the 2023-24 season. Application deadline 20 January 2023. Networking and further information online event on 30 November.


Researchers in the United Kingdom and Greenland are well-placed to develop important new science partnerships that address pressing research questions. These partnerships can support the development of skill- and knowledge-based networks to strengthen both communities; foster the creation of positive, respectful and empowering partnerships; and create lasting research connections.

In specific recognition of this work, the future potential and the breadth and depth of the environmental, social, cultural and wider effects of climate change in Greenland, the United Kingdom’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), working with the UK Science and Innovation Network and the NERC Arctic Office, is funding a new bursaries programme. This will support UK-based researchers working in partnerships with researchers in Greenland in the 2023-24 field season.

The outcomes of the bursaries programme are expected to support and further develop lasting research and collaboration links between UK-based and Greenland-based researchers; to provide access opportunities for UK-based researchers to work with new partners in Greenland; and support self-determination in research for the Greenland research community.

We hope that the programme can be part of longer-term approaches to strengthen research ties between Greenland and the United Kingdom. It is strongly expected that this bursary scheme will run again in 2024-25.

Bursary details

UK-based applicants: This programme is open to UK-based researchers in a broad range of Arctic fields. Applications will be particularly welcomed from early career scientists and all those researchers within groups under-represented across the Arctic research community. It is expected that applicants will normally be employed in permanent positions within UK institutions. PhD candidates undertaking the research as part of their qualification will not usually be eligible. Proposals could be for a single researcher or a small number of UK-based researchers working collaboratively. Eligible costs should not exceed £20,000 in total. Applications for smaller sums are welcome. All costs will be funded at 100 per cent.

Greenlandic partners: The programme is intended to foster new UK research engagement with researchers based in Greenland. It will be the responsibility of the UK-based applicant to obtain written and specific permission for the UK-based researcher to join with the Greenland-based researcher or team, together with confirmation that all appropriate permits and access provisions are – or will be – in place. This letter or permission must come from the Greenland-based researcher.

Supported activities: The expectation is that this will be for practical work, networking and partnership building, including fieldwork and associated research and laboratory work as required, undertaken in the financial year 2023-24 (1 April to 31 March). Applications may be for work which addresses a specific research question or which is part of a wider initiative where the bursary scheme will add value and impact. Applications can also be for work which is focused on capacity and confidence building in new joint teams, sharing skills and techniques, developing practical methods which combine science and traditional and local knowledge and similar initiatives. The programme will not generally be available to support existing UK-Greenland joint research projects but will focus on new or significantly extended collaborations. Researchers with existing partnerships must clearly identify the additional value and the new aspects of the collaboration in their application.

Eligible costs can include: travel, accommodation and subsistence, purchasing/hire/use of special equipment, logistics and shipping costs, specific training and permit/access costs. Where appropriate, travel and related subsistence costs for Greenland-based researchers to visit the UK can be eligible. Salary costs and associated costs, such as insurance, will not be eligible. Conference costs are unlikely to be eligible unless there are specific and focused links to the research programme, and a field or other project forms the major part of the proposal. Publication costs will not normally be eligible. All funds will be dispersed to a UK-based institution.

Research fields: Applications are welcomed from across the full range of Arctic environmental, social and cultural research themes, including: Cryosphere, Atmosphere, Social and Human, Health, Marine, and Terrestrial research. Applications demonstrating clear links to known and demonstrated areas of priority Arctic research, including those identified as part of the ICARP III process http://icarp.iasc.info/ and the IASC Strategic Plan https://iasc.info/strategic-plan and which show potential for medium-long term collaboration are encouraged.

Prioritisation: Applications which support the creation of new and equitable research partnerships with Greenlandic researchers will be particularly welcome. Applications which demonstrate support for self-determination in research; the use of Traditional and Local Knowledge systems; and wider community involvement are encouraged. We strongly encourage applicants to give consideration to public engagement and scientific dissemination within their application, e.g. guest lectures in relevant study programmes, community outreach or similar.  It is expected that the funders and programme managers will work closely with the Arctic Hub and other partners in Greenland to maximise the impact of these outreach activities.

Timelines: All funded bursary activity must be completed during the 2023-24 financial year. Applicants can indicate if they intend to apply again in the 2024-25 financial year, should the bursary scheme be available for a second year. But this is not compulsory and an application for a second year could be made whether or not it is specified now. All funding decisions will be made on a year by year basis.

Data handling and storage practices should be in line with overall UK Research and Innovation principles of data management. A short final report will be required, in addition to responses to ad hoc requests.

Greenland research organisations

Details of Greenland-based researchers with whom potential applicants may wish to investigate partnership opportunities can be found through a variety of sources. The Arctic Hub has an excellent overview of potential Greenlandic partner organisations on their website.

The networking/matchmaking event (see next section) will also be a great opportunity for connecting with researchers based in Greenland.

Networking and new research partners event

There will be an online event at 1300-1500 UK (GMT/UCT) and 1000-1200 Greenland (-3 GMT/UCT) on 30 November to enable prospective partners based in the United Kingdom and Greenland to meet and talk to each other, ask questions about the bursaries scheme and exchange information. The event will be held in partnership with the Arctic Hub in Greenland and other organisations.

Participation in this networking event is not mandatory to submit an application to the bursary scheme, but prospective applicants are encouraged to attend.

Please register for the event here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/united-kingdom-greenland-arctic-research-bursaries-scheme-tickets-439585661547

Further details about the event is now available on the website: https://www.arctic.ac.uk/news/online-networking-event-united-kingdom-greenland-arctic-research-bursaries-scheme/

Application and assessment process

You are strongly encouraged to contact the NERC Arctic Office to discuss your proposal and eligibility at an early stage before submitting an application.

Applications must not exceed four pages A4 (12 point text). They must be submitted electronically to the NERC Arctic Office arctic@bas.ac.uk by 1600 on Friday 20 January 2023 in pdf format.

Supporting documentation such as CVs and confirmation letters from PIs can be in addition to the four page limit.

The application must include:

  • A proposal title and executive summary (200 words maximum)
  • A description of the research or other work to be undertaken by the UK applicant, including details of the role and responsibilities of the UK researcher
  • A description of the expected scientific outputs and/or other outcomes/impact of the joint UK-Greenland project
  • Details of the Greenland based researchers and organisations with which the UK project will link
  • Amount applied for, with a full breakdown of expected costs for the project
  • Evidence of where the proposed work could lead to further medium-long term UK-Greenland Arctic research collaboration

Enclosed documents

  • A confirmation letter from the Greenland-based lead researcher demonstrating their agreement to partner with, and provide support for, the UK component
  • Confirmation of the UK employment status of the intended recipient of the bursary
  • A two-page (max.) CV containing full contact details of the UK-based applicant, including e-mail and telephone details

The review of applications will be undertaken by a small joint UK-Greenland Review Team. The criteria used will include the assessment of all evidence provided, and will include:

  • The overall importance of the proposed research question in Arctic science, as demonstrated by the applicant and with appropriate reference to the Research Councils’ remits; and/or the value of the new partnership being created, the innovative nature of the links being created; and the potential for new research in the future.
  • The practical feasibility of the proposed work within the budget and timescale outlined.
  • The anticipated scientific outcome and impact, or other impact connected to the proposed work.
  • The level of support and integration with Greenland-based partners; the focus on empowering local research partners and organisations, including knowledge and skills exchange; and planned outreach activity.
  • The extent to which the proposal is a new collaboration in an important topic area and evidence of medium to long term follow-up research opportunities which will deliver closer UK-Greenland research impact


Applications must be submitted by 1600 (GMT) on Friday 20 January 2023. Confirmation of receipt will be via e-mail. You must contact the NERC Arctic Office – arctic@bas.ac.uk – if you do not receive confirmation of receipt.

Applicants should receive written confirmation of the outcome of their application by the end of February 2023.

All Bursary activities should be completed during the 2023-24 financial year.


Further details and questions

Henry Burgess

NERC Arctic Office


(01223) 221426