NERC's Arctic research base
To facilitate environmental research in the Arctic, NERC has laboratory space and a field support facility at Ny-Ålesund, Spitsbergen, in the Svalbard Archipelago.
The Arctic is one of the fastest warming regions on the planet making it a focus of growing interest from the international science community.
NERC's Arctic research centre is based at Ny-Ålesund on the island Spitsbergen in the Arctic Circle (79°N 11°E). The island is part of the Svalbard Archipelago which lies north of Norway.
Ny-Ålesund is the focus of a growing international science community, which includes stations owned by Norway, Germany, Japan, Italy, France, South Korea, China, the UK and others. The Kings Bay Company (KBC) provides a service infrastructure for the site.
Despite its high latitude position the NERC base is easy to access for fieldwork. Norway has scheduled internal flights to Longyearbyen which is on the Svalbard Archipelago and from here there are flights to Ny-Ålesund.
Facilities for UK scientists
The NERC Arctic research station allows researchers from UK universities, research institutes and other recognised organisations (and their international collaborators), to carry out environmental research relevant to the NERC remit at Ny-Ålesund.
The station is an ideal place for PhD students and researchers with limited polar field experience to carry out research. The Station Manager is available to supervise and provide training in polar fieldwork techniques, and students are able to benefit from interaction with other research groups at the base.
For health and safety reasons applications from lone individuals are not accepted. Projects should involve at least two individuals.
The location of Ny-Ålesund is particularly suitable for ecological research, glacial/periglacial geomorphology, hydrology and atmospheric chemistry.
The NERC base at Ny-Ålesund is routinely open for the summer season June to September each year, but may be opened earlier if required. The station comprises of a 400m² laboratory, workshop and storage space plus single bedrooms (additional accommodation can be provided by KBC). The station provides limited laboratory facilities and field equipment, telephone, fax and email, computer facilities, VHF radio, satellite telephones, firearms, boat and snowmobile. (The hire of snowmobiles for specific projects can be arranged.)
Detailed information about the research station and travel can be obtained from the Station Manager. You are strongly advised to consult the NERC Arctic Office website.
Applying for access
Applications to access the NERC station can be made at any time following the application process. For access during a particular summer season applications should be submitted to NERC by 31 March of that year. Earlier notification is required if seeking station access prior to the normal opening period of June-September. Applications are for the use of station facilities only, no funding is provided through this route for other costs associated with carrying out research.
Arctic Station Manager:
British Antarctic Survey
High Cross, Madingley Road
Cambridge, CB3 0ET
Tel: +44 (0)1223 221502
Fax: +44 (0)1223 362616