Association of Polar Early Career Scientists


IPY OSC Francisco Fernandoy 46 2APECS organized its first APECS World Summit in Sofia, Bulgaria from 6 - 8 June 2015. Since its success during the International Polar Year (IPY), APECS has been grown significantly. At the time of the summit, APECS's membership counted about 5000 early career scientists, mentors and educators with interests in the Polar Regions in over 80 countries. But APECS has also evolved institutionally with currently 26 National Committees (NCs) across all continents – except Antarctica. The APCES World Summit 2015 "The Future of Polar Research" was an initiative to bring representatives of APECS' leadership and NCs together to discuss the future of polar research, APECS' experiences in communicating science and new challenges APECS wants to tackle in the near future. The venue for the APECS World Summit 2015 was Sofia Univeristy.

APECS holds First World Summit in Sofia, Bulgaria

The Association of Early Polar Career Scientists (APECS) held its first world summit in Sofia, Bulgaria, from June 6-8, 2015. 

Participants from around the worldSixty-six early career scientists and APECS members, representing 25 countries and 20 APECS National Committees (NCs) participated in the event. In addition, 12 senior scientists and professionals attended the summit (2 of them remotely), supporting APECS as mentors. The diversity of the summit participants was not only characterised by their origin but also academic field and profession. Yet, all participants had a sincere interest in the Polar Regions in common. The APECS World Summit was considered a bi-Polar event, equally committed to the Arctic and the Antarctic.

The programme of the summit constituted three full days and was structured into 4 workshops:

  1. Training workshop on Data Sharing and Open Science in Polar Research
  2. Workshop on The Future of Polar Research
  3. Workshop on Science Communication
  4. Workshop on The APECS Network and Future Directions

Workshops included presentations by invited mentors as well as the APECS leadership and NC representatives, breakout sessions, a panel discussion, and consultations and discussions within the plenary. The full program, including list of mentors, participants, and sponsors is at:

In the evenings during the summit, several social events took place; an icebreaker reception on the night before the opening of the summit, an informal dinner with traditional Bulgarian dance performances, and the conference dinner. These events fostered interactions between participants. Mentors were also invited and joined the social events.

The summit was generally perceived as a great success. APECS is planning to continue convening world summits on a regular basis, every 2 to 5 years.

APECS President signing the Letter of Agreement with APECS India

Major outcomes of the Summit included: an understanding of the importance of open data, and how open science can be accomplished through the use of databases, data standardization, and data publications, a vision of the future directions of polar research, which includes increased understanding of the global impacts of what happens at both poles, and a focus on human interactions and warming in the Arctic and changes in the Southern Ocean and to ice in the Antarctic. In addition, Letters of Agreement were signed between APECS and National Committees from Canada, India, Switzerland, the United States, and Russia. Welcome to our new National Committees!

APECS World Summit Group Picture

Workshop Topics

Final Agenda

Meet the World Summit Mentors!

APECS was grateful for several mentors attending the APECS World Summit 2015. You can find out more about them here:


There are several organisations and institutes around the world that helped to sponsor the APECS World Summit 2015 by providing financial support for the summit itself and / or the travel of our participants and mentors. On behalf of APECS and the organizing team we want to thank all of them for their support and for contributing to the success of the event

Sponsors are listed in alphabetical order.

Organizing Team

Meet the team that organized the first APECS World Summit. APECS Bulgaria was the local host of our workshop (in alphabetical order).

Meet the Participants!

The APECS World Summit 2015 had participants from almost all active APECS National Committees and other interested APECS members. In addition, the members of the Organizing Committee and several mentors attended the summit.

Contact APECS

APECS International Directorate
UiT The Arctic University of Norway
Huginbakken 14
9019 Tromsø
Email: info(at)

Our Sponsors

APECS Directorate Sponsor
Further Sponsors and Partners for APECS projects, activities and events