Association of Polar Early Career Scientists

News from and about the wider APECS Network. If you have an article to contribute, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or submit via our reporting forms for APECS National Committees

APECS Booth at Haines Junction Mountain Fest!

IMG 4589APECS Canada Logo webTo have a local ECR presence at the Haines Junction Mountain Festival, we had Marney Paradis (APECS Canada), Ellorie McKnight (previously APECS Council), and myself (APECS Canada) organize and host an APECS booth in the atrium of the Haines Junction Convention Centre. We had APECS promotional materials (posters, brochures) available, researcher updates from three different research groups that work in the Kluane region, a slideshow of research photos, and a button-making activity. The buttons were a big hit with adults and kids alike leaving a booth with a hand drawn button, photo of local plants or animals, or a small section of a local map! It was great to share more about APECS with Mountain Fest attendees and grow our northern Canadian presence. Thanks to APECS for helping us with promotional materials, Team Shrub at University of Edinburgh for the photos, Dr. Gwenn Flowers at SFU for photos/research handout, Ellorie for the help and research updates, and Marney for the help and the amazing button art activity! Looking forward to more outreach events in Canada's northern territories, stay tuned!

Registration open for APECS Workshop at ASSW 2017

APECS will be organizing a career development workshop on the 2nd April 2017 at the Arctic Science Summit Week 2017 in Prague (Czech Republic). Details of the workshop, as well as the link to pre-registration (required for the workshop) is available on the APECS website.

The workshop is free of charge for workshop participants (registration for the business meetings of ASSW is not required to attend the APECS workshop).

Registration deadline is 17 February 2017.

For questions, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

APECS Panel - Balancing work and personal lives

APECS Panel Tromso 2016During the IGS Nordic Branch Meeting in Tromsø on the 27th of October, APECS Council member Vikram Goel organized an APECS Panel on Balancing work and personal life. It was an open discussion with questions and comments from the attending audience. The event was organized during the lunch break on the second day of the meeting. The panelists included -

  • Dr Alun Hubbard
  • Dr Miriam Jackson
  • Dr Ioanna Merkeraudi

It started with the panelists briefly sharing their career path, along with the developments in their personal life. The three panelists had taken different paths and made very different choices to reach their current stages. This made the discussion all the more interesting, and provided alternate viewpoints to the audience. The discussion touched many sub topics including - setting priorities in work/personal life, working in a different country, work politics and approaches to managing stress.

Some of the key take away points from the discussion are -

  • Different people have different priorities and needs. The work/life balance hence should be tailored to you, rather than following somebody else's path or rules. As most things you get better at it with experience. Also, one should re access their priorities/needs, periodically as they change with time.
  • You cannot say yes to everyone. Some things might pay off in long terms. Investing time in students is usually rewarding.
  • Get a lot of post-doc experience while you can and make most out of the freedom. Such position are well payed and there are not many side tasks.
  • Not get too involved in work politics. Learn to say no.
  • Think strategically about your future. Plan in advance.
  • Research is a flexible job. It provides much more freedom compared to other options. However, we should not get too flexible and let work take over your personal life.
  • Job market is very competitive. However, when in position to decide, pick your supervisor and work institute/country wisely. Consider other factors beyond research like compatibility with supervisor (investigate his nature), language, work-culture and society. Factors that are important to you. Give higher preference to working in Scandinavia over US/UK!
  • Join unions to keep track of your rights in terms of employment and you are aware what to expect from the employer. Specially when you are in a new country.
  • Communicate our personal stuff with our colleagues and don't shy from asking for help.
  • If you don't ask, you don't get.
  • Get rid of rules. Do not need to follow a specific trajectory, find what fits for yourself.
  • We have a tendency to stress on things, which are not that important. Sometimes we associate much more value to things than they actually deserve.
  • Life/death balance. Stay safe in the field. An extra risky kilometer to get that extra measurement may not be worth it.

APECS Portugal Workshop 2016

APECs Portugal Workshop2016 2 copyThe VII Workshop of Career Development of APECS Portugal took place on October 26th in Lisbon, under theme “POLAR QUESTS – Policymaking: Science strikes back”. This year the aim of the workshop focused on policymaking and science in the polar regions.

The morning session focused on talks regarding science and policy in Arctic and the Antarctic regions, by José Xavier (British Antarctic Survey) and João Canário (Arctic), after a broader approach to both regions by Renuka Badhe (European Polar Board). The after session starter with tips and hints from Ariel Brunner (Birdlife International), followed by practical exercise and a... jedi jam session! Renuka Badhe from European Polar Board Renuka is presenting the work of European Polar Board work in merging science, communities and policymakers... and gave the amazing example of "Aliens in Antarctica" as a successful case of how policymaking and science cooperated together.

APECS Portugal Workshop1 copyJose Carlos Caetano Xavier unfolding the progresses in policy and science collaboration since the early beginning of explorations in #Antarctica. Great explanations of the background that lead to the creation of the Antarctic Treaty.

João Canario our "bi" polar scientist is explaining how did he engaged with both polar regions, and his important role at one of the major International Arctic Science Committee IASC 

APECS Portugal Workshop 2016 3 copyJoão Canário and Jose Carlos Caetano Xavier showing how two similar regions are yet so different in terms of policymaking, geopolitics and how science can operate there. Both regions have different approaches, different political organizations and scientific committees - yet both demand a thigh collaboration and public engagement!

Ariel Brunner from Birdlife International and currently based in Brussels, gave valuable tips and lifehacks solutions in regards to communicate science for policymakers. The participants engaged afterwards in a small debate.

After the speech from Ariel Brunner and using his tips, we went for a Practical exercice! Our participants were trying to convince our "policymakers" - brought exclusively by José Carlos Caetano Xavier and Renuka Badhe excelent - and funny roleplaying, on how they science is meaningful and should be funded.

Apply by 4 December - INTERACT and APECS are seeking for a INTERACT Transnational Access Evaluation Board member for 2017-2018

European Commission LogoHorizon2020 LogoINTERACT LogoThe International Network for Terrestrial Research and Monitoring in the Arctic (INTERACT) and the Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS) are seeking an early career researcher (minimum postdoc level) for an INTERACT Transnational Access Evaluation Board member for 2017-2018.

INTERACT is a consortium of 47 partner institutions in Europe, Russia and North-America, funded 2016-2020 by the EU H2020 as well as further 31 observer institutions. The network currently consists of 78 terrestrial research stations, 43 of which offer Transnational Access.

INTERACT seeks to build capacity for research and monitoring in the European Arctic and beyond, and is offering research groups Transnational Access to conduct research free of charge at 43 terrestrial research stations located in the Arctic, northern alpine and forest areas in Europe, Russia, US and Canada. The sites represent a variety of glacier, mountain, tundra, boreal forest, peatland and freshwater ecosystems, providing opportunities for researchers from natural sciences to human dimension.

The applications for Transnational Access (both physical and remote access) undergo a scientific evaluation made by a Transnational Access Evaluation Board (TA Board) that consists of six experts external to INTERACT and six representatives of stations in particular geographical regions. INTERACT is now seeking for an external early-career expert to join the TA Board. Applicants should be early career researchers (up to 5 years since PhD, excluding career breaks) who already have completed their PhD (minimum post-doc level). A specialization in geosciences (paleo-ecology, geomorphology etc.) is preferred, but specialists on other fields of research with an Arctic or northern focus are also welcome to apply.

The tasks of a TA Board member include participation in the scientific evaluation of the submitted Transnational Access applications and attendance at the related TA Board meetings, both held annually (with a possibility for 1-2 additional, specified, TA calls). TA Board members do not receive financial compensation for their membership, but the travel and accommodation costs to the meetings, as well as daily allowance, are reimbursed by INTERACT. An early career scientist participating on the INTERACT TA Board will benefit from working with distinguished scientists at an international level, from gaining valuable experience and insight of the evaluation process for future expert positions, and becoming aware of new projects and contacts.

If you are a post-doctoral researcher working on one of the themes mentioned above and are interested in this great opportunity to join the INTERACT Transnational Access Evaluation Board, please e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. including your statement of interest noting your research interests and experience (no more than one side of A4) and your CV (no more than two pages of A4) in a single PDF-file by 4 December 2016. The position of a TA Board Member sought now is for a two-year period in 2017-2018, with an option for additional two years. The applicants will be notified about the decision by mid-December 2016.

For more information about the position, please contact Dr. Ruth Vingerhagen (outgoing APECS representative on the INTERACT Transnational Access Evaluation Board) (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or Dr Hannele Savela, INTERACT Transnational Access Coordinator, hannele.savela(at)

Antarctica Day 2016 on 1 December!

AntarcticaDayLogoThe Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS), together with Our Spaces - Foundation for the Good Governance of International Spaces, Polar Educators International, PolarTREC , the International Polar Foundation, Gateway Antarctica, the International Association of Antarctic Tour Operations, the UK Polar Network and the British Antarctic Survey are once again proud to support Antarctica Day commemorations on 1 December 2016. This event was created to celebrate the spirit of international peace and scientific cooperation that signified the signing of the Antarctic Treaty in 1959.

Antarctica Day 2016 is an international effort to share knowledge about Antarctica. APECS is proud to take part, helping to inspire a new generation of polar researchers. The day is for everyone, so take some time to celebrate with your co-workers, family and friends!

This year will see many events and classroom activities take place, centered around Antarctic science and exploration. Who goes there? What happens in Antarctica? And why is Antarctica important to the planet as whole? We look forward to having these discussions all over the globe.

Are you planning to organise something for Antarctica Day? See all of what is happening at the APECS Antarctica Day website, and add your event to the list of activities for Antarctica Day 2016.

To include your support for Antarctica Day 2016 you can also insert your information in our map.

Join Antarctica Day on Facebook.

Happy Antarctica Day 2016 from APECS!

APECS Annual Report 2015-2016 released

Title page Annual Report 2015 2016APECS has released its Annual Report 2015-2016 for the period of October 2015 to September 2016! Read about:

  • the APECS leadership and National Committees in 2015-2016
  • APECS event highlights
  • reports about APECS projects, webinars and other online activities and publications
  • and much more!

The full report can be accessed here or in our APECS publications database. We hope you enjoy reading it!

A special thank you goes to the Research Council of Norway, the UiT The Arctic University of Norway and the Norwegian Polar Institute for supporting and hosting the APECS International Directorate in Tromsø!

Thank you also to the many dedicated members and mentors who volunteered their time over the past year to help us achieve continued success in shaping the future of polar research!

Early career researchers motivated for proposal writing during 1st APECS Germany Workshop

APECS GER VSavaglia 013 2"Don't give up" is Mirko Scheinert's final message to Germany's polar early career scientists, when it comes to proposal writing.

September 14th 2016 marks the day when Germany's National Committee of the Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS Germany) organized their first workshop in Rostock.

Held prior to the annual coordination workshop by the German Priority Research Program on Antarctic research, 19 participants joined the workshop - most of whom were new to APECS. They benefited from five mentors in polar research giving their secrets on how to increase chances for their proposals to be a success. During the panel discussion, Sonja Berg (University of Cologne), Mirko Scheinert (Technische Universität Dresden), Inna Sokolova (University of Rostock), Charlotte Havermans (University of Bremen) and Florian Leese (University of Duisburg-Essen) answered questions on how to receive feedback, how to approach colleagues or simply advised to celebrate a success when it happens!

What APECS Germany will be up to in the coming year was introduced by Caroline Coch and Heike Link representing the APECS Germany Board. Overall, the first APECS Germany workshop was a successful kick-off for further initiatives coming from Germany's polar early career scientists.


APECS 10th Anniversary Logo Contest!

apecs logo webWe are celebrating ***APECS 10th anniversary*** in 2017!

In order to spread the good news and to emphasize the achievements of our organization, we would like to use a special APECS anniversary logo during the coming months. We would like to invite all members to design and create an APECS logo which features the 10th anniversary in 2017!

Send us a logo in .jpg, .tif or .bmp-format until 14 November 2016 to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.! The APECS Executive Committee will vote for the best logo, which will be used on APECS materials and the website over the next year. The winner will also receive a 200 Euro travel award to a conference of their choice within the next year.

The APECS logo in various formats is available on the APECS website. The orange colour is (RGB 241, 106, 34) and the Blue is (RGB 0, 77, 140), and the font used for the text is Optima Bold.

For questions, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Finnish-Japanese early career polar scientist workshop

Finland Japan Workshop 2016 1APECS Japan and Finland welcomed early career polar researchers in Helsinki on October 17th 2016 for a workshop on sharing research projects, career advice and future connections. The meeting kicked off with presentations from four Japanese early career scientists about their current research projects. The Japanese guests came from Hokkaido and Tohoku University and their research topics covered terrestrial, marine and social sciences. In the second and third session, early career researchers from several departments at the University of Helsinki (UoH) talked about their research also covering many interesting areas. The audience included other staff and students from UoH who always had some interesting questions following the talks.

In the afternoon, Associate Professor Marius Jonassen from the University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS) talked about his research projects in meteorology and led over to sharing his own experiences transitioning from his PhD into the position of Associate Professor at UNIS. After hearing about career opportunities on Svalbard, Yasushi Fukamachi and Matti Leppäranta continued talking about inspiring research projects and sharing useful career advice. The focus was on the importance of gathering international experiences and creating networks with other researchers. Our workshop was just the right opportunity for that!
After that, Eero Rinne concluded the career session by some inspiring words about “surviving the European academia”. The informal talk brought up many comments and questions from young researchers about their thoughts on succeeding as a young scientist.

Lastly, the participants of the event discussed possibilities for continuing the connection in the future. Among these were research exchange visits and future workshops together.

Overall, the meeting was a success and we received positive feedback from the audience.

Finland Japan Workshop 2016 2

Poster Workshop at the Challenger Conference for Marine Science 2016

uk polar network logoAt the Challenger Society for Marine Science conference in September 2016, the UK Polar Network ran a workshop for early career scientists on making and presenting good scientific posters. The event was attended by over 50 people and we had a panel including Dr. Yvonne Firing (National Oceanography Centre Southampton) and Dr. Sian Henley (Univ. of Edinburgh). The workshop began with a few hints on what makes a good poster; attractive, clear visible title, easily readable without large amounts of text, clear diagrams and not overcomplicated. We then showcased some examples of winning posters. Sian Henley bravely slipped her poster into the session for anonymous criticism. It became clear during this that while there are many different opinions on what makes a “great” poster, there was aspects which people didn’t like. It is important to consider the type of conference you are at (Is your poster up all week?) and your audience. The UK Polar Network also provided two poster examples, one which was obviously “bad” and the other which was an improved version of the same (fake) research about moving polar bears to the Antarctic to cope with a declining sea ice environment and loss of food. You can see both of these examples below, hopefully which one is bad and improved is obvious to you.

Before our panel discussion we went through a few other ideas for making a great poster, some of these are:

  • Keep text to <800 words
  • Have handouts available (also if you print your poster on A4 you should be able to read it)
  • Avoid dark backgrounds and consider colour blindness!
  • Use other media tools, if you have a video think about having a tablet

There were also some good tips for presenting a poster, a few unique suggestions also:

  • Keep hands out of pockets and don’t chew gum
  • Talk to your audience, not to the poster (it doesn’t care)
  • Keep sweets or chocolates with you, it will draw people in
  • Make a t shirt advertising your poster, or even put your most interesting figure on it
  • Don’t wear sunglasses inside, people will assume you are hungover, high or both

During the panel discussion a lively debate occurred on the consumption of alcohol during poster sessions. Some were in favour, some were not, however everyone agreed that over-consumption was bad, and you shouldn’t be slurring and spilling drink on your poster (or worse your audience)! Overall, the event went well with plenty of discussion and participation from the audience. We hope that people take away some of the hints and tips provided, and we look forward to seeing some excellent posters at the next Challenger Conference! For further information please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Read the summary also on the UKPN website. 

Contact APECS

APECS International Directorate
Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Center for Polar and Marine Research
Telegrafenberg A43
14473 Potsdam
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Our Sponsors

APECS Directorate Sponsor
AWI WortBildmarke Farbe RGB
Further Sponsors and Partners for APECS projects, activities and events