Association of Polar Early Career Scientists


This course provides a small group of PhD students and Early Career Researchers to gain practical skills for working safely and effectively in the polar regions. The short eight-day course consists of two parts: three days theoretical work in Cambridge followed by five full days of active fieldwork on the ice and at sea, supported from the UK Arctic Research Station in the international research village of Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard. Leading operational polar experts and researchers from British Antarctic Survey will guide the course, teaching participants to translate exciting scientific ideas into safe, achievable and effective field plans.

You will work on Midrelovenbreen Glacier and carry out a radar survey of ice structure where you will learn skills that can be applied to many types of glaciological fieldwork.  You will also have the chance to work on offshore biological sampling and develop general skills in small boat survey work.  Planning each day and taking turns at leading the team will also feature in the course.

Key aspects of the course include:

  • Fieldwork planning in remote regions: how to develop a comprehensive, achievable field plan; legal, political and environmental obligations; risk assessment; shipping equipment; financial planning and budgeting. BAS Operations will give practical examples of project planning from their extensive experience in both polar regions.
  • Remote sensing options and use of topographical maps: use of a GPS and GIS; aerial photographs and satellite images. Members of the BAS Mapping and Geographic Information Centre (MAGIC) will demonstrate some of the latest state of the art techniques.
  • A series of tasks and practical exercises to help you develop your skills in polar leadership, practical planning and how to work efficiently in remote regions. Can you think on your feet and lead a small team? Can you change a field programme at short notice in challenging weather conditions?

Practical details

Provisional course dates: 19 August – 1 September 2020*

Numbers will be strictly limited to 10 participants, and the cost of the course will be approximately £1800 per person.

Course costs include:

  • meals and accommodation 19 – 21 August in Cambridge*
  • return travel from Cambridge to Heathrow Airport
  • return travel, accommodation and subsistence from Heathrow to Ny-Ålesund.

* All course dates to be confirmed.

If you are interested in applying for this course please complete an application form, including a full CV and letter of motivation (max two sides A4) and send to Ali Teague (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Deadline for applications: 13th March 2020 

BAS ATSC 2020 Application Form

More information here:

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

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