Association of Polar Early Career Scientists


The IPY Polar field school organizers, Elise Strømseng (IPY Norway/UNIS/ UArctic), Liz Thomas (APECS) and Melissa Rhode (APECS) met at the British Antarctic Survey in Cambridge between the 31st March to 2nd April for the difficult task of selecting participants for the three week field course to be held in Svalbard this summer. We had a staggering 297 applicants and just 24 places available making the selection process extremely difficult. 

Applications were evaluated on a competitive level, based on the completeness of the application (which needed to include a CV, academic referee and university transcripts), ranking due to GPA (academic merit), career level and the letter of recommendation from supervisors/professors. After an exhausting three days the final 24 were selected and the successful candidates have now been notified.

We would like to congratulate the successful students and look forward to welcoming you to Svalbard in June!

More information about the field school programme will be made available soon on the APECS Svalbard 2009 web-page.

Global interest in the field school:

In total we had 297 applications (54% women) from undergraduate and master’s students from 51 nations, including many non-traditional polar countries.  The largest number of applications came from the following: Britain (39), Canada (37), America (33), Germany (22), Norway (22). Spain (13), Russia (12), Netherlands (11), India (9) and Brazil (8).

If you were not selected for the field school please do not feel disheartened, we would have liked to invite all polar enthusiasts to take part in the field school but unfortunately financial and logistical constraints would not allow this.  We encourage you to get involved with future APECS events (workshops, field schools and national committees) and wish you luck in you polar careers.

Unfortunately due to the exceptionally high number of applicants, individual evaluation is not possible. However, here are a few hints and tips that may be useful in the future.

  • When official transcript of records are requested, make sure you attach/send an official version issued or stamped and signed by your educational institution. Transcripts written in word documents are not eligible.
  • Always check that your academic referee has written and sent your letter of recommendation (sadly we only received a third of the letters we needed).
  • Never leave the application until the last minute – it’s easy to make mistakes if you are rushing.
  • Keep CV’s clear and concise; include your academic history, work experience and relevant experience.
  • Always stick to the page/ word limit.
  • Answer every question on the application form.

Application Information - The Application Deadline has passed.

Eligibility Applicants should be upper-level Undergraduate or Master students, with a minimum of 2 years in the physical and/or natural sciences.

Cost The cost of the course is 200 Euro which includes all on-site costs (food & accommodation) throughout the duration of the field school; however, students will be responsible for their travel to UNIS located in Longyearbyen, Svalbard. The estimated cost from Oslo to Longyearbyen is 380 Euro. There are some travel grants available for those students that require financial assistance.

How to Apply Interested students will need to complete the online application form where they will be required to upload a one-page CV and a copy of their university transcripts.

A letter of recommendation from an academic referee (tutor, advisor or lecturer who you have worked closely with) is required for each student.

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