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​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​COMNAP Antarctic Fellowships

2017 Fellowship Application round NOW OPEN!  

COMNAP and SCAR have again joined forces to launch fellowships for early-career researchers. For 2017, COMNAP will offer one fellowship with funding of up to USD $15,000, and SCAR will offer 4 to 5 fellowships of up to USD $15,000.  The fellowships enable early-career persons to join a project team from another country, opening up new opportunities and often creating partnerships that last for many years and over many Antarctic field seasons. 

New this year: For 2017, the COMNAP eligibility criteria have changed and the on-line application process is separate to that of SCAR. To apply for the SCAR Fellowship go to: www.scar.org. Deadline is 1 July 2017.

To apply for the COMNAP Fellowship, read the criteria below, download any documents you require, and follow link when ready to make on-line application. The deadline for COMNAP Fellowship applications is 1 July 2017.

COMNAP Fellowship eligibility criteria:

1. Any early career person, where here, “early career” person is defined as someone who is within the first five years after completion of the highest level of university award/certificate/degree obtained; or any person, regardless of university completion, that is under the age of 40 years old on the day of the deadline for the application submission. So, as examples:

·         Those who have a doctorate, with not more than 5 years since your doctoral award.

·         Those who hold a master’s degree, with not more than 5 years since your master’s degree was awarded to you.

·         Those who hold an undergraduate degree, with not more than 5 years since your bachelor’s degree or baccalaureate was awarded to you.

·         Those under the age of 40 on 1 July 2017.

2. Applications are welcome from a range of disciplines and fields, including but not limited to, those with Engineering, Environmental Management, Data Management, Technology, Social Sciences, Humanities, Education, Communication and Outreach, Law, Operations and Logistics, Search and Rescue, Medical and Science backgrounds.

3. Those wishing to visit a facility in or run by a COMNAP Member or Observer country, which is different from applicant’s (a) country of citizenship (which should be a COMNAP Member or Observer country) and (b) country of current residence.

4. Applications must be for one of the COMNAP projects as indicated in the 2017 list of projects (below); or, if the proposed project is not on list, the proposed project must fit within COMNAP’s goals and purpose and should contribute to one or more objectives of the home or host National Antarctic Programme. List of priority projects for 2017:

·         Operation and management of Antarctic aviation capabilities, including, but not limited to application of unmanned aerial systems/remotely piloted aircraft for scientific, operational or conservation purposes.

·         Alternative energy systems in cold climate and any cold climate engineering:  including, but not limited to buildings, mechanical, systems, remote autonomous systems.

·         Understanding the environmental issues from direct human impacts arising from Antarctic science and operations; understanding management implications of environmental change to National Antarctic Program activities.

·         Human safety, including, but not limited to equipment, clothing, operating procedures and search and rescue.

·         Legal/administrative issues relating to COMNAP’s internal functioning and/or its relationship with any other component of the Antarctic Treaty System.

·         Improving, developing or exchanging information on education and outreach related to National Antarctic Program / COMNAP activities.​

Download the eligibility criteria, further information and all application forms: 

Then, when all forms are complete, submit your applicatoin by the deadline of 1 July 2017 at: On-line Fellowship Application​

Some useful suggestions for writing successful fellowship applications may be found at:
SCAR-COMNAP-APECS-Webinar: Writing for Success! Preparing winning fellowship applications

A planned webinar in the Spanish language on writing successful applications will take place on 15 March 2017.  Information on the webinar here in English.pdf and here in Spanish.pdf.  Register to participate in that Spanish language webinar at: APECs Webinar Registration​.

Questions or concerns, email sec@comnap.aq.

The COMNAP Antarctic Fellowship Background Information:
The COMNAP Antarctic  Fellowship was offered for the first time in 2011. COMNAP is the international independent organisation of National Antarctic Programs. Formed in 1988, COMNAP has as its goal to develop and promote best practice in managing the support of scientific research in Antarctica.
The COMNAP Antarctic  Fellowship is similar to the SCAR Fellowship Programme in that, it is designed to encourage the active involvement of early career Antarctic persons and to strengthen international capacity and cooperation in the spirit of the Antarctic Treaty. Both Fellowship Programmes allow the selected Fellow to become acquainted with recent advances in research and technology and/or to develop long-term  linkages and international partnerships.
However, there are two primary differences between the SCAR and COMNAP Fellowship Programmes. First, the COMNAP Fellowship Programme is intended to allow people from a COMNAP Member National Antarctic Program country to undertake short-term visits to major international laboratories, field facilities, and/or home institutions in or operated by other COMNAP Member National Antarctic Programs (for a list of members, please visit the "Our Members" page of the COMNAP website).
Secondly, the proposed project should contribute to the objectives of the home or host National Antarctic Program's objectives. A list of projects have been prepared by COMNAP and the application must be for one of the COMNAP projects as indicated in the 2017 list of projects; or, if the proposed project is not on list, the proposed project must fit within COMNAP’s goals and purpose and should contribute to one or more objectives of the home or host National Antarctic Programme.​

In 2017, the award will be up to US$15,000, providing, as needed, economy-class round trip travel and a modest subsistence allowance for the fellowship period. The Fellow's home institute will bear all expenses incurred in his or her own nation (domestic travel, visa costs, etc.), and the host institute will waive any fees that they might normally charge. 
Evaluation of applications received:
A review panel chaired by a representative of the  COMNAP Executive Committee, and including expertise in the range of projects proposed, will evaluate all COMNAP proposals on the basis of the excellence of the proposed project. This evaluation will also take into consideration factors such as:
§  its relevance to the list of proposed project themes;
§  its achievability within the time frame allotted;
§  the extent to which links have already been established with the proposed host institution;
§  the extent to which it will strengthen the Antarctic science support capacity of the nations involved;
§   its "fit" with COMNAP's goals and objectives.
Completion of Fellowship:
At the end of each Fellowship, each candidate must provide a report to be published on the  COMNAP website. Reports should cover the accomplishments and a budgetary report. These reports will be tabled and discussed at the COMNAP AGM.  The COMNAP Fellowship scheme should be acknowledged in any resulting publications.
The COMNAP Antarctic Research Fellowship Recipients 2011-2016
The following were awarded COMNAP Fellowships.  Their reports are also available below.

2011-2012 Amelia Marks "Characterisation of bidirectional reflectance of Antarctic surface.pdf
Royal Hollaway UK to ENEA/PNRA Italy

2012-2013 Ursula Rack "Reconstructing historic Antarctic climate data.pdf
Canterbury University NZ to Scott Polar Research Institute UK
2012-2013 Jenson George (Awarded a joint SCAR/COMNAP Fellowship) "Influence of small scale mixing on the primary productivity and water mass formation in the Southern Ocean.pdf" NCAOR India to GEOMAR Germany
2013-2014 Charlotte Havermans "The impact of environmental changes on a key component of the Southern Ocean.pdf", Royal Belgium Institute of Natural Sciences Belgium to Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) Germany
2013-2014 Luis Rodriguez Pertierra (Awarded a joint SCAR/COMNAP Fellowship) "Niche modelling as a tool for invasive risk assessment of vascular plants in terrestrial Antarctica.pdf",  Autonomous University of Madrid​ Spain to Australian Antarctic Division
2014-2015 Sandra Potter  "Quantifying factors limiting implementation of Annex III of the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty.pdf", University of Tasmania​ to Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute (AARI) / Russian Antarctic Expedition (RAE)
2014-2015 Keith Soal  "Characterisation of Ice Structure.pdf",  (Full title: Characterisation of Ice-Structure and Fluid-Structure Interactions on Polar Vessels using Operational Modal Analysis), University of Stellenbosch, South Africa to Germany and Finland
2015-2016 Alejandro Velasco Castrillon "Limno Terrestrial Microfauna.pdf", "100 years on: a re-evaluation of the first discovery of limno-terrestrial microfauna of the McMurdo Sound region", University of Adelaide/South Australia Museum to McMurdo Sound, Antarctica
2015-2016 Inka Koch (Awarded a joint SCAR/COMNAP Fellowship) "Airborne Ice Penetrating Radar.pdf", "Detecting marine ice internal layers and thickness in an Antarctic ice shelf with airborne ice penetrating radar", University of Otago, New Zealand to University of Texas, USA

2016-2017 Ronja Reese “Importance of ice buttressing in Antarctica”, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Germany, to the British Antarctic Survey

2016-2017 Blanca Figuerola “Vulnerability of Antarctic bryozoan communities to environmental change”, University of Barcelona, Spain, to the Australian Antarctic Division

2016-2017 Christopher Horvat (Awarded a joint SCAR/COMNAP Fellowship)  " Modelling the Antarctic Sea Ice Floe Size Distribution", Harvard University, USA, to the National Institute of Water and Atmosphere, New Zealand​

Other Opportunities
CCAMLR Scholarship Scheme​
The SCAR and COMNAP Fellowships are again launched in conjunction with the CCAMLR (Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources) Scholarship Scheme. For full details of the CCAMLR scheme, please visit the CCAMLR website.​

University of Canterbury Summer Scholarship Scheme
Each Austral summer, the Unviersity of Canterbury which hosts the COMNAP Secretariat in Christchurch, New Zealand, offers senior students an opportunity to work on a summer project.  COMNAP has participated in two such projects and reports from each one are below.
2010/11 Max Gallagher "Impacts of Tsunami on National Antarctic Program Operations and Personnel in Coastal Antarctica".                
FINAL Tsunami Report.pdfFINAL Tsunami Report.pdf

2013/14 Hanne Nielsen "From Shelter to Showpiece: The Evolution of Antarctic Station design".