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Research framework

The Norwegian Government published its Strategy for research and higher education in Svalbard in May 2018. In order to provide a solid foundation for the continued development activities and infrastructure in Ny-Ålesund, the Government tasked the Research Council of Norway with developing a research strategy specifically for Ny-Ålesund research station. The Ny-Ålesund research strategy came into force in May 2019.

Behind both these strategies lies the Norwegian white paper for Svalbard (2015-2016)

The Norwegian Polar Institute (NPI) has been assigned the role of being Norway’s host at the research station. NPI has also been tasked with implementing and following-up the research strategy on-site, as well as serving as the point of contact for national and international research activities. Kings Bay AS owns the land and most of the buildings in Ny-Ålesund, and provides infrastructure support services for research activity in the area.

Ny-Ålesund Research Flagship programmes

The research in Ny-Ålesund is carried out within the framework of various institutional, national and international programmes. The presence of researchers from many different institutions offers unique opportunities for collaboration. Since 1994, the Ny-Ålesund Science Managers Committee (NySMAC) has functioned as an important venue for coordination and cooperation among the research institutions in Ny-Ålesund. The “hands on” coordination of projects, and the detailed discussions of research priorities and research infrastructure development takes place within the framework of four thematically broad Flagship Programmes for Ny-Ålesund. Between them, these programmes cover most of the research and monitoring that occurs in Ny-Ålesund:  

The Flagship Programmes, which have been substantially supported by the Research Council of Norway (RCN) through the Svalbard Science Forum (SSF), are networks bringing together scientists working in Ny-Ålesund. They aim to promote holistic approaches for earth system science understanding through long-term observations, process investigations and modelling. All researchers interested in the specific field are invited to participate in their respective flagship, and they are encouraged to meet to present data and results, and to discuss and coordinate planned activities. The flagships arrange meetings that  are open for all, at no costs. The flagships also work on making long-term measurements of a series of variables available to the research community, and maintain an updated email list of researchers active in the field.

Researchers planning new projects in Ny-Ålesund are strongly encouraged to familiarise themselves with already ongoing research and monitoring within their field. This can be most easily achieved by participating in flagship activities and through attending flagship meetings.

Finding a host institution in Ny-Ålesund

More than 20 institutions run long term projects and programmes in Ny-Ålesund. Ten of these institutions have a key function, in that they have long-term rental agreements with Kings Bay, and assess, accept and host projects in Ny-Ålesund initiated by researchers from their respective countries. The different institutions may have varying procedures for assessing and hosting projects.

If you are planning a research stay in Ny-Ålesund you need to contact one of the following institutions – depending on your own affiliation:

Affiliated with Norwegian institutions:

Affiliated with Chinese institutions:

Affiliated with Italian institutions:

Affiliated with Japanese institutions:

Affiliated with Korean institutions:

Affiliated with Dutch institutions:

Affiliated with UK institutions:

Researchers from institutions in countries not listed here should approach NPI Sverdrup with a request to have their project hosted there.

For some countries, a peer-review process is conducted to decide which projects are granted access at no cost, but for some countries (like Norway), access is contingent on a project already having been through a peer-review process, and the researchers will be invoiced for the use of facilities. 

Note the application deadlines may vary between the institutions.

Access support programs

There are currently (at least) two access program open for all, that provide access (free of cost) to some of the different institutions in Ny-Ålesund Research Station; the INTERACT Transnational Access Program and the SIOS Access Program. Please see the INTERACT and SIOS web sites, respectively, for information regarding deadlines and eligibility criteria.

SSF also runs a dedicated program to support field work to the Arctic: Arctic Field Grant

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