Polar research facilities

The British Antarctic Survey operates polar research stations in the Antarctic and Arctic on NERC's behalf. It also maintains two modern ice-strengthened research ships, a fleet of specially-adapted aircraft and various off-the-shelf and specialised vehicles.


NERC's Arctic Research Station - external link - provides laboratory space, equipment and field support to facilitate UK environmental research in the Arctic.

The research station is based at Ny-Alesund, Spitsbergen in the Svalbard Archipelago, which is easily accessible for fieldwork. The location is particularly suitable for ecological research, glacial / periglacial geomorphology, hydrology and atmospheric chemistry.

The NERC base is routinely open for the summer season June to September each year, but may be opened earlier if required.

Detailed information about the research station and travel can be obtained from the station manager. You are strongly advised to consult the NERC Arctic Office website - external link.


Halley research station

The British Antarctic Survey operates seven research stations in the Antarctic on behalf of NERC and the UK science community, operating four of them throughout the year:

The remainder are summer only facilities:

For more information about living and working in Antarctica - external link is available on the BAS website.

Polar fieldwork opportunities

NERC welcomes funding proposals that request use of Antarctic and Arctic infrastructure operated by the British Antarctic Survey. Further information on polar fieldwork is available from the following links:

The Collaborative Antarctic Science Scheme (CASS)

The Collaborative Antarctic Science Scheme (previously known as the Collaborative Gearing Scheme - CGS) provides opportunities for UK researchers to access NERC-BAS Antarctic research stations and marine science cruises for the purpose of conducting small-scale, fieldwork-based science projects that do not require logistic resources additional to those already allocated to the Antarctic field programme supported by BAS.

For further information on the scheme and how to secure access to Antarctic logistic support from BAS, please see the CASS webpage - external link.

How to apply for polar fieldwork

Details of how to apply for polar fieldwork - external link can be found on the BAS website.


Antarctic Office

Katie Gosling
Antarctic Access Office Coordinator
01223 221399

Enquiries can also be made using the email address of the Antarctic Access Office: .

Arctic Office

UK researchers planning field activities in the Arctic, or seeking contacts in Arctic Rim nations, can contact the Arctic Office by email at .

Henry Burgess
NERC Arctic Office
01223 221426

Nick Cox
UK Arctic station manager
01223 221502 (Cambridge)
+47 7902 6840 (Ny-Alesund)

Nicola Munro
NERC Arctic Office
01223 221468

NERC Head Office

Lizzie Garratt
Head of Research - Atmospheric & Polar
01793 411536
07928 668914

Jennifer Morris
Programme Manager (Polar & Polar logistics)
01793 411503


Polar data should be deposited at the UK Polar Data Centre - external link. A catalogue of Arctic data held in UK universities is held by the Arctic Environmental Metadata Centre - external link.

For enquiries about the management and long-term storage of Antarctic data generated during NERC-funded projects, please consult the Polar Data Centre, which is based in the British Antarctic Survey at .