Applications for the Antarctic Science International Bursary are now closed. Please check back in January for the next Bursary funding opportunity.

Antarctic Science bursary webinar

On 29th Jan 2021, The Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS) hosted two webinars with Antarctic Science bursary panel members and previous award winners, followed by a question and answer session. These explain the origins of the bursary and include tips for how to write a successful proposal. You can watch the webinars here.

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We support the development of the careers of promising early career scientists, working in any field of Antarctic science, and from any country. We particularly encourage applications from countries that are developing their Antarctic research resources. Grants of up to £6000 are awarded to extend the scope of an existing research project, through:

  • funding extra field or laboratory work
  • purchasing/contributing towards the cost of a key piece of equipment, or
  • funding international collaboration or the learning of new skills

Please note that this award is NOT offered to support work on an existing research project. It is intended to support a distinct extension activity, usually arising from previous work. We like to fund novel opportunities or research avenues which are complementary to your existing research. If you are unsure whether your research fits these criteria, please contact us.

Projects can run for up to two years. See our case studies of recent funded projects and three downloadable examples of successful proposals to the Bursary.


Submissions are accepted between 00:00 1st January and 24:00 on Friday 15th March (Greenwich Mean Time).

Applicants whose first language is not English may experience extra difficulties in completing the form. Antarctic Science can assist by providing mentors before the application is made. Please contact us if you would like a mentor at least two weeks before you intend to submit.

Applicants will normally be notified of award outcomes by 1st June.


Grants are given to individuals and managed through their organisations. Applicants normally need to be enrolled in a PhD or employed as an early career researcher, with payment being to an institutional account.

Applicants can apply from anywhere in the world.

Please note that we will only accept one bursary application from an individual in each annual grant round.

Early career researchers are eligible to apply for up to 8 years after their PhD, or within 3 years of attaining a permanent faculty position, up to a total of 8 years post-PhD.

Statements of Support

A statement of endorsement by your supervisor or line manager must be provided with the application. This should include endorsement of (1) the candidate, (2) the project, and (3) the Institute’s capacity to support this project. This letter must also confirm (i) that this work constitutes a new initiative arising from current research, and (ii) that the applicant has institutional support throughout the funding award period.

If proposing to conduct Antarctic fieldwork, a letter of support from the particular National Operator supporting the fieldwork is required with the application. All field projects must conform to the SCAR Codes of Conduct and ethical guidelines for Antarctic fieldwork, especially where animal experimentation is involved.

Funding conditions

Awards can be used for research consumables, training, travel, accommodation and subsistence associated with research, scientific services or facilities.

Awards cannot be used for overheads, applicant salary, conference attendance or publication costs.

We carry out carbon offsetting and will do this against all travel costs incurred.

Please see FAQ to check other frequently asked questions about the Bursary.

Proposal reviewing criteria

Applications will be assessed by the Board of Directors, seeking independent advice as necessary. The Board will reach its decisions based on:

  • fit of the proposal to the aims of the scheme,
  • quality of science, timeliness within the field, policy related impacts
  • likelihood of success based on candidate track record and science objectives, considering the potential risk and reward of funding the project
  • appropriate and realistic budgeting of research costs.

Post-award conditions

After completing the project the bursary holder must provide a short report on its success, which will be posted on the website.

We encourage the recipient to offer to the Antarctic Science Journal a first- or lead-author paper on the outcomes of the science for which the Bursary was awarded or from science activity associated with it. In addition the recipient must acknowledge the award in presentations and publications.

Downloadable Forms

To apply for the Bursary

Start here

Our downloadable Antarctic Science bursary application form can be used as a reference (this should only be submitted to us if you are unable to use the online form).

Apply for Antarctic Science International Bursary