COMNAP Antarctic Fellowship

COMNAP Antarctic Fellowship, the IAATO Antarctic Fellowship, the SCAR Fellowship & the CCAMLR Scholarship

Application round 2020 now OPEN!

The Council of Managers of National Antarctic Programs (COMNAP), the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR), the ​and the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) have been working together for many years to support talented early-career researchers, scientists, engineers, environmental managers, and other professionals to strengthen international capacity and cooperation in fields such as science support and facilitation, environmental management implementation, and climate, biodiversity, conservation, humanities and astrophysics research by way of an annual funding opportunity. From 2019, these Antarctic organisations were joined by the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO) who supported two early career fellows in the inaugural round.​

The COMNAP Antarctic Fellowship Background Information:

The COMNAP Antarctic Fellowship was offered for the first time in 2011. 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. It 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). The fellow’s project should contribute to the objectives of the home or host National Antarctic Program’s objectives.


To Apply for the COMNAP Antarctic Fellowship:​

Check eligibility requirements and download an application form and letters of reference templates (file 1 below). Ask your home institute to complete a letter of reference, and discuss with your proposed host institute your proposal and their ability to support your project at their facilities. Include both letters of reference with your application. Your proposed project must align with the priority projects or topics for the application year. The priority project list for 2020 is available as file 2 below. Prepare your application and when your application is ready for submission, upload the application along with supporting documentation to the COMNAP Antarctic Fellowship application on-line submission site:

Submit COMNAP Fellowship Application

COMNAP Fellowship Application Pack (file 1): 2020_COMNAP_Antarctic_Fellowship_Eligibility_Application_Pack

COMNAP Fellowship Priority Projects (file 2): 2020_Priority_projects_and_topics_COMNAP_Antarctic_Fellowship

To Apply for the IAATO Antarctic Fellowship:

From 2019, IAATO has joined COMNAP, SCAR and CCAMLR to support early-career professionals by way of providing funding for an inaugural IAATO Antarctic Fellowship. Check eligibility requirements and download an application form and letters of reference templates (file 3 below). Also see www.iaato.org for full details. Prepare your application and when your application is ready for submission, upload the application along with supporting documentation to the IAATO Antarctic Fellowship application on-line submission site:

Submit IAATO Fellowship Application

IAATO Fellowship Application Pack (file 3): 2020_IAATO_Fellowship_Eligibility_Application_Pack

For the COMNAP and the IAATO Fellowships, all completed applications must be submited and received by the deadline of 31 May 2020.

To Apply for the SCAR Antarctic Fellowship:​
SCAR will offer three to four fellowships of up to USD $15,000 each for 2020. The details for the SCAR scheme will be similar to previous years but with additional possible opportunities for candidates from WMO countries that will be announced later in the year. The deadline for the SCAR fellowship applications is 26 August 2020. Full details at www.scar.org​.

To Apply for the CCAMLR Scientific Scholarship Scheme:
The CCAMLR Scientific Scholarship provides funding of up to AUD $30,000 to assist early-career scientists to participate in the work of the CCAMLR Scientific Committee and its working groups over a period of two years.  The objective of the scheme is to build capacity within the CCAMLR scientific community to help generate and sustain the scientific expertise needed to support the work of CCAMLR in the long-term. The deadline for CCAMLR scientific scholarship applications is 1 October 2020. ​Full details at www.ccamlr.org​.


Evaluation of Antarctic Fellowship applications received:

For the COMNAP applications, 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.

For the IAATO applications, the IAATO Executive Committee plus one COMNAP EXCOM Member will evaluate all applications received before the deadline and will rank on the basis of excellence and fit to IAATO’s overarching purpose, and must reflect the objectives of IAATO and add to our understanding of human presence in the Antarctic.


The COMNAP Antarctic Research Fellowship Recipients 2011-2019

The following were awarded COMNAP Fellowships.  Their reports are also available below.

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

2012-2013 Ursula Rack “Reconstructing historic Antarctic climate data
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” NCAOR India to GEOMAR Germany

2013-2014 Charlotte Havermans “The impact of environmental changes on a key component of the Southern Ocean“, 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“, 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“, University of Tasmania​ to Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute (AARI) / Russian Antarctic Expedition (RAE)

2014-2015 Keith Soal “Characterisation of Ice-Structure and Fluid-Structure Interactions on Polar Vessels using Operational Modal Analysis“, (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“, “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“, “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 Ronja Reese Report”, 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​

2017-2018 Maria Gabriela Roldan ” Inviting Antarctica into your home: an evaluation of public engagement with Antarctic science, science support, policy and technology”, Gateway Antarctica, New Zealand, to the Institute Antartico Chileno (INACH), Chile

2018-2019 Mikolaj Dziurzynski  “Omics-based modelling of metabolic processes of Antarctic bacterium, Pseudoalteromonas haloplanktis TACI25, in response to selected heavy metals”, University of Warsaw, Poland, to the University of Florence, Italy

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“.

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