Arctic Field Grant (AFG) – Funding for Fieldwork in Svalbard

Important dates

05 Oct 2022

Date call is made active

16 Nov 2022

Application submission deadline


Anticipated notification of results

01 Mar 2023

Earliest permitted project start

28 Feb 2024

Latest permitted project completion

Important dates


The funding is available for master's students, PhD candidates and researchers employed, enrolled at, or affiliated with Norwegian research organisations. The main priority of this call is to promote career development in polar sciences among students and researchers at an early stage in their careers. For master's and PhD candidates, the collected field data must be necessary for, and part of, their thesis.

About the call for proposals

Funding may be sought for the period 1 March 2023 to 28 February 2024. Master's students conducting fieldwork which is vital to their thesis in January and February 2023, can also apply for funding under this call.

International and scientific collaboration and coordination are keystones in the objectives of the SSF. The application must give a description of the collaboration and the short and long-term benefits it will have for both parties. Applications related to Ny-Ålesund/the Kongsfjorden area, must describe how they will contribute and relate to the four SSF flagships. See the webpage Research, monitoring and flagships from Ny-Ålesund Research Station

This call for proposals is only available in English. The English version is legally binding.

Who is eligible to apply?

The main priority is to support Master's and PhD students, in addition to researchers not currently established in Svalbard.

Funding may be sought for one named Project Manager (student/researcher). Funding cannot be transferred to another person or year. The application is written by the Project Manager and submitted by the Project Owner (an approved Norwegian research organisation). See the list of approved Norwegian research organisations.

Changes to the project or budget must be applied for (through My RCN web) and approved before the fieldwork takes place.

The Project Manager and the project must be registered in the Research in Svalbard Portal.

Who can participate in the project?

Requirements relating to the Project Owner

The Project Owner must be an approved Norwegian research organisation. The grant will be administered by the project owner who will have the economic and scientific responsibility for the project.

Requirements relating to the Project Administrator

The project administrator is the contact person at the project owner and must be employed at the project owner. The Project administrator signs the contract on behalf of the project owner. Please check who is the administrator when developing the grant application

Requirements relating to the Project Manager

The Project Manager is the person for whom the funding is sought and who will carry out the fieldwork. She/he must be a master's student, PhD candidate or researcher affiliated with the project owner. Applicants who are not employed at or enrolled as a master's student or PhD candidate at the project owner are eligible for AFG if, and only if, their project is carried out in close the project owner.

What can you seek funding for?

You can apply for a maximum of NOK 100.000. The funding covers costs related to fieldwork in Svalbard (including Bjørnøya and Hopen) or on Jan Mayen. This year it is possible to apply for up to NOK 10.000 for costs (travel, hotel, attendance fee and printing of poster) for the applicant to present his/her results (mandatory poster or oral presentation) at the Svalbard Science Conference 2023. The NOK 10.000 are included in the NOK 100.000 maximum.

Costs for a maximum of one field assistant can be covered only if it is s necessary for safety reasons. Travel costs to Svalbard are only covered for the field assistant if it can be justified that special qualification or skills prohibit the use of a local field assistant.

Helicopter rental is covered only when absolutely necessary and other means of transport are not possible.

Boat rental and helicopter transport should be coordinated with other projects (see the Research in Svalbard Portal). Funding is allocated to cover supplementary costs for fieldwork and is not intended to fully finance a project. The funding only covers direct expenses in connection with field-based data collection for a project and no more than 5 per cent overhead for the project owner (the responsible organisation).

A fieldwork costs calculator is available at the bottom of this call (coming soon).

The following items must be specified in the application form:

  • travel to Svalbard
  • cost of living
  • local transport
  • purchase of consumables
  • rental of equipment
  • field assistant
  • rent of facilities in Ny-Ålesund
  • institution overhead (5 per cent of total)

The following costs are NOT covered:

  • salaries
  • compensation for time at sea/in the field or for normal working hours (for applicants or field assistants)
  • compensation for use of private equipment (e.g., Snow-mobile, clothing)
  • purchase of instruments and other equipment.
  • any type of analysis costs including lab work other than secure the samples and preparing the samples for shipping
  • participation in courses, conferences, or seminars (except the SSC2023)

Travel to Longyearbyen from the mainland for persons already located in Svalbard (residents, UNIS employees, permanent staff at research bases, course participants etc.).

Reporting and disbursement of funding

The project owner is required to submit two reports by 1 November 2023, a science and field report and a financial report. For projects with fieldwork carried out after 1 October 2023, the deadline can be adjusted with prior agreement.

As part of the reporting your project must be registered and kept updated in the Research in Svalbard Portal. A description of the data (metadata) must be uploaded to the portal as part of the report.

Project managers are obliged to ensure that these reports are submitted. Both reports must be in English, follow the AFG templates and be submitted as two separate, high quality PDF files through the RCN online reporting system (on My RCN web). The scientific report will be published on the SSF webpage.

The financial report includes an official financial report issued by the Project owner and must show that the expenses were paid by the Norwegian institution or reimbursed to the grant holder by the institution in accordance with the budget. Any overhead must likewise be documented.

If the reports are not submitted by the deadline and the SSF is not contacted in advance, the SSF may demand that the recipient repay all or part of the grant.

Relevant thematic areas for this call

Climate and polar research


Practical information

Requirements for this application type

Applications must be created and submitted via My RCN web. You may revise and resubmit your grant application form multiple times up to the application submission deadline. We recommend that you submit your application as soon as you have filled in the grant application form and included all mandatory attachments. After the deadline, it is the most recently submitted version of the grant application that will be processed.

The application must meet the following requirements:

  • The project manager must be in the correct category.
  • The application must be within the purpose specified in the call.
  • The budget and any own financing must comply with the call.
  • The budget must be set up properly using the AFG template so that it is clear what funds are being sought.
  • The application form must be completed in full.
  • The requested attachments must be attached and in the correct template.
  • The grant application and all attachments must be written in English.

Mandatory attachments

The mandatory attachments must be prepared using designated templates found at the end of the call.

  • a project description, maximum three pages
  • a CV for the project manager, maximum four pages
  • an itemised budget
  • a confirmation form signed by the Project Owner
  • a description of the cooperation, written by the Project Owner, including what the benefits are to both parties. This attachment is mandatory for all applicants who are not enrolled as a Master's or PhD student at, or employed by, the project owner). 

Applications that do not meet the requirements listed above will be rejected. We will not assess additional attachments, links to websites, nor any other attachments than those specified above. All pages exceeding the maximum number allowed will be removed from the application. There is no technical validation of the content of the attachments you upload, so please make sure that you upload the correct file for the selected type of attachment.

All attachments to grant applications must be submitted together with the application form. We do not accept attachments submitted after the application submission deadline unless we have requested additional documentation.

All documents and a HowTO can be found on the SSF webpage.

Assessment criteria

We assess applications on the basis of the following criteria:


• The extent to which the concept is sound, credible and novel.

• The extent to which the project objectives are clear and relevant.
• The quality of the proposed deliverables from the project.


• The extent to which the expected effects are specified.
• The extent to which expected impacts on the system and societal levels are specified.

Knowledge sharing and exploitation
• The quality of the proposed communication and dissemination activities.
• The extent to which it is credible that the proposed outputs will contribute to the specified effects and impact.


Project Manager and project group
• The extent to which the Project Manager and project group are qualified and have the necessary expertise and are positioned to implement the project.
• The extent to which management structures and procedures are appropriate.

Plans and management
• The extent to which the work plan is clear and understandable, and the time table realistic
• The extent to which objectives and measures are coherent.
• The extent to which the project has the support of the leadership of the Project Owner and any partners, and the allocation of roles in the project is clear.
• The extent to which the budget is realistic and appropriate, and resources are allocated so that each of the partners can fulfil their role.
• The extent to which potential risks have been discussed.

Administrative procedures

Grant applications will be processed administratively by a panel composed of Research Council staff and external experts with extensive experience from Svalbard. The final decision regarding funding is made by the Research Council of Norway. No individual feedback or grades are available to applicants.

The anticipated date for notification of results of application process is January 2023.

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