Welcome to the UK Polar Network website

The UKPN Committee consists of volunteers from across the UK. Read about the committee here.

The UKPN Website
Welcome to the UK Polar Network website! We are the national organisation for early career polar researchers, founded as part of the 2007-2009 International Polar Year (IPY). We are the UK branch of the  Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS), an international organisation with over 2,500 members in more than 50 countries!
With over 300 members, the UK Polar Network is one of the biggest national committees for early career polar scientists and 2012-2013 promises to be a very exciting year!
See the About the UKPN section for more details 
Grant Writing Workshop at BAS Registration Open PDF Print E-mail
Written by Eleanor Darlington   

The UK Polar Network are running a Grant Writing Workshop at the British Antarctic Survey, Cambridge: Thursday 14th-Friday 15th March 2013. This event is free to attend thanks to generous funding from BAS. 


Workshop will give advice on grant writing in addition to a comprehensive overview of available funding from a range of well-respected organisations including Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR), the British Ecological Society, teh Antarctic Science Bursary and more. Travel grants, small and large research grants will be covered during the workshop.


There will be two grant application exercises during the workshop. All participants will be asked in advance of the workshop to submit a short travel grant application and a one-page small research grant application based on mock criteria. These criteria will be sent to applicants well in advance of the workshop and will be based on a mix of criteria currently set by various funding bodies. Applications will be made anonymously and distributed amongst the participants who will score applications based on scoring criteria (constructed in a similar manner to current funding bodies) and provide constructive feedback. Samples of applications will also be assessed by representatives from funding bodies who will also provide feedback.


Recycled grant applications or ones intended for future applications are welcome for submission to this workshop. We do ask that they can be submitted with the mock criteria in mind in order to make the most of this opportunity to receive feedback.


The UKPN AGM will be held the afternoon before the event (1300 onwards, Wednesday 13th March, British Antarctic Survey, Cambridge) when the new Committee will be elected. If you wish to find out more about the UKPN, join the Committee, get more involved or to find out how you can get involved – then please join us at the AGM.


Who can attend?


All young researchers who have an interest in polar science. If the event is oversubscribed then priority will allocated to those who are actively involved in polar research. Those wishing to attend the AGM please note that spaces are limited. 

How to apply: Send an email to Coleen Suckling ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ; Deadline is 11th FEBRUARY) stating the following:

1. Your name  

2. Your current position (e.g. Third year Undergraduate student / 2nd year PhD student)

3.  Your broad research area (e.g. marine biology; geology)

4.  Institute

5. State which of the following you wish to attend: ‘Grant writing workshop’, ‘AGM’ or ‘Both’.

6. Workshop application: One short paragraph stating why you would like to attend this workshop.

7. AGM applications: State your intent of the meeting as a basic description (e.g. general interest/join Committee/get more involved). You will be informed by email very shortly after the deadline on whether you have secured a place in this workshop/AGM and will also be provided with details for your mock applications.  Those who have already emailed me stating their interest to attend these events are also asked to apply following the details above. I look forward to hearing from you in the near future. 

Coleen Suckling UK Polar Network Secretaty (www.polarnetwork.org)


Report on the WWRP Polar Prediction Project steering group meeting PDF Print E-mail
Written by Matthias Biber   

12-13th December 2012

European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting (ECMWF) (Reading, England)

The World Weather Research Program (WWRP) Polar Prediction Project (PPP) is a ten year initiative aiming to promote cooperative international research into polar weather prediction at hourly to seasonal timescales. As part of this project plans are being made for a Year of Polar Prediction (YOPP) in 2017-2018, this will involve an intensive observation and modelling effort to improve polar prediction.

Ella Darlington and Jonny Day attended this meeting representing APECS, who are being consulted on project matters related to outreach and education. The meeting was mainly concerned with finalising the project implementation plan. During the discussion on how early career scientists could become more involved in and contribute to the PPP, the following ideas were discussed:

·        Invite early career scientists to PPP events (not just workshops; but also steering groups, etc.).

·        Run mentoring sessions at SG meetings and PPP workshops.

·        Involve early career scientists in informal social settings such as icebreakers where they are encouraged to meet and talk with senior scientists.

·        Run skills training workshops to ensure that early career scientists are familiar with tools as well as operational in-house systems (e.g., models, and diagnosis and verification systems) and can more readily run models or analyse operational centre data. (Existing examples include twice yearly WRF workshops and verification workshops run by JWGFVR.).

·        Run summer schools.

It was agreed to:

·        Invite local APECS representative(s) to take part in the next PPP-SG meeting (tentatively Boulder, Colorado, USA in October 2013).

·        Run a mentoring session in association with the PPP-SG meeting.  

In addition Jonny agreed to sit on the project steering group and YOPP planning committee to liaise with both the PPP steering group and APECS concerning the PPP education and outreach plan and its implementation. 


Bangor Polar Symposium PDF Print E-mail
Written by Matthias Biber   

Seventy polar enthusiasts gathered in Bangor University’s School of Ocean Sciences on Saturday, 8th December 2012 to learn about the most recent advances in polar research and to network with those that share their interest in polar science.

A wide range of scientific presentations were presented, with topics ranging from glaciers and plants to past and future climate change. Talks and posters were presented from scientists at different stages of their careers (undergraduate to junior lecturers) demonstrating the wide range of polar research which scientists are involved in.

This one-day scientific conference offered students a great opportunity to experience how scientific conferences function, which will certainly be a positive asset in their future careers. Furthermore, participants were provided with an opportunity to ask any questions they had during a mentor panel on "How to get yourself into polar science and general research". In a climate where we still see the effects of a recession and the job market becoming ever more competitive, we hope that this event helps not only to promote Bangor and the UKPN as student supportive organisations, but more importantly supports students in their preparation for their future careers and hopefully gives them a more competitive edge.

The keynote speakers provided excellent talks on their fields of expertise as well describing how they ended up in polar science. Stephanie Wilson, a Lecturer at Bangor University’s School of Ocean Sciences, opened up the event with an interesting talk on Antarctic food webs. Nick Hughes from the Norwegian Met Office came all the way from Norway to talk about how he has achieved a high profile career (without a PhD so far!) looking at sea ice. His science has taken him onto Ministry of Defence nuclear submarines in order to collect his data from underneath the Arctic sea ice. Finally Chris Alger of Calesurvey gave the day a commercial spin by talking the participants through how geophysicists carry out their work under big contracts, largely associated with the oil industry. Such work has taken their graduate employees to a range of locations including the Arctic circle.

Congratulations to Ben Butler (Bangor University) on winning the best oral presentation. Also congratulations to joint winners for best poster presentation, PhD students Philip Blaen (Birmingham University) and Rebekah Newstead (Bangor University).

Thank you to all those who attended and those presenting their exciting science and to our mentor panelists Stephanie Wilson, Anna Pienkowski, Coleen Suckling (Bangor University), Nick Hughes (Norwegian Met Office) and Chris Alger (Calesurvey). A huge thank you to the organising committee (Coleen Suckling, Ben Strachan, Matt Biber, Rebekah Newstead, Anna Glüder and Ilka Johanna Illers, Bangor University), our funders Calesurvey, the UK Polar Network and the Endeavour Society and the School of Ocean Sciences for hosting this exciting event.

Coleen Suckling, Bangor University.

APECS Career Development Panel PDF Print E-mail
Written by Matthias Biber   
APECS is hosting a career development panel on "Starting Your Career in Polar and Cryospheric Sciences" at the IGS Symposium on Glaciers and Ice Sheets in a warming climate in Fairbanks, Alaska. Find more information here!
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