Returning Student Application Instructions

One of the main goals of the Polaris Project is to develop the next generation of arctic researchers.  As such, the Polaris Project is committed to finding opportunities for exceptional alumni to further develop their arctic research careers during subsequent Polaris Project expeditions.  To be eligible, applicants should either be planning to attend graduate school in arctic studies or already be in an arctic-focused graduate program.

Each returning student will be associated with a Satellite research group.  The specific foci and travel dates for the 2014 Satellites have not yet been determined, but it is likely there will be three options:  Early (mid-June to mid-July), Middle (July), and Late (mid-July to mid-August, or perhaps later in the autumn).

To apply to participate in Polaris 2014 as a Returning Student, please send your application (by January 1, 2014) to with the following information:

1.  Describe activities related to the Polaris Project that you have accomplished since returning from Siberia.  Include both research and outreach activities. [one page maximum]

2.  What are your plans for the future, near-term and long-term? [half page maximum]

3.  How would participation in Polaris 2014 help you achieve your near-term and long-term goals?  [half page maximum]

4.  Describe your research plan for Polaris 2014 [two page maximum].  Because we hope that many applicants will eventually apply for and receive NSF Graduate Research Fellowships (, we ask that you model your response to this question on the “Graduate Research Statement” required as part of an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship.   Instructions from the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship website are pasted below, with “Polaris Project” substituted for “Graduate School”.

“Present an original research topic that you would like to pursue [as part of the Polaris Project].  Describe the research idea, your general approach, as well as any unique resources that may be needed for accomplishing the research goal.  You may choose to include important literature citations.  Address the potential of the research to advance knowledge and understanding within science as well as the potential for broader impacts on society.”

Note: It is fine – perhaps even ideal – if your research idea is an expansion of the research you were involved in during your previous Polaris Project expedition.  It does not strictly have to be “an original research topic”, but it should substantially contribute to the overall scientific goals of the Polaris Project and result in a publishable study.

5.  Would your research likely be most productive during the Early, Middle, or Late Satellites?

6.  Do you have ideas about potential funding sources that could help offset the costs of your participation in Polaris 2014?  Note:  Returning Students will be strongly encouraged to seek outside funding to help offset the costs of their participation.  

All Polaris Project alumni are eligible to apply for Returning Student positions.  Applications for Returning Student positions are due on January 1, 2014.