9 January, 2019 News stories

Applications to carry out small-scale research projects in the Antarctic in the 2019/20 season are invited from UK-based researchers.

The Collaborative Antarctic Science Scheme (CASS) provides fieldwork opportunities for scientists in UK Higher Education Institutes and other approved research organisations, which expands funded projects or supports early research in preparation for submitting a full NERC grant proposal.

This year a unique opportunity has arisen for CASS projects to be supported aboard the HMS Protector, the Royal Navy’s ice patrol ship.

During the austral summer, HMS Protector travels to various locations in and around the Antarctic Peninsula surveying and gathering data on the Southern Ocean. The vessel also provides support to the British Antarctic Survey (BAS), which includes assisting CASS projects in the 2019/20 season.

Nine CASS projects received funding in the 2018/19 Antarctic season. Projects included mapping microplastics in the Southern Ocean on board the RRS James Clark Ross, studying foraging strategies of penguins and seals at Bird Island Research Station and testing a new percussive rock drilling head at a fieldwork site of an EU funded project.

Potential applicants should note:

  • There will be specific logistics and safety planning requirements, which must be complied with ahead of any deployment.
  • Scheduling of the HMS Protector work programme is not usually confirmed until May/ June, therefore approval to support CASS projects would not be announced until this point.
  • Projects should not require logistic resources additional to those already allocated to the Antarctic field programme supported by BAS.

The CASS application deadline for the 2019/20 field season: Monday 4th March 2019, 4pm.

Full details on eligibility requirements, costs and how to apply can be found here.

If you have any questions please contact Katie Gosling, Polar Funding Coordinator afibas@bas.ac.uk.