UK Polar Horizons 2021

UK Polar Horizons 2021

Start date
1 December, 2020
End date
31 December, 2021

We are exploring funding and resource options for running Polar Horizons again in the future. Keep an eye out on BAS socials for the latest updates on different activities and upcoming opportunities.



Improving the Diversity of UK Polar Science

The Polar Horizons Initiative, funded by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office, builds new connections and collaborations between the UK Polar Science community and those from currently underrepresented groups, particularly people from racial and ethnic minorities, the LGBTQ+ community and people with disabilities.

The 2021 programme launch took place during the first week of March, and activities are now continuing monthly online. If you would like to hear more about the 2021 online activities, please email us with the subject line “Polar Horizons 2021 activities”.

What does the programme look like?
The 2020 programme was disrupted by Covid immediately after its launch day but what were best laid plans were able to be maximised using online outreach and connection between the students and the host scientists online. We will replicate the success of the program by running the 2021 program completely online. The launch took place between the 2nd  – 5th March 2021 with 4 days of intensive networking and exploring Polar research opportunities. You can read more about the launch through this link.

We aim to run the programme annually, and give early career STEM practitioners and students, an opportunity to experience research science in a polar context with the added benefit of matching your science with a host scientist active in polar research. During the first 3 days we will introduce you to BAS & SPRI through virtual medium and have UK Polar researchers talk to you and demonstrate their research to help to show what it’s like to work in Polar Science and come away with a better understanding of how you can get involved in UK Polar Science as a career.

We will have people talk about many aspects of Polar science from animals to atmosphere and also the key areas of operations, logistics and sustainability. You will have a virtual tour of some of the BAS facilities, take part in workshops, hear from invited speakers and spend two and a half days learning of the worlds of polar scientists or polar engineers. You will network with the new cohort of Polar Horizons students as well as meeting come of the Polar Horizons alumni who are continuing their studies in polar interests.

Beyond March 2021:
After the first week of intense engagement, the 2020 Polar Horizons Programme continued with a regular programme of talks, presentations and discussions aimed at building upon the initial week. We plan to continue activities through to December 2021. This will be an interactive process designed around the 2021 cohort.
Who are we looking for to be involved in the programmme?
We are looking for BAME, LGBTQ+ and Disabled students, currently enrolled in UK Higher Education in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths subjects and STEM related fields, who want to find out about Polar Science and its broader implications for the planet today.
What will we provide?
A detailed schedule of talks and education opportunities about UK Polar Sciences and current research. An opportunity to speak to scientists and engineers working on cutting edge science and technology projects in the Polar Regions today. A great programme completion certificate for your CV and new connections into a vital and exciting area of Global Science.

Applying for this program – STEM Hosts, STEM undergrads, Masters and PhD candidates

If you have any questions about the application process, please contact
What does the application involve?
The Polar Horizons applicants (Masters and PhD students) will provide details of their scientific expertise and interest as will the host scientists. The Polar Horizons team will then match the students and hosts on their research area compatibility. The aim is to give the STEM applicants and host scientists and engineers, time to talk, share ideas and experiences and to explore possibilities for future interactions.
Benefits to the applicant
  • A unique experience and introduction to UK Polar Science from the inside
  • Establish connections and networks within a field that might otherwise seem remote and exclusive
Benefits for the UK Polar researchers
  • Opportunities to enhance the diversity and breadth of their collaborations and be introduced to new ideas and new ways of looking at polar research
  • Opportunity to broaden their skill sets through this unique online supervising and coaching experience

New to Polar Research? You’re exactly who we’re looking for!

We will be opening the 2022 programme for new students and hosts later this year. Keep an eye out on this page and BAS social media channels for updates on the application process.