Our science strategy

Polar Science for Planet Earth

The Polar Regions may be at the ends of the Earth but what happens there affects us all. Understanding how the Earth works, and in particular how it is responding to ever-increasing human pressures, is one of science’s greatest challenges.

Winter image of the Halley VI Research Station on the Brunt Ice Shelf in Antarctica with aurora
Winter image of the Halley VI Research Station on the Brunt Ice Shelf in Antarctica with aurora

Our strategic approach

Our scientific research programme, Polar Science for Planet Earth, sets the strategic direction for British Antarctic Survey, demonstrates our commitment to partnership and promotes our Vision and Mission to deliver excellence, impact and leadership in science.

Our ambition is to address scientific questions that affect the entire planet and the lives of the individuals on it. The answers to these questions will deliver real benefits to society and underpin national and international policies. Our work reflects, and takes forward, NERC’s aspirations that UK environmental science should assist us in:

  • benefiting responsibly from natural resources
  • developing resilience to environmental hazards
  • supporting management of environmental change
  • continuing to answer fundamental questions about how the Earth System works

Our multidisciplinary science teams develop and deliver a portfolio of research projects designed to address major scientific and societal issues that will lead to responsible environmental management and produce lasting benefits for the UK economy.  Each team will contribute to the Grand Challenges we have identified for polar science:

BAS marine scientists Judith Dickson and Simon Morley (Snr Scientist) working in the dry lab at King Edward Point Research Station, South Georgia.

Our strategy for creating high quality research outcomes include:

  • The design and delivery of cutting edge and innovative research projects that are relevant to the needs of society and the economy
  • Maintaining a long-term commitment to science expertise, innovation and technology development
  • Developing and maintaining our teams of highly-skilled scientists
  • Working collaboratively with the best UK and international groups to develop research collaborations at the forefront of polar science
  • Creating access for researchers to the high-quality research facilities in our offices and laboratories in Cambridge, in the Antarctic, the Arctic, and onboard our ships and aircraft
  • Listening to stakeholders and developing research solutions that meet their needs
  • Growing the next generation of researchers by providing opportunities for research training and by sharing our expertise and experience.