Arctic Initiative

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Fulbright Arctic Initiative (US$40,000)

Competition now closed.

Brad Hector, Fulbright Canada Program Officer (Scholars)

The Fulbright Arctic initiative brings together a network of scholars, professionals and applied researchers from the United States, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia and Sweden for a series of three seminar meetings and a Fulbright residential exchange experience. At its core, the Fulbright Arctic Initiative will create a network to stimulate international scientific collaboration on Arctic issues using a collaborative method to translate theory into practice. Sixteen outstanding scholars (at least 4 from the U.S. and at least 1 from Canada and each of the other Arctic Circle member states) will address public-policy research questions relevant to arctic nations’ shared challenges.

Co-Lead Scholars Dr. Michael Sfraga and Dr. Ross A. Virginia will provide intellectual leadership throughout the Program, in addition to mentoring program participants and facilitating discussion and collaboration among the Arctic Initiative Scholars. Program activities will commence in spring 2015 and conclude in fall of 2016.

Selected scholars will participate in an individual Fulbright exchange of a minimum of six weeks up to three months, as well as in-person seminars and ongoing virtual communication, all supporting the scholars’ collaborative research projects. Scholars will focus on collaborative work in multidisciplinary and multinational research teams, and will propose and carry out an individual exchange element. 

The Fulbright Arctic Initiative will provide a platform for scholars from across the Arctic region to engage in collaborative thinking, analysis, problem-solving and multi-disciplinary research in one of four areas:

  • Energy: How will oil, gas, and other natural resources be developed in the Arctic? What can be done to promote clean renewable energy, reduce pollutants, guarantee the inclusion and rights of indigenous people, and protect the environment?
  • Water: How can we understand, mitigate, and adapt to the dramatic changes occurring and projected for the Arctic Ocean environment and fresh water regimes, from changes to fisheries, oil spills, the emergence of invasive species, and shifts in the food supply for local communities?
  • Health: What specific issues are faced by coastal communities such as erosion and storm surge, subsistence activities and food supply, availability of medical care, transportation, telecommunications, protection and continuity of their identities as indigenous peoples? What opportunities and vulnerabilities can be addressed for the sustainability of small, subsistence-based communities?
  • Infrastructure: How can we rethink ports, pipelines, freshwater storage and treatment, and other infrastructure and security issues? What measures and policies should be developed to promote multi-national cooperation on search and rescue, emergency environmental response, and safe shipping?

Arctic Initiative Scholars will work in multidisciplinary and multinational research teams in the program thematic areas described above. In addition to the Co-Lead Scholars, each of the Arctic Initiative research teams will select a coordinator to lead their respective groups. 

At the beginning of the program, an initial group meeting and program orientation meeting will be held in Canada. This will provide the Co-Lead Scholars and research teams the opportunity to launch the collaboration and establish guidelines and goals.

Under the guidance of the Lead Scholars, the research teams will collaborate virtually utilizing an online platform throughout the Program period. The full group will gather to share progress and initial outcomes at a mid-term meeting that will be hosted by another Arctic country. 

At the end of the program, Arctic Initiative Scholars will convene for the third and final meeting to share the results of their collaborative work and report on the accomplishment of program objectives and the national and regional implications of their findings. Scholars will disseminate policy-relevant recommendations, describe the concrete steps they have taken in implementing their projects and models at the local, national and/or regional level, and share the progress they have made and challenges they have faced in moving their recommendations from theory to practice. 

Fulbright Arctic Initiative Scholars will receive funding in the amount of USD$40,000 for the duration of the program. This allowance is intended to support travel to all program meetings, travel and maintenance for the exchange visit, research materials and assistance for grantees only. Accommodations and meals for program seminar meetings will be covered separately. Grants will also include limited accident and sickness benefits. 

The Fulbright Arctic Initiative is a program of the US Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA). 

Grant Duration: Program activities will commence in the spring of 2015 and conclude in the fall of 2016.

Important Dates:

  • Competition Opens: October, 2014
  • Application Deadlines (US Applicants): Monday, February 16, 2015
  • Candidates Notified: April 1, 2015

How to Apply

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