Research support: Arctic logistics and field equipment for the rest of Canada
The deadline for 2021 Arctic logistics requests has now passed.
The planning and delivery of the operations for the 2021 Arctic field season will be conducted in accordance with the public health guidelines, travel restrictions and the NRCan workplace re‑entry protocols in place at that time.
Please consult the applicable federal, territorial and provincial public health orders and advisories for your fieldwork location(s).
Please contact the PCSP directly for any information about our program.
Are you a field researcher who needs logistical support for your work in Canada’s North? Or are you part of a federal government team that needs field equipment for research conducted elsewhere in Canada?
At Canada’s Polar Continental Shelf Program (PCSP), we can help. We provide these services and coordinate the timing of Arctic projects so you can share resources during expeditions. We also support the Canadian Armed Forces Arctic Training Centre in Resolute, Nunavut. Read on to learn about our services and how to apply for support.
Arctic research support
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Our Arctic facilities
The PCSP’s Arctic logistics hub in Resolute, Nunavut, operates from February to September. The main building can accommodate up to 237 people and includes lounges, offices, meeting rooms, a fitness room, a commercial kitchen and accessible bedrooms. Only clients with PCSP-supported projects and PCSP partners are eligible to stay or work there.
The Dr. Roy M. “Fritz” Koerner Laboratory is part of the hub used by clients. It was built in 2011 and contains workspaces for different types of sample preparation, examination and analysis. It has a walk-in freezer, a walk-in cooler, a -80°C freezer, fume hoods, a compressed air supply and a water purification system. Laboratory access is controlled and you must make a request to use it in your application. The PCSP Arctic Operations Manual [PDF, 5.4 Mb] contains additional information about the facility.
Who can apply
- Researchers conducting scientific fieldwork in Canada’s North, who are from:
- Canadian governments or universities
- Northern or independent research organizations
- Federal government operational projects in Canada’s North
- International research organizations may be considered, depending on the availability of our resources
We give special consideration to projects that involve either of these categories:
1. Traditional knowledge: If your project supports the preservation of the traditional knowledge of Arctic Peoples, indicate this in the relevant section on the regular application form. There’s a place for you to explain how the community is involved in, supports or co-leads your project. You should also tell us how your project’s results will be communicated to the community or the broader public. If this is an ongoing project, you can describe and attach any deliverables that were developed in recent years.
2. Canadian Arctic-Antarctic exchanges: We support collaboration among Canadian Arctic and non-Canadian, Antarctic scientists who want to conduct joint studies in both polar regions. If you’re a Canadian scientist (or a group of scientists) who wishes to sponsor Antarctic partners, fill in the relevant section on the regular application form. Include information about the nature of your collaboration, the proposed research and how the collaborative work will enhance your ongoing Arctic scientific research. We’ll also need to see proof of a firm commitment from the foreign partner to provide in-kind logistics support to you, the Canadian partner, within a two-year period following the Arctic field season.
Costs and in-kind support
Costs: We offer advice, coordination and planning free of charge to eligible projects, but bill clients for direct expenditures made on their behalf. So if, for example, we are billed for one hour of flying time, we recover those costs from your project (that is, we don’t add in service fees or overhead charges).
In-kind support: We absorb all or a portion of eligible expenditures for science projects conducted by Canadian universities or federal or territorial government departments or agencies. This in-kind support is only available for logistics support requests made in October. Applications received at other times of the year are not eligible for this support.
Special note regarding the Polar Knowledge Canada’s Science and Technology Program:
If your project is funded by Polar Knowledge Canada’s (POLAR) Science and Technology Program, we cannot provide you with in‑kind support. We can coordinate logistics for you, but we will bill you for those services. If you plan to use our logistical support services, be sure to include the cost of those services in your application to POLAR. When you apply for logistics support with us, indicate on your application that your project will be funded by POLAR.
How to apply: 3 steps
We accept applications in October for work that will happen in the next calendar year. Sometimes, we can accommodate requests at other times of the year.
1. Review important info
2. Plan and prepare
- Step 1: Review important info
Review the PCSP Arctic Operations Manual [PDF 5.4 Mb] and the PCSP terms and conditions.
- Step 2: Plan and prepare
Plan your fieldwork and prepare to apply. Create documents that include details required for your application:
- Project description
- Information about your field camp location(s), planned use and field party
- Your requirements (if applicable) for:
- Charter aircraft (including load details for each request)
- Specific pieces of field equipment
- Accommodations at our Arctic logistics hub in Resolute
- Fuel for aircraft, equipment and camps
- A health and safety plan
If you are unsure about any part of your planning, email us before you submit your application. We can help determine the best timing for your Arctic fieldwork, select the ideal aircraft for the work you want to complete, offer equipment guidance, and more. Your application stands a greater chance of success if you connect with us to ensure that your plan is solid.
- Step 3: Apply
We accept applications each October for work that will be conducted in the following calendar year.
The application process is currently CLOSED.
The review process
A PCSP project review committee reviews requests from university applicants using the Project Review Committee Scoring Guide, which includes three criteria: quality of the application, feasibility of the requested field logistics and scientific recognition and impact. It has also been updated to include Indigenous and Northern involvement in the project, as well as equity, diversity and inclusion considerations in your research design.
Government projects in the Arctic are prioritized on behalf of their department by a coordinating director general nominated from each department or agency. Before applying, speak with your home department about its internal requirements and priorities.
When a project is fully planned and coordinated and the project’s principal investigator has provided an intent to proceed, we send a formal project agreement (typically in February or March) for signature. This document confirms the planned logistics, provides estimated costs and includes our terms and conditions.
Our current projects
If you want to learn about the types of fieldwork we approve, have a look at the projects we supported in 2019 (arranged alphabetically by province/territory). You'll see the primary investigator’s name and the institution they’re from, as well as the project’s title and its field location in Canada.
Field equipment for federal research elsewhere in Canada
We provide several types of support to federal government researchers conducting fieldwork in Canada, outside the Arctic:
- Field equipment for loan and/or purchase
- Coordination or assistance with shipping and receiving
- Advice on sealift and transporting dangerous goods
Our field equipment inventory
- Clothing and footwear
- Camping equipment
- Communications equipment
- Field vehicles, such as ATVs, snowmobiles and trailers
- Safety equipment
Our field equipment facilities
Loans are made from our logistics hub in Ottawa, which is home to our headquarters and equipment warehouse. Researchers can arrange a visit to view what’s available.
Who can apply
- Staff members working on federal government projects that require field equipment at sites across Canada
Costs and in-kind support
Costs: We will bill you at cost if we supply you with non-returnable items (like batteries or duct tape).
In-kind support: We offer free equipment loans (like ATVs, snowmobiles, tents, outerwear, tools or footwear) as long as the items are returned in good condition. Reasonable wear and tear is permitted. If you damage, destroy or lose an item, we will bill you for the replacement cost.
These are the minimum timelines to which we respond:
Are you shipping non-dangerous goods by air to the Arctic (communities in territories and in remote, northern parts of provinces)?
Submit your request at least five weeks before the desired delivery date.
Do you need to ship dangerous goods to the Arctic?
Contact us as soon as possible.
Are you shipping by road to other destinations in Canada?
Submit your request at least three weeks before the desired delivery date.
Are you picking up field equipment at the PCSP Ottawa warehouse?
Submit your request at least two weeks before the desired pickup date. We may be able to make exceptions for small requests.
Reach out to us well in advance of your fieldwork to increase the chances that the equipment you need is available and to provide enough time for shipping.
How to apply
The review process
We assess these requests on a case-by-case and first come, first served basis.
- PCSP annual science reports: If you want to know more about the work we’ve supported in the past, this is the place to start. Our annual reports contain highlights from each year’s field season.
- PCSP marketing brochure [PDF 1.4 Mb]: Do you need to provide someone with an overview of the PCSP? This brochure offers an overview of the program and the support it provides for Northern research projects.
Polar Continental Shelf Program
Natural Resources Canada
2464 Sheffield Road
Ottawa, ON K1A 0G1
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