SPI contributes to the cost related to the participation in field schools and training programmes in order to enable students and early career scientists affiliated to a Swiss academic or research institution, to acquire specialised experience and knowledge.

The programmes must relate to topics and disciplines relevant for or associated with polar areas or remote high-altitute areas, or teach skills to be applied to research in such diciplines.

Participants should benefit from high-quality teaching, enhance their field experience and benefit from new opportunities arising from an enlarged network of international contacts.

"[I] want to continue working in the polar regions in my further career and this course is very relevant for me to learn how to conduct safe field work in the Arctic and to know what I can do and where I need external help."
Janine Wetter, supported by a SPI grant for a course of safety management in the Arctic, at the University Centre in Svalbard, that took place in autumn 2021 (read her fieldnotes post here)

Images from summer school participants in 2022. Description from left to right:

  • International Summer School in Glaciology 2022, Alaska, USA. © Johanna Klahold, all rights reserved
  • Juneau Icefield Research Programme 2022, Alaska, USA. © Fabienne Meier, all rights reserved
  • Juneau Icefield Research Programme 2022, Alaska, USA. © Andreas Henz, all rights reserved
  • International Geochronology Summer School, Switzerland. © Giovanna Ceppi, all rights reserved

Eligible programmes

On a yearly basis, the SPI Secretariat, together with the Science and Technology Advisory Board and the Scientific director of the institute, defines a list of eligible programmes.

Participation in other programmes suggested by the applicant is also possible, their eligibility will be assessed on a case-to-case basis. In such a case, the following criteria would be applied:

  1. International reputation
  2. Thematic relevance
  3. Existence of a credible and competitive selection process of the participants

Some excellent overviews of available training opportunities can be found, for example, on the websites of APECS and ARCUS.

You can read about the experience of previous participants on this page.


How to benefit from SPI support?

Students should apply for the programme through the regular process set up by the organisers of the field schools or training programme. In parallel, they should inform the SPI Secretariat about their application. If their application is accepted by the organisers, students can apply for financial support using this template.

Eligible costs are subscription fees and travel costs (lodging, transport, visas, etc.).

The maximum granted amount per participant should generally not exceed 1’500.- CHF in total.

For more information, contact:


Previously funded programmes

Sentinel North PhD School, University of Laval, Canada  -  2018, Carla Perez Mon

UNIS Glaciology, Svalbad, Norway  -  2019, Johannes Landmann

UNIS Permafrost, Svalbard, Norway  -  2019, Sebastian Vivero

Juneau Icefield Research Programme, Alaska, USA    -  2019, Michaela Mühl

UNIS Safety Management in the Arctic, Svalbad, Norway - 2021, Janine Wetter (read more)

Innsbruck Summerschool of Alpine Research, Austria - 2022, Bastien Ruols

Juneau Icefield Research Programme, Alaska, USA    -  2022,  Fabienne Meier

Juneau Icefield Research Programme, Alaska, USA  -  2022, Andreas Henz

International Summer School in Glaciology, Alaska, USA - 2022, Johanna Klahold (read more)

International Geochronology Summer School, Switzerland -  2022, Giovanna Ceppi

UNIS Freshwater Ecology of Arctic Lakes and Ponds - 2023, Saskia Läubli

ACDC-GRISO Summer School, Greenland - 2023, Sonja Wahl

Urbino Summer School in Paleoclimatology, Italy - 2023, Michael Bollen

If you would like to learn more about the experiences of these participants, you can read about all of them on the SPI project database and in the blog posts by Johanna Klahold and Janine Wetter.