SPI contributes to the cost related to the participation in field schools and training programmes in order to enable master and doctoral students 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

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:

List of previously funded programmes

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

UNIS Glaciology, Svarlbad, Norway  -  2019, Johannes Landmann

UNIS Permafrost, Svarlbad, Norway  -  2019, Sebastian Vivero

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

                                                                                         -  2022,  Fabienne Meier

                                                                                         -  2022, Andreas Henz

UNIS Safety Management in the Arctic, Svarlbad, Norway - 2021, Janine Wetter

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

International Summer School in Glaciology, Alaska, USA - 2022, Johanna Klahold

International Geochronology Summer School, Switzerland -  2022, Giovanna Ceppi