Polar Knowledge Canada - Northern Scientific Training Program (NSTP) 2020


Polar Knowledge Canada


Northern Scientific Training Program (NSTP)

For More Information

PKC - NSTP 2020-21


The Northern Scientific Training Program (NSTP) is administered by Polar Knowledge Canada (POLAR). It was established in 1961 to encourage Canadian universities to participate in training northern specialists to meet national needs. Today, it is the Northern Scientific Training Program (NSTP) and provides supplementary funding to over 300 students annually at over 35 universities across Canada. The program is administered by POLAR as part of its mandate to foster science and technology in Canada’s North.
The purpose of the Northern Scientific Training Program (NSTP) is to encourage and support Canadian university students with an interest in northern studies and conducting thesis research in Northern regions, by assisting them to gain northern professional experience and
training, through the issuance of supplementary funds.
Universities receiving Northern Scientific Training Program support are encouraged to develop a special focus for training in northern studies, to orient students towards northern studies and northern careers, and to foster an exchange of information among scholars of various disciplines with an interest in the Canadian North.


Eligible applicants

  • Be enrolled in a degree program at a Canadian university.
  • Funds are available in support of graduate students. However, senior undergraduate students entering their final year and intending to undertake an honours thesis based on northern fieldwork or research, which will be continued in subsequent graduate studies, are also eligible.
  • Students supported by training funds must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents.
  • Summer and winter projects are eligible.
  • Post-doctoral studies are not supported.

Supported fields of research

The program funds projects on northern topics from all disciplines and in multi-disciplinary fields.

Geographical focus

The NSTP supports projects that lie north of the southern limit of the discontinuous permafrost zone, with the addition of all of the Southern Yukon in the West; that section of Labrador south to and including Red Bay; and the other seven Arctic countries (Finland, Greenland (Denmark), Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden and the U.S.A. - Alaska).

Use of Northern Scientific Training Program funds

The program’s funds are restricted. They are a supplement meant to offset the additional costs of northern research (e.g. transportation and living costs). The NSTP is not intended to be a source of primary support for students pursuing northern research.

Funding Availability

The average NSTP allocation is $2,500 to $3,000 per student. It is expected that all eligible applicants are allocated a minimum of $1,000. These are supplementary awards and applicants must ensure that other funds are in place. One year of funding is available at the undergraduate level, up to two years for thesis-based research at the Masters level, and up to three years of funding for thesis-based research at the Doctoral level. The maximum number of NSTP awards a single student may receive is six.

Indirect Costs


Project Duration

The program is based on a fiscal year commencing April 1 and ending March 31. The field component is typically one - three months. 

For the students who received funds during the period of April 1, 2019 - March 31, 2020: Student reports and faculty supervisor reports are due to the Chair (Dr. Brunet) by October 25, 2019 and November 1, 2019, respectively.


If College-level review is required, your College will communicate its earlier internal deadlines.

Internal Deadline

New 2020 Applications: Students applying for funding in the new competition must submit their application online (Fluid Review).

Previously Awarded 2019 Projects: Students who received funding April 1, 2019 - March 31, 2020 must submit the student portion of their report to the Chairperson, Dr. Brunet, by this date.

Internal Deadline

New 2020 Applications: Faculty supervisor adds comments online to new student submissions in Fluid Review System AND submits a signed OR-5 form (1 form per research group) along with copies of application(s) to: Research.Services@uoguelph.ca.
Previously Awarded 2019 Projects: Faculty supervisors who supervised students April 1, 2019 - March 31, 2020 must submit the faculty portion of the report to the Chair, Dr. Brunet, by this date. 

External Deadline

NSTP Chairperson submits spreadsheets of applications, reports along with University Information Sheet, Northern Studies Committee Information Sheet, Student nominations, Research Reports - General Overview, and Application for Funds: General Overview to: NSTP Secretariat (deadline set to November 29, 2019, as December 1, 2019 falls on a Sunday). 

How to Apply

Applications for NSTP funding must be made by the Chairperson of a Northern Studies Committee at a Canadian university or the equivalent. Applications from individuals are not accepted. 

Students complete and submit application forms and/or report forms online: Fluid Review system


For Questions, please contact

Nicolas Brunet, Chairperson Northern Studies Committee
School of Environmental Design & Rural Development
519-824-4120 ext. 54414

Northern Scientific Training Program
Polar Knowledge Canada
Rhonda Turner: (613) 222-7421
Nathalie Robillard-Bergeron: (613) 222-9537

Office of Research

Amy Bossaer, Senior Grants and Contracts Specialist
Research Services Office
519-824-4120 x58613

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