Polar Knowledge Canada - Northern Scientific Training Program (NSTP) 2022


Northern Scientific Training Program (NSTP)

For More Information

For additional information, please visit the Northern Scientific Training Program (NSTP)  website for

  • Program guidelines
  • Application forms
  • Evaluation criteria


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 objective of the NSTP is to increase the number of students who have specialized in some aspect of northern studies and who have northern research experience. This objective is attained by encouraging the formation of multi-disciplinary focal points for northern studies within Canadian universities and Northern post-secondaries (i.e. Northern Studies Committees) and by providing supplementary financial assistance for eligible students to offset the high cost of northern research (i.e. transportation costs, living costs, shipping costs and interpreter fees).
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 or Northern post-secondary institution
  • Students must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents.
  • Winter projects are eligible. - December 1 to March 31 the following year
  • Post-doctoral researchers and research assistants (with the exception of Northern postsecondary students) are not supported. 
Students are also encouraged to apply for NSTP funds for the purpose of dissemination or reporting back to the community

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.

Maximum Project Value

The average NSTP allocation is up to $6,000 per student. 

NSTP will provide one year of funding for thesis-based research at the undergraduate level, up to two years of funding for thesis-based research at the Master’s level and up to three years of funding for thesis-based research at the Doctoral level. Students may apply and be granted funding in any year of their programs.

Indirect Costs


Project Duration

The program is based on winter projects falling between December 1st and March 31st of the following year.  The field component is typically one - three months. 


The NSTP will allow students who received funds for 2021-2022 and who are unable to perform the planned fieldwork before March 31, 2022, to obtain an extension up to March 31, 2023.

All students who wish to postpone their fieldwork to 2022- 2023 must submit a preliminary research report to to the Chair (Dr. Brunet) by October 25, 2021. A question has been added to the research report form so that these students can identify that the project is postponed.

Students who requested to postpone last year and who have already submitted a report during the last competition do not need to submit a new report. 

Special Notes

Please note that research activities carried out in the context of COVID-19 need to adhere to the University of Guelph COVID-19 research principles, policies, guidelines and processes as they may be updated from time to time and communicated on the Office of Research web-page.


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

Internal Deadline

New 2021 Applications: . Students are required to complete an application and, upon completion of their research, a research report, using the web-based forms. Once the online forms have been completed, they are to be submitted to the universities' Northern Studies Committee via the online system. An incomplete application may result in the rejection of funding.

Previously Awarded 2020 Projects: Students who received funding April 1, 2020 - March 31, 2021 must submit the On line student portion of their report using the web-based forms. by this date.

A Frequently Asked Questions page is available online.

Internal Deadline

New 2021 Applications: Faculty supervisor adds comments online to new student submissions in NSTP online application and reporting 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 2020 Projects: Faculty supervisors who supervised students April 1, 2020 - March 31, 2021 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.


PDF icon NSTP Information Manual 22-23865.51 KB
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
Nathalie Robillard-Bergeron: (613) 222-9537

Office of Research

Ornella McCarron, Grants Officer
Office of Research Services
519-824-4120 x52832

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