A message from the Academy’s President

It is a great pleasure to introduce the Norwegian Academy for Polar Research Strategy 2021 – 2025.

The interest in the Arctic is continuing at full strength and many new nations, scientists and institutions are in line to study, enjoy and explore the multiple Arctic. At the same time anthropogenically driven climate change is relentlessly altering the socio-political, economic, and environmental conditions in the Arctic, and our activities in the region are in turn exacerbating these effects. In our Strategic Vision we talk about the duality of the global Arctic; the impacts on the region have a global origin and the changes in the Arctic affect the globe. We have boosted our knowledge about the Arctic significantly in the past decade, but we still need to push forward with our science to keep abreast with the ongoing processes, feedback mechanisms and change. Our membership reflects the needed scientific diversity, and the new strategy calls for broad involvement of our members in defining research areas that are also relevant for policy makers.

Bodø, April 2021
Grete K. Hovelsrud

Strategy 2021 – 2025

Approved by the Academy’s Board on April 23, 2021.


The Norwegian Scientific Academy for Polar Research (NVP), founded 27 March 2008, is the world’s only scientific academy devoted to polar research, education, and development. NVP has a bipolar perspective (Arctic and Antarctic), is interdisciplinary in approach, international in effort, collaborative in solution, knowledge based in contribution, and independent in work.

The Academy is a non-profit foundation based at The University Centre in Svalbard, in Longyearbyen, Svalbard. Norway’s King Harald is the Academy’s patron. More information is available at the NVP website: https://polar-academy.com/

Academy vision

Advance state-of-the-art polar science for sustainable development and the benefit of humanity.

Academy mission

To promote polar research and communicate its relevance to policy, management, and society.

Overall Academy goals

  • Improve our knowledge of changes in coupled environmental, climatic, and societal conditions and the effects on and by human activities in the Arctic and beyond.
  • Promote inclusion of the Sustainable Development Goals in polar research.
  • Communicate new knowledge about the polar regions and the linkages to global environmental and economic change to the public and policy makers.
  • Be relevant for the next generation of polar researchers and contribute to recruitment in all scientific disciplines.
  • Contribute to the development of expertise in polar science, and through personal and institutional networks, develop ambitious goals to strengthen the impacts of polar research for knowledge, sustainability, and economic development.

Action Areas

1. Advance polar research and communicate its relevance to policy, management, and society

a) Organize the summer school program according to the 2021-2023 Global Arctic Strategy (Arctic-Antarctic-Himalayas) and its successor.

b) Create an annual science-policy-science cycle:

  • Winter: Survey members and key stakeholders to identify topic areas where NVP may have a positive impact in the coming year, particularly for issues that are emerging or might be slipping under the radar.
  • Spring: Select priority topic areas based on the survey, designate a team of members responsible for each topic area, including the summer, fall, and winter activities listed next.
  • Summer: Integrate these topic areas into the summer school and as additional/public events.
  • Fall: Hold workshop(s) on the topic areas with members, students, experts, and stakeholders to distil key messages for scientists, policy makers, managers, and the public.
  • Winter/Spring: Deliver key messages at one or more major events, and take other actions as determined.

c) Amplify key messages from others, contribute to public debates adding policy and societal relevance where appropriate.

d) Respond quickly when something new happens (e.g., an urgent management issue, or major new scientific discovery), for example through an abbreviated version of the annual cycle in (b) above.

e) Establish the Academy as an independent think tank on polar issues.

2. Broaden our membership base

a) Assess the breadth and depth of our membership, especially regarding the disciplines and regions involved in Action Area 1, and recruit new members to fill missing or underrepresented areas.

b) Create additional categories for involvement, such as collaborators or early-career affiliates, who help with a particular activity and may later become full members.

3. Strengthen our economic base

a) Create a sales pitch by documenting our added value in running the summer school and in bringing polar research to policy makers, managers, and the public as outlined in Action Area 1.

b) Develop a fundraising plan to use our sales pitch for specific potential funders.

4. Cooperate in Networks

a) Develop projects in cooperation with our institutional members in areas of shared interest.

b) Obtain membership in polar related councils and committees.

c) Organize scientific seminars in Norway and abroad, based on our international membership.

d) Seek collaboration with other academies and academic institutions who share or complement our interests to develop larger projects than we can realize on our own.

Implementation of strategy

The Board will create an annual work plan (implementation plan) and appoint Academy members as leaders of the activities in each Action Area, involving other individual and institutional members to the extent possible.