NVP International Summer School 2023 – The Global Arctic

An interdisciplinary PhD and Postdoc summer school in Longyearbyen and Isfjord Radio, Svalbard

Hosted by The Norwegian Scientific Academy for Polar Research (NVP), in cooperation with The University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS)

  • Venues: The University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS) and Isfjord Radio
  • Time: 28 May – 6 June (Longyearbyen 28 May – 1 June and Isfjord Radio 1–6 June)

The Global Arctic

The term “Global Arctic” is gaining currency in contemporary debates about how the Arctic and the rest of the world are interconnected. Academics use the term to show how what happens in the Arctic has global implications, as well as how events in other parts of the world impact the Arctic. Modern phenomena such as globalization, climate change and transboundary pollution have brought the Arctic into global webs of science, commerce, security and geopolitics. In the Arctic as elsewhere the first law of geography is applying: Everything is related to everything else, but close things are more related than distant things. To identify and discuss the points of connections within and across the natural-, social- and humanistic sciences is the intrinsic core of the term Global Arctic and also the working mode of the Summer school.

The concept of a Global Arctic has recently gained in political significance testing the strength of circumpolarity as the defining ordering principle of Arctic affairs. The more this principle is employed, the more likely it is that non-Arctic states, like China, Japan, Great Britain, South Korea etc. will be able to justify a greater presence in the Arctic across a range of commercial, scientific, environmental, indigenous, local and other interests, in particular those that touch on global issues such as international law, trade and the management of resources and global commons. The complexity, magnitude and interconnections of the involved interests call for measures of protection, stimulating processes of regional militarization and securitization. The recognition that “what happens in the Arctic will affect the world, and what happens in the world will affect the Arctic” is increasingly seen as a justification by numerous non-Arctic states to enter into polar geopolitics affecting the existing governance regime of the region.

Scientists continue to discover new connections between the Arctic and the world beyond, but theories concerning the importance of the Arctic to the earth systems are old, dating back at least 200 years. Thus, the Global Arctic is bringing to life connections known from historic discovery as well as searching for fresh interrelations of contemporary and future interests. The opening up of the Arctic to human exploration and exploitation contain stimuli that may promote future northward migrations blending cultures of multiple origins and creativity.
When discussing energy in the Arctic it is most commonly referred to the US Geological Survey assessment report form 2008 where it is stated that the Arctic may contain almost one-quarter of the world´s undiscovered reserves of oil and gas.

It has up to now been assumed that the future fossil fuel resources maybe in the Arctic region, and that we have the technology to develop resources in the Arctic in a safe and sustainable way.

With the Paris agreement, a rapid global energy transaction away from fossil fuels will have to take place to avoid a global temperature rise of more than 2 C, and to meet this goal it is being more unlikely day for day that all these reserves in the Arctic will ever be developed.
Which energy alternatives are economically viable and technologically feasible when the energy transition is speeding up? Will a combination of solar and wind power, supplied with hydro, wave and geothermal energy be a solution?

The development of renewables in the Arctic should be significantly strengthened as in the rest of the world. It is believed that Investments in the renewable energy sector will provide an enormous possibility for Arctic communities to create new economic and business opportunities addressing local energy needs. This again will increase quality of life and human security in the Arctic as well as a contribution to meet national emission goals.

Topics for the 2023 Summer School

The 2023 summer school will focus particularly on linkages between the Arctic and the Himalayas. The curriculum is highly interdisciplinary, and a major objective of the summer school is to train young scholars to be thinking across disciplinary boundaries and discuss applied and complex issues. Students will be arriving Longyearbyen on 28 May. The following three days will be spent in Longyearbyen, and the following six days at the field station Isfjord Radio.

The following topics will form the final programme:

  • Arctic-Himalayan challenges and linkages, such as geopolitics, governance regimes and institutions, livelihood, and traditional and indigenous knowledge among a few.
  • Climate change
  • Tourism
  • Indigenous issues, conservation, and environmental management
  • Governance and institutions
  • Interdisciplinary group work
  • Practical safety training
  • Field activities
  • Open/public lectures.

The students of different disciplinary backgrounds will publish the results of their work at the summer school in a joint peer reviewed article published in an international journal of high academic standard.

Participation in 2023

Applications for the NVP Summer School 2023 – The Global Arctic shall include your CV and a cover letter which describes a rationale and motivation for the application.

Applications are sent to the Norwegian Scientific Academy for Polar Research (NVP) via our online application form. See link to the form in the side menu under “Documents and links”.

Application deadline is 1 March 2023. The selected candidates will be notified by 1 April (date amended on 15 February).

Academic requirements for participation

The summer school’s target group is PhD students and Postdocs. The relevance of current studies, including personal motivation and relevant experiences, are important selection criteria.


The Academy and The Norwegian Research Council cover most of the funding of the Summer School. Students are however required to pay a tuition fee of NOK 6000, – which covers accommodation, most meals, and boat transportation to/from Isfjord Radio. Additionally, students must cover their own travel expenses to/from Longyearbyen as well as some meals in Longyearbyen. Breakfast is included at the Longyearbyen accommodation; all meals are included at Isfjord Radio. A kitchen for self-catering is available at the Longyearbyen accommodation.


For additional information about NVP’s summer schools, please visit this page.

For questions or concers, please contact post@polar-academy.com.

Documents and links


Programme and information

We are no longer accepting applications for the summer school programme 2023.