Research support: Arctic logistics and field equipment for across Canada
Are you a field researcher who needs logistical support for your work in Canada’s North?
Or are you part of a federal government team that needs field equipment for research conducted elsewhere in Canada?
At Canada’s Polar Continental Shelf Program (PCSP), we can help. We provide these services and coordinate the timing of Arctic projects so you can share resources during expeditions. We also support the Canadian Armed Forces Arctic Training Centre in Resolute, Nunavut. Read on to learn about our services and how to apply for support.
The deadline for Arctic Logistics requests for the 2024 field season (January to December 2024) has now passed. Please contact the PCSP directly for any information about the Program or application process.
Please Note – PCSP will plan and deliver the 2024 field season (January to December 2024) in accordance with prevailing public health guidelines, and Natural Resources Canada’s workplace health and safety protocols. Please consult the applicable federal, provincial and territorial public health measures and advice for your fieldwork location(s).
Arctic research support
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Our Arctic facilities
The PCSP’s Arctic logistics hub in Resolute, Nunavut, operates from February to September. The main building can accommodate up to 237 people and includes lounges, offices, meeting rooms, a fitness room, a commercial kitchen and accessible bedrooms. PCSP partner organizations and clients conducting PCSP-supported projects are eligible to stay or work at the facility.
The Dr. Roy M. “Fritz” Koerner Laboratory is part of the hub used by clients. It contains workspaces for sample preparation, examination and analysis, in addition to a walk-in freezer, a walk-in cooler, a -80°C freezer, fume hoods, a compressed air supply and a water purification system. Laboratory access is controlled and you must make a request to use it in your application.
The PCSP Arctic Operations Manual [PDF, 5.4 Mb] contains additional information about the facility.
Who can apply
- Researchers conducting scientific fieldwork in Canada’s North, who are from:
- Canadian governments or universities
- Northern or independent research organizations
- Federal government operational projects in Canada’s North
- International research organizations may be considered, depending on the availability of our resources
Note to students and postdoctoral researchers:
Given the depth of experience needed to fulfill certain areas of the evaluation criteria (e.g., student supervision, health and safety responsibilities, publications, grants and awards), applications from students and postdoctoral researchers will no longer be accepted.
Although a student with the required experience can be the field leader and prepare the application on behalf of their supervisor, the supervisor must be named as the Principal Investigator for the application to be considered.
We give special consideration to projects that involve either of these categories:
1. Indigenous knowledge: If your project supports the preservation of the Indigenous knowledge of Arctic and Northern Peoples, indicate this in the relevant section of the regular application form. There’s a place for you to explain how the community is involved in, develops, co-develops and/or co-leads your project. You should also tell us how your project’s results will be shared with the community or the broader public. If this is an ongoing project, you can describe and attach any deliverables that were developed in recent years.
2. Canadian Arctic-Antarctic exchanges: We support collaboration among Canadian Arctic and non-Canadian, Antarctic scientists who want to conduct joint studies in both polar regions. If you’re a Canadian scientist (or a group of scientists) who wishes to sponsor Antarctic partners, fill in the relevant section on the regular application form. Include information about the nature of your collaboration, the proposed research and how the collaborative work will enhance your ongoing Arctic scientific research. We’ll also need to see proof of a firm commitment from the foreign partner to provide in-kind logistics support to you, the Canadian partner, within a two-year period following the Arctic field season.
Costs and In-Kind Support
Costs: The PCSP offers advice, coordination and planning free of charge to eligible projects, but clients will be billed for direct expenditures made on their behalf. For example, if the PCSP is billed for one hour of flying time, the PCSP will recover those costs from your project (PCSP will not charge overhead or service fees).
In-kind support: In certain situations, projects may receive in-kind support, whereby a portion or all of the eligible expenditures incurred by the project will be absorbed by PCSP.
In order for applicants to be considered for in-kind support, they must meet the following criteria:
- During the fall application period, the client requests to be considered for direct, in-kind support through the NRCan PCSP portal;
- The project is led by a federal department, a territorial or Indigenous government, Northern organizations and colleges, or a Canadian university; and,
- The project supports the generation of scientific or Indigenous knowledge.
Note: Arctic logistics support requests made outside of the fall application period may receive support depending on availability but will not be eligible for in-kind support.
How to Apply: 3 Steps
We accept applications in September and October for work that will happen in the next calendar year. Sometimes, we can accommodate requests at other times of the year.
1. Review important information
2. Plan and prepare
- Step 1: Review important information
Review the PCSP Arctic Operations Manual [PDF 5.4 Mb] and the PCSP terms and conditions.
- Step 2: Plan and prepare
Plan your fieldwork and prepare to apply. Create documents that include details required for your application:
- Project description
- Information about your field camp location(s), planned use and field party
- Your requirements (if applicable) for:
- Charter aircraft (including load details for each request)
- Specific pieces of field equipment
- Accommodations at our Arctic logistics hub in Resolute
- Fuel for aircraft, equipment and camps
- A list of the licenses and permits required for your project
- A health and safety plan that is approved in advance by your institution’s Occupational Health and Safety authority.
If you are unsure about any part of your planning, email us before you submit your application. We can help determine the best timing for your Arctic fieldwork, select the ideal aircraft for the work you want to complete, offer equipment guidance, and more. Your application stands a greater chance of success if you connect with us to ensure that your plan is solid.
- Step 3: Apply
We accept applications each over a four- week period in September and October for work that will be conducted in the following calendar year.
The deadline for Arctic logistics support requests for the 2024 field season (January to December 2024) has now passed. Please contact the PCSP directly for any information about the Program or application process
Natural Resources Canada’s PCSP Portal
PCSP has migrated the Arctic logistics support requests from INTEGRO to the new Natural Resources Canada’s PCSP Portal.
- Returning applicants who have previously applied through the INTEGRO portal will be able to use the same GCKey for the NRCan PCSP Portal.
Please Note: Previous applications from the retired INTEGRO portal will not be migrated to the new NRCan PCSP Portal. Applicants may wish to login to INTEGRO and retrieve copies of previous applications to assist with their 2024 submissions.
- New applicants will be required to create a GCKey in order to access the portal.
Please note that the application portal is a secure environment residing on Government of Canada servers. The data collected will be treated confidentially.
The Review Process
For University applicants, the PCSP Project Review Committee reviews applications using the Project Review Committee Scoring Guide, which focuses on three criteria:
- Quality of the application,
- Feasibility of the requested field logistics,
- Scientific recognition and impact of the proposed project.
The Guide also provides consideration of Indigenous and Northern involvement, equity, diversity and inclusion in the design of your research.
For Government applicants, projects in the Arctic are prioritized on behalf of their department by a coordinating Director General nominated from each department or agency. Before applying, speak with your home department about its internal requirements and priorities.
When a project is fully planned and coordinated and the project’s Principal Investigator has provided an intent to proceed, we send a formal project agreement (typically in February or March) for signature. This document confirms the planned logistics, provides estimated costs and includes our terms and conditions.
Our current projects
If you want to learn about the types of fieldwork we approve, have a look at the projects we supported in 2020 and 2019 (arranged alphabetically by province/territory).
Field equipment for federal research elsewhere in Canada
We provide several types of support to federal government researchers conducting fieldwork in Canada, outside the Arctic:
- Field equipment for loan and/or purchase
- Coordination or assistance with shipping and receiving
- Advice on sealift and transporting dangerous goods
Our field equipment inventory
- Clothing and footwear
- Camping equipment
- Communications equipment
- Field vehicles, such as ATVs, snowmobiles and trailers
- Safety equipment
Our field equipment facilities
Loans are made from our logistics hub in Ottawa, which is home to our headquarters and equipment warehouse. Researchers can arrange a visit to view available inventory.
Who can apply
- Staff members working on federal government projects that require field equipment at sites across Canada
Costs and in-kind support
Costs: We will bill you at cost if we supply you with non-returnable items (like batteries or duct tape).
In-kind support: We offer free equipment loans (like ATVs, snowmobiles, tents, outerwear, tools or footwear) as long as the items are returned in good condition. Reasonable wear and tear is permitted. If you damage, destroy or lose an item, we will bill you for the replacement cost.
These are the minimum timelines to which we respond:
Are you shipping non-dangerous goods by air to the Arctic (communities in territories and in remote, northern parts of provinces)?
Submit your request at least five weeks before the desired delivery date.
Do you need to ship dangerous goods to the Arctic?
Contact us as soon as possible.
Are you shipping by road to other destinations in Canada?
Submit your request at least three weeks before the desired delivery date.
Are you picking up field equipment at the PCSP Ottawa warehouse?
Submit your request at least two weeks before the desired pickup date. We may be able to make exceptions for small requests.
Reach out to us well in advance of your fieldwork to increase the chances that the equipment you need is available and to provide enough time for shipping.
How to apply
Submit your request using the PCSP Field Equipment Client Portal through INTEGRO.
The review process
We assess these requests on a case-by-case and first come, first served basis.
- PCSP annual science reports: If you want to know more about the work we’ve supported in the past, this is the place to start. Our annual reports contain highlights from each year’s field season.
- PCSP marketing brochure [PDF 1.4 Mb]: Do you need to provide someone with an overview of the PCSP? This brochure offers an overview of the program and the support it provides for Northern research projects.
Polar Continental Shelf Program
Natural Resources Canada
2464 Sheffield Road
Ottawa, ON K1B 4E5
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