The Fulbright Arctic Initiative creates a network to stimulate international scientific collaboration on Arctic issues while increasing mutual understanding among the people of the Arctic Council member states. Using a collaborative model to translate theory into practice, program participants will spend 18 months engaged in addressing public policy research questions relevant to Arctic nations' shared challenges. Approximately 16 outstanding scholars (at least 4 from the U.S. and 1 from Canada and each of the other Arctic Council member states) will be selected to participate in the program as Fulbright Arctic Initiative Scholars through an open, merit based competition.
Co-Lead Scholars Dr. Greg Poelzer and Dr. Elizabeth Rink will provide intellectual leadership throughout the Program, in addition to mentoring program participants and facilitating discussion and collaboration among the Arctic Initiative Scholars.
Program activities will commence in Fall 2020 and conclude in Spring 2022. All grantees are expected to attend three seminar group meetings, complete an academic residential exchange, participate in monthly virtual plenary meetings, and maintain ongoing virtual communication with fellow grantees and lead scholars. Canadian scholars will complete a research visit to the United States for a minimum of six consecutive weeks and a maximum of three consecutive months. This visit must be completed prior to February 2022.
September 2020 - First Group Meeting and Orientation (Canada)
June 2021 - Mid-term Group Meeting (Norway)
March/April 2022 - Final Group Meeting (United States)
The Fulbright Arctic Initiative will provide a platform for scholars from around the Arctic circle to engage in collaborative thinking, analysis, problem-solving and multi-disciplinary research in the following areas:
- Arctic Security and Cooperation: The Arctic region benefits from innovative models of international cooperation, particularly in the areas of search and rescue, management of the Arctic marine environment, and collaborative governance through oversight bodies such as the Arctic Council. Individual Arctic states have also created innovative models of co‐management and self‐government with Indigenous peoples. As the Arctic region becomes more accessible, the need for greater attention to Arctic security in all its dimensions—human security, environmental security, energy security, and traditional security—will continue to grow in importance.
- Arctic Infrastructure in a Changing Environment: More research is needed to understand the environmental changes taking place in the Arctic and the impacts they are having on the built environment. The prosperity and security of the region depend on sound infrastructure for housing, transportation, communications and energy. Changes to land and marine environments are placing stress on both coastal and inland communities in the Arctic. At the same time, these very same changes are generating interest in the Arctic for energy and mineral resources, increasing tourism, and opening up new fisheries and transportation routes. The global energy transition is placing greater pressures in Arctic and sub‐Arctic regions as sources for renewable energy from wind and hydro, as well as mineral resources. Together, these trends provide new opportunities for sustainable development that have the potential to improve life for Arctic communities.
- Community Dimensions of Health: The health of children, youth, adults, and the elderly is vital to the security of Arctic communities and the region’s future. While Arctic communities are constantly innovating to address their own needs, environmental fluctuations, underdeveloped infrastructures, food insecurities, economic development, infectious diseases, health disparities, and entrenched institutional systems have created challenges for human health and the diverse ecologies of Arctic peoples. Citizens of the Arctic are looking to engage in research that addresses their concerns and will find ways to improve and sustain human health in the Arctic.
At the beginning of the program, an in-person meeting and program orientation will be held for all scholars in Canada. At which the Co-Lead Scholars and research teams will have the opportunity to begin working on collaborative projects and establish guidelines and goals before the scholars participate in their individual exchanges.
Under the guidance of the Co-Lead Scholars, the research teams will then collaborate virtually, utilizing an online platform throughout the program period. The entire cohort will gather to share progress and initial outcomes at a mid-term meeting.
At the end of the program, Fulbright Arctic Initiative Scholars will convene for the third and final meeting in the United States. Here they will share the results of their collaborative work and report on the achievement of program objectives and the local, national, and/or regional implications of their findings. Scholars will disseminate policy-relevant recommendations, describe the concrete steps they have taken in implementing their projects and models, and share strategies for moving their recommendations from theory to practice.
Fulbright Arctic Initiative Scholars will receive funding in the amount of US$40,000 for the duration of the program. This allowance is intended to support travel to all program meetings, travel and maintenance for the individual exchange visit, research materials and assistance for grantees only. Accommodations and meals for all group meetings will be covered separately. Grants will also include limited accident and sickness benefits.
The Fulbright Arctic Initiative is a program of the US Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA).