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The NSF Office of Polar Programs awards $3.8 million to early-career scientists

Aerial view of two whales

Bowhead whales in the Bering Sea


September 22, 2021

The National Science Foundation (NSF) Office of Polar Programs (OPP) has awarded $3.8 million to early-career scientists as part of the OPP Postdoctoral Research Fellowship (PRF) Program.

The PRF provides opportunities for early-career scientists, including social scientists, to accomplish one or more of the following goals:

  • expand their work across traditional disciplinary lines
  • develop new partnerships connecting the polar regions and/or non-polar research communities
  • provide entry to researchers who have traditionally had limited access to polar research resources, sites, and facilities

The program encourages new investigators who have not previously worked in polar regions and/or innovative techniques that have not previously been applied to polar science into polar research. Additionally, the OPP-PRF aims to support beginning investigators with experiences that will establish them in positions of leadership in the scientific community. 

NSF as awarded 13 grants as part of the PRF, with seven representing the Arctic research community and six representing the Antarctic research community. To learn more about the grantees and their projects, visit the OPP Postdoctoral Research Fellowship awardees page.

This is the first year of funding for the Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Program. Learn more about future opportunities on the NSF solicitation webpage.

The U.S. National Science Foundation propels the nation forward by advancing fundamental research in all fields of science and engineering. NSF supports research and people by providing facilities, instruments and funding to support their ingenuity and sustain the U.S. as a global leader in research and innovation. With a fiscal year 2021 budget of $8.5 billion, NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 40,000 competitive proposals and makes about 11,000 new awards. Those awards include support for cooperative research with industry, Arctic and Antarctic research and operations, and U.S. participation in international scientific efforts.

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