How to Apply

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Deadline is April 17, 2017.

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Thank you for your interest please read the following information before submitting your application.

Pre-evaluation of applicants is not possible.


  • Academic Status - Must be currently enrolled as a PhD student in good academic standing, or have earned a PhD within the past five years. If you have an earned PhD within the past 5 years, but do not have a current position, your application will be considered. PhDs earned outside of the approximate five-year window will not be considered.

    MS/MA students, and those not yet enrolled in a PhD program, will not be considered.

  • Physical Qualifications - Prior to travel to Antarctica, all participants must pass the physical qualifications specified by the United States Antarctic Program for medical and dental requirements. For non-US residents, the equivalent set of requirements for medical and dental approval can be acquired within your country (i.e., undertake the required tests with local doctors and dentists; those tests will be forwarded confidentially for review and final approval by the medical staff of the United States Antarctic Program).
  • International Applicants - Applicants can be from any country; the program is not restricted to participants from the United States.
  • Applicants from Other Disciplines - The focus of the 2018 course is on the biology of marine organisms, but scientists from other disciplines are encouraged to apply. Final decisions by the Selection Committee are based on each applicant’s merits and your input on the potential impact this program could have on your future career.
  • Previous Experience - Previous polar experience (Arctic or Antarctic) is not expected; on the contrary, the program is designed to introduce new researchers to Antarctic science.

    Alternatively, previous polar experience (Arctic or Antarctic) is not an automatic disqualification. The potential impact of participation in this program on your future career will be taken into consideration.

  • Volunteers - There are no volunteer positions available; and the instructional team is complete.
  • Strong Rationale - Applicants should have clear, career-enhancing reasons for wanting to participate, and have a strong rationale for wanting to study biological adaptations of Antarctic organisms related to environmental change.
  • Collaborative Research Experience - Applicants need to provide evidence of an ability to work well with others on collaborative research projects undertaken in close and confined settings.
  • Pre-Evaluation - The selection committee cannot pre-evaluate individual circumstances and let you know if you are a viable applicant. If you think you have a strong application, please apply.

Application Process

Completed applications will include:

  • Completed information form. (See further details on application form.)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Statement of interest, including a description of current research activities and career goals related to reasons for wanting to participate.
  • Personal statement (short-essay format) about biological adaptation and evolution in the context of environmental change in polar regions.
  • During the program in Antarctica, each participant will be expected to present a short lecture (ca. 20 minutes) about their research findings to date. An abstract of the proposed presentation is part of the application process.
  • Names and contact information of three individuals who can be contacted by the Course Selection Committee.

Start Your Application »


Donal T. Manahan, PhD
University of Southern California

Deneb Karentz, PhD
University of San Francisco
main contact for questions from applicants