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Welcome to SPRI

The Scott Polar Research Institute, established in 1920 as part of the University of Cambridge, is a centre of excellence in the study of the Arctic and Antarctic. Research covers both the natural and social sciences and is often interdisciplinary. The Institute also houses the World's premier Polar Library, extensive archival, photographic and object collections of international importance on the history of polar exploration, and a Polar Museum with displays of both the history and contemporary significance of the Arctic and Antarctic and their surrounding seas. The Institute is a sub-department of the Department of Geography.

SPRI's mission is to enhance the understanding of the polar regions through scholarly research and publication, educating new generations of polar researchers, caring for and making accessible its collections (including its library, archival, photographic and object collections), and projecting the history and environmental significance of the polar regions to the wider community for public benefit.


Research at SPRI

SPRI's staff and students investigate a range of issues in the environmental sciences, social sciences, arts and humanities of relevance to the Arctic and Antarctica:

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Graduate study

SPRI has a friendly community of postgraduate students. Many are working for the PhD degree, awarded on the basis of individual research and requiring three years of full-time study. Others are working for the MPhil in Polar Studies.

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The Polar Museum

The Scott Polar Research Institute holds a unique collection of artefacts, journals, paintings, photographs, clothing equipment, maps and other materials illustrating polar exploration, history and science. Come and find out how past discoveries in the Arctic and Antarctic help today's scientists to investigate our changing environment.

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Features

Library

The Library offers a collection developed since the 1920s with over 700 current journals and over 250,000 printed works covering all subjects relating to the Arctic, the Antarctic, and to ice and snow wherever found.

Library catalogue


Staff and students

SPRI's staff publish regularly in a range of leading journals, and attract research funding from a wide variety of sources.

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UK announces new Arctic defence strategy

4th October, 2018

 

Cambridge geographer Dr. Richard Powell was interviewed by Radio Canada International about the recent announcement of a new British Arctic Defence Strategy.

Professor Julian Dowdeswell appointed Academic Trustee of Royal Museums Greenwich

25th September, 2018

 

Congratulations to Professor Julian Dowdeswell, Director of SPRI, who has been appointed by the Prime Minister as an Academic Trustee to Royal Museums Greenwich for the next four years.

Ragnhild Dale wins Public Engagement with Research Award

2nd August, 2018

 

Congratulations to PhD student Ragnhild Dale (SPRI), who has been awarded a Vice Chancellor's Public Engagement with Research Award for her work in the "Trial of the Century" project, a mock trail of a lawsuit over Arctic oil.

Polar Encounters - SPRI's exhibition of polar art opens today in London

30th July, 2018

 

Polar Encounters, an exhibition of 200 years of polar art featuring work from the SPRI art collection and by the Friends of SPRI artists in residence, is open at Bonhams in London.

This free exhibition brings together European and Inuit artworks from the last two centuries to explore the Arctic, and eight of our recent artists in residence have their bold new works on show from both the Arctic and the Antarctic.

The exhibition is open Monday-Friday, 10-4 at Bonhams, 101 New Bond Street, London from 30 July - 17 August.

PhD student Morgan Seag working to improve diversity and inclusion in polar research

16th July, 2018

 

PhD student Morgan Seag is working to improve diversity and inclusion in polar research. She was one of several Cambridge geographers attending POLAR2018 last month, a conference of 2500 researchers, science supporters, and policymakers working on the Arctic, Antarctic and global cryosphere.

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