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Welcome to SPRI

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, and projecting the history and environmental significance of the polar regions to the wider community.

Research at SPRI

We 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, working for the PhD degree or the MPhil in Polar Studies.

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The Polar Museum

The Scott Polar Research Institute holds a unique collection illustrating polar exploration, history and science. Find out how past discoveries in the Arctic and Antarctic help today's scientists to investigate our changing environment.

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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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The Library offers a collection 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

Institute Associate Professor Kevin Edwards awarded the Coppock Research Medal

30th November, 2018


SPRI Institute Associate Professor Kevin Edwards was awarded the Coppock Research Medal of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society, along with Honorary Fellowship of the Society, in a ceremony held in Perth on 21 November.

The Medal is the Society's "highest research-specific award, awarded for an outstanding contribution to geographical knowledge through research and publication" and was presented by Prof. Charles Withers of Edinburgh University, Geographer Royal for Scotland.

In his citation, Prof. Withers stated that the Medal was conferred for "ground-breaking and joined-up contributions to fields such as palynology, archaeology and geography."

Brexit and the Arctic

30th November, 2018


Richard Powell is speaking on 30 November 2018 in Copenhagen at the Danish Institute for International Studies about the UK's new 'Defence Arctic Strategy'.

New book from Professor Julian Dowdeswell

20th November, 2018


'The Continent of Antarctica', a new book by SPRI Director, Professor Julian Dowdeswell, and glaciologist Michael Hambrey, is an illustrated account of the Antarctic continent. Covering its physical environment, biology and history, it also examines the future and environmental implications for the rest of the planet. It is available to purchase in the SPRI Shop and was recently reviewed in Nature: International Journal of Science

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.

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  • 29th January 2019:
    The role of the Arctic in the development of Soviet climate science. Details…
    Histories, Cultures, Environments and Politics research seminars at SPRI
  • 5th March 2019:
    'As Far North As Whale Hunters Go': The Medieval Arctic Environment, Experienced and Imagined. Details…
    Histories, Cultures, Environments and Politics research seminars at SPRI
  • 12th March 2019:
    Mittimatalik Arnait Miqsuqtuit Collective and the Art of Sealskin Sewing. Details…
    Histories, Cultures, Environments and Politics research seminars at SPRI
  • More seminars…