Established in 2001, the Collaborative Antarctic Science Scheme (CASS), formerly known as the Collaborative Gearing Scheme (CGS), is delivered by the British Antarctic Survey (BAS). BAS leads interdisciplinary research in the Polar Regions and is a component of the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC).
CASS provides opportunities for UK researchers to access Antarctic research stations and marine science cruises for the purpose of conducting small-scale, fieldwork-based science projects. Support is for projects that do not require logistic resources additional to those already allocated to the Antarctic field programme supported by BAS. Projects should enhance existing funded research that has secured BAS logistic support, or may explore new ideas or test hypotheses in preparation for a funding bid to NERC.
Researchers can undertake small-scale collaborative science projects that, by attaching additional personnel, instrumentation or tasks to existing Antarctic activities, or using research station infrastructure, offer significant additional science outcomes.
Applicants should propose research that can only be conducted in Antarctica or at a subantarctic BAS research station, rather than in a more accessible location. Proposals may be in any of the range of scientific disciplines that NERC supports, including atmospheric, Earth, biological, terrestrial and aquatic sciences, from the deep oceans to the upper atmosphere.
Support is available for scientists in recognised UK higher education institutes, other research council institutes or approved independent research organisations. Eligibility requirements for the Principal Investigator and Co-Investigators are the same as those for a normal NERC grant proposal. CASS proposals that incorporate training and development opportunities for early career scientists are welcomed.
CASS provides access to Antarctic logistics and financial support to cover certain specific costs:
- Costs of travel from the UK to Antarctica.
- Polar clothing supplied by BAS.
- Pre-deployment training.
- Medical assessment expenses for fieldwork personnel.
BAS will provide access to its Antarctic facilities and logistic infrastructure without charge, with the exception of King Edward Point where additional costs apply.
Applications for the 2021/22 field season should be submitted by the deadline of 8 March 2021 (16:00).
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