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JBaeseman - Where are they now? A Case Study of International Travel Support for Early Career Researchers

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A presentation at the Arctic Change conference in Dec 2014 in Ottawa, Canada

Sanna Majaneva1, Jenny Baeseman2, Gerlis Fugmann3, Christie Logvinova4, Maja Lisowska5

1)    University of Helsinki, FI-00251 Helsinki, Finland
2)    WCRP Climate and Cryosphere Project, Norwegian Polar Institute, NO-9296 Tromsø, Norway
3)    Association of Polar Early Career Scientist, University of Tromsø, 9037 Tromsø, Norway
4)    Clark University, Worcester, MA 01610, USA
5)    Polish Polar Consortium / Centre for Polar Studies, Poland

To help maintain the continuum of knowledge in polar sciences that was established during the 2nd International Conference on Arctic Research Planning (ICARP) and the International Polar Year (IPY), it is of great importance to continue to support the next generation of researchers. Many organizations are working on initiatives that allow early career Arctic researchers to discuss their ideas, work together, and exchange information with an international and renowned group of Arctic scientists. Yet, the evaluation of how effective these initiatives are is still lacking. To aide in assessing how past support has influenced early career Arctic researchers and potentially enhanced future opportunities, the Association of Polar Early Career Scientist (APECS), the Climate and Cryosphere Project (CliC) and International Arctic Science Committee (IASC) are working together to use IASC funding of early career researchers as a case study to assess the value of travel support for early career researchers. As a contribution to ICARP III, the “Where are they now?” Project investigated the subsequent career paths of early career researchers that received travel funding from IASC since the start of the most recent IPY (2007-2008) until 2013. IASC provided travel support for 287 early career researchers during this time. A survey was sent to each of these researchers and 132 people responded, a 45.9 % response rate. Results from the survey indicate that 90% of these researchers are still active in Arctic work.  Preliminary qualitative results indicate that travel support was beneficial to both the research and careers of the early career scientists responding.  Responses from survey participants provided details on the specific impacts of travel support to various meetings and included suggestions on how funds could be better used in the future. Results will help form new standards for supporting the next generation of Arctic researchers.

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