SCAR Fellowship Scheme

Writing for Success Webinar:

SCAR-COMNAP-APECS-Webinar: Writing for Success! Preparing winning fellowship applications from APECS Webinars on Vimeo.


acrobat"Writing for Success" document in printable Acrobat pdf format

This document includes information on the evaluation of proposals, feedback on positive and negative issues from those who review applications, and some FAQs on the technical details of submitting an application (also see the FAQs page as new questions are being added regularly, based on the queries we receive).

Writing for Success!
Preparing winning fellowship applications

Preparing a successful fellowship application is a skill. Often, lack of success with applications is not due to a poor research idea but comes down to the inability to express clearly and confidently, in writing, your research to someone else. Everyone’s writing skills can be improved and be made more effective. This mentoring activity is designed to help early career persons with developing their fellowship proposal writing skills. It is particularly meant for young researchers in countries with a small or just developing Antarctic research community that may not have adequate mentoring in their home institutions.

The need for such mentoring arose after review of the many hundreds of SCAR and COMNAP Fellowship applications received over the past several years. Funding is limited and so reviewers often need to make difficult choices. Success or failure often depends on whether the proposal is written clearly and efficiency.

A webinar, hosted by APECS, was held on 18 April 2016 on SCAR and COMNAP fellowships, with tips for writing successful applications.  The webinar is available at the top of this page.


  • Introduction to the SCAR/COMNAP Fellowships programme
  • Personal reflection by past Fellow on experience and impact of programme
  • Growth of programmes and current expectations
  • Assessment criteria for the programmes
  • What makes a successful application
  • Things to avoid
  • Q&A to panel for advice on proposal writing

Supporting document:

In this document, we gather together some relevant information on the evaluation of proposals, feedback on positive and negative issues from those who review applications, and finally some FAQs on the technical details of submitting an application.

Speakers and panel members:

Prof Karin Lochte,
Director, Alfred Wegener Institute, SCAR Vice President for CBET
Dr Michelle Rogan-Finnemore, Executive Secretary, COMNAP
Dr Mahlon (Chuck) Kennicutt , ex-President of SCAR
Dr Kelly Kenison Falkner, Director, Division of Polar Programs, NSF
Prof Jane Francis, Director, British Antarctic Survey
Dr Renuka Badhe, Executive Secretary, European Polar Board, ex-SCAR Executive Officer
Dr Gerlis Fugmann, Executive Director, APECS
Dr David Walton, Editor, Antarctic Science
Prof Anna Wahlin, co-Chair SOOS
Dr Jenny Baeseman, SCAR Executive Director
Dr Eoghan Griffin, SCAR Executive Officer


The Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) initiated the SCAR Fellowship Programme in 2002. The aim was to encourage the active involvement of early career scientists in Antarctic scientific research and to build new connections and further strengthen international capacity and cooperation in Antarctic research. Since the initiation of the programme, 48 SCAR Fellowships have been awarded.

In 2011, the Council of Managers of National Antarctic Programs (COMNAP) launched the COMNAP Antarctic Research Fellowship Scheme, offering one fellowship by year for an early career person in order to carry out research within a COMNAP National Antarctic Program. With the 2015 awards, there have been 6 COMNAP Fellowships awarded. In addition, there have been three joint SCAR-COMNAP Fellowships awarded since 2012.

The Fellowships supports the scientific goals of SCAR and the goal of COMNAP to develop and promote best practice in managing the support to Antarctic science. The Fellowships enable early career researchers to join a project team from another country, opening up new opportunities and often creating research partnerships that last many years and over many Antarctic research seasons.

This year’s fellowships are currently open with an application deadline of 1 June.

For more information, visit the Detailed Information page.