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As two international organizations based in Akureyri, Iceland, the Conservation of Flora and Fauna (CAFF) and the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC), teamed up together and with the Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS) to help early career scientists get more involved in the process of taking research from results through to science policy recommendations.

We selected two CAFF-IASC Fellows in the inaugural year (2018) and did so again in 2020 (CEMG-CBMP and AMBI). Fellows identify a joint area of interest and expertise, participate in and contribute to CAFF’s work, and produce some culminating output. 

Areas of Interest
2018's areas of interest were The Arctic Migratory Bird Initiative and Circumpolar Terrestrial Biodiversity monitoring in the Arctic. The 2020 areas of interest are:

  • The Arctic Migratory Birds Initiative (AMBI): The Arctic Migratory Birds Initiative (AMBI) is a project designed to improve the status and secure the long-term sustainability of declining Arctic breeding migratory bird populations. AMBI works with many partner countries and organisations to support and initiate actions that target priority species and conservation issues across multiple flyways. In 2021 AMBI will undergo a Mid-Term Evaluation. See here for more info: https://caff.is/ambi or contact .
  • The Coastal Ecosystem Steering Group (CEMG) of the Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Program (CBMP): The CEMG is starting implementation of the Arctic Coastal Biodiversity Monitoring Plan which will synthesize and assess the status and trends of Arctic coastal biodiversity as a contribution to international conventions and agreements on biodiversity conservation; providing policy and decision makers with comprehensive information on the status and trends of Arctic coastal biodiversity. This Coastal Plan is the Arctic Council’s first initiative to develop a platform that will support a co-production of knowledge approach, and an important step towards bringing together Traditional Knowledge (TK) and science into the assessment, planning and management of Arctic biodiversity. See here for more info: https://caff.is/coastal or contact .

Fellowship Commitment
The duration of the Fellowships will be approximately one year. Each Fellow will begin by attending a CAFF or IASC meeting, continue on with an appropriate working group meeting, and contribute to a deliverable in the form of peer-reviewed publications and/or a report to the Arctic Council Senior Arctic Officials.

During their appointment, Fellows will be expected to attend the following meetings:

  • CAFF Board Meeting
  • One CAFF working group meeting (TBD)
  • Other meetings (e.g., Arctic Science Summit Week, the Arctic Biodiversity Congress, etc.).

Travel support to attend 3 – 4 meetings for each Fellow during their Fellowships will be made available through CAFF and IASC. The travel support is the only financial remuneration for the Fellows. Salary is not included during the Fellowship.

Fellowship Deliverables

  • Fellows will deliver meeting reports for partner newsletters.
  • As this is a pilot program, Fellows will deliver program feedback and evaluations.
  • As part of their Fellowship, Fellows will contribute to at least one peer reviewed publication and/or deliverable report to the Arctic Council Senior Arctic Officials.

Application & Selection Criteria
Fellows should:

  • Be advanced Master students. Doctoral students / candidates, postdoctoral researchers or early career faculty members (up to 5 years past PhD),
  • Commit to participating in the activities and meetings listed above in the announcement text from January to November 2018,
  • Be excited about international teamwork, be open to cross-disciplinary work, and appreciate the need to engage between science and policy-related institutions, and
  • Have a good command of English.

APECS coordinated the application and review process; recommendations from APECS based on the review process were delivered for final selection to the CAFF and IASC Secretariats. The 2020 applications are now closed. Full information is available on the APECS website. Here is also a direct link to the 2020 application form.


Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF)
CAFF is the biodiversity working group of the Arctic Council and consists of National Representatives assigned by each of the eight Arctic Council Member States, representatives of Indigenous Peoples' organizations that are Permanent Participants to the Council, and Arctic Council observer countries and organizations. CAFF’s mandate is to address the conservation of Arctic biodiversity, and to communicate its findings to the governments and residents of the Arctic, helping to promote practices which ensure the sustainability of the Arctic’s living resources. For more information: www.caff.is