Polar Knowledge Canada (POLAR)

Polar Knowledge Canada (POLAR) is the Government of Canada agency responsible for advancing Canada’s knowledge of the Arctic and strengthening Canadian leadership in polar science and technology.  POLAR’s mandate is to advance knowledge of the Canadian Arctic in order to improve economic opportunities, environmental stewardship, and the quality of life of its residents and all other Canadians; promote the development and dissemination of knowledge of the other circumpolar regions, including the Antarctic; strengthen Canada’s leadership on Arctic issues; and, establish a hub for scientific research in the Canadian Arctic.  Most research supported by POLAR is led or co-led by northern and Indigenous organizations partners.

Although POLAR is not an academic institution per se, it provides research support for university-based researchers from across Canada and internationally at the Canadian High Arctic Research Station (CHARS) in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut.  POLAR offers ~€700,000 in-kind research support annually to researchers who seek to use CHARS campus resources, including accommodation, field operations and access to fully equipped laboratories.  POLAR also supports a wide variety of research projects through a competitive grants and contributions program, and by directly supporting graduate students and other early career researchers.  For example, each year POLAR awards EUR ~€673,000 to students through the Northern Scientific Training Program (NSTP). Ten of the 33 Canadian university NSTP recipient institutions in 2022-23 were UArctic members. 

Facts and figures

Web https://www.canada.ca/en/polar-knowledge.html
Year Established 2015
Total Number of Staff 91
Focus Areas

POLAR’s Science and Technology (S&T) Framework guides decision-making on the type of activities and initiatives that POLAR undertakes and supports to meet its overarching themes and Science and Technology (S&T) Goals.

Overarching themes:

  • Advancing knowledge creation in the North; and,
  • Leading the mobilization of polar knowledge in Canada and abroad.

S&T Goals:

  • Improving knowledge of dynamic northern terrestrial, freshwater, and marine ecosystems in the context of rapid change;
  • Increasing understanding of the connections between northern community wellness and environmental health; and,
  • Advancing sustainable energy, technology, and infrastructure solutions for the unique environmental, social and cultural conditions in the North.