Background picture: Alfred-Wegener-Institut/Steuer
DFG Priority Programme 1158
Starthilfe für den Assistance for young researchers
More so than many other research areas , research in Antarctica requires a very special infrastructure, including polar stations and icebreakers. To enable young researchers with promising scientific ideas and concepts for their Master’s or doctoral theses or post‑doc projects to travel to Antarctica, the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft – DFG) Priority Programme 1158 has provided support since 1981. The aim is to make existing infrastructure in Antarctica available to these young people for their work if their own university does not have the necessary funds or is not engaged in the polar research at all. Thanks to this funding instrument, individual scientists or research groups can have access to the necessary logistics, maintained by the Alfred-Wegener-Institute (AWI), the Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR) or the German Aerospace Center (DLR). Due to the intensive involvement of the universities, DFG Priority Programme 1158 was and remains the key funding instrument for raising awareness of the polar regions among young academics, especially at universities in Germany, and for training upcoming generations of polar researchers. Students can gather experience of polar research at an early stage in their training and careers by working on research projects as academic aides or Bachelor’s candidates.