PrintIf you would like to receive funding from NSTP for field research to be conducted between April 1, 2020 and March 31, 2021 you are required to complete an NSTP application by November 8, 2019 in order to receive funds for the next fiscal year.

Please carefully review the instructions provided in the NSTP Information Manual (Student’s Information Section p. 14-21 has detailed instructions), as well as consulting the tips below, to help you prepare your NSTP Application.  Please carefully review the NSTP Funding/Student Eligibility guidelines, to be sure you are eligible to receive funds (see NSTP Information Manual Guidelines section b, p. 6-7).

NSTP application forms must be accessed through the NSTP online system and submitted electronically. For technical assistance or questions regarding any aspect of the online system, please contact NSTP staff directly (email or call Rhonda Turner: 613-222-7421 or Nathalie Robillard-Bergeron 613-222-9537).

To assist with your fieldwork planning, you may wish to consult the Polar Knowledge checklist for conducting northern research.


NOVEMBER 8, 2019 – All applications for funding must be completed online and approved by your supervisor and the Northern Research Committee Chair by this date. To meet this deadline is strongly recommended that all your portions of the application are complete online prior to October 31, 2019 in order to allow sufficient time for review and feedback from your supervisor.

NOVEMBER 8, 2019 – All applicants must also submit a draft of the Field Safety Form to the Northern Research Committee Chair by email. Students planning on travelling together as part of the same field research team can submit all relevant information in one form. 

Students will be notified of funding allocation decisions in the spring of each year, as soon as NSTP confirms the total research funding allocated to Carleton University students.

No later than 5 days prior to travelling – A final version of your Field Safety Form must be completed and returned to the Northern Research Committee Chair or NSTP funding will be withheld.



In addition to instructions in the NSTP Information Manual, the following are comments that the Northern Research Committee Chair and Members commonly make each year in reviewing student applications.  These kinds of comments must be addressed prior to the Chair approving a student’s application, and must be received PRIOR to the submission deadline in order for the submission to be passed on to NSTP.

Page 1, Student Information: Academic Level – Be sure to indicate the degree and year you are currently enrolled in (i.e. this year, your degree/year as of November 8, 2019), unless you plan on doing your field research next September to March (in that case, it should be your current year + 1).  It is also required that you list your ORCID Digital Identifier and you will be required to create an account if you do not have one (visit

Page 2: Title of Project – Consider including locational descriptors (e.g. community, territory, or specific field site) in your title, to help situate your research.

Page 2, Brief Description of Project Including: Objectives and Methodology – Be sure to clearly and concisely address ALL of the elements required in this section, including descriptions of:

  • the project objective
  • the research methodology and methods to be used
  • if it is a continuing project, explain what stage you are at in your research, and relate your proposed work this year to work done in previous years

If this is a continuing project, this section should NOT be copy and pasted from a previous NSTP application. Some of the project description and methods may remain the same, but any adjustments/progress over the course of previous year(s) or field season(s) should be clearly identified. If your work is part of a larger project, it is important to include as relevant context, but be sure to focus mainly on the description of your particular research and related contributions.

Keep in mind that a committee with diverse northern expertise will be reading your application (both at Carleton and at the NSTP national level), so keep the language simple and clear, and define any technical or discipline-specific terms that you need to include.

Page 2, Brief Description of Project Including: Significance to the Student – Be sure to clearly and concisely describe the significance of the research to your studies.  This can include the importance of the work for completing a thesis project, valuable experience/relationship-building to provide the foundation for future research planned as part of a degree, etc.

Page 2: Research Partners – Supervisors or other Carleton students SHOULD NOT be listed as Research Partners. This section is for identifying important research partners from other organizations/universities who are closely involved with the project planning, direction, and/or field work.

Page 3: Rationale for the length of stay(s) in the North – NSTP encourages students to stay as long as possible in the North.  Explain the reason for your proposed field dates in this in the free-form section. If there will be a short stay explain why (e.g. time limitations due to other commitments, transportation limitations, etc.), but also why this shorter duration will be sufficient for addressing your research objectives as explained in the project description.  If you plan to undertake multiple trips, please justify this as well.

Page 3: Expected fieldwork costs, NSTP support requested, and other source(s) of funding – The total expected field work costs, should equal the sum of NSTP support requested and other funding source(s) applied to/secured. Therefore, when estimating total field work costs, consult with your supervisors about the total costs projected to be involved in just your own student portion of field work (not the total cost of everything to do with a particular field program). This way, when you add up your requested NSTP support and other funding you will (or hope to) receive (e.g., this could be from your supervisor’s grant(s), scholarships, RA positions, etc.), it should reflect the total anticipated costs involved in your specific field work. Keep in mind that NSTP is meant to be supplementary funding, so it is prudent not to request more than $3500 in NSTP support (and knowing that typically NSTP allocations range between $2500 – $3000 in any given year, depending on your degree program). Please note that if you do include scholarship funding, it should only be the specific portion of your scholarship that you plan to dedicate to supporting your field research (i.e., not the total scholarship amount).  Please carefully review the list of eligible and ineligible expenses for use of NSTP funds summarized in the Travel section (and see the NSTP Information Manual Guidelines section b, p. 6-7).

Page 4: Ethical Principles, Research Licence(s) and/or Permit(s) – In this section it is very important to outline the ways in which you have (or will) obtained any necessary local community approvals prior to undertaking northern research, and that the required research licence(s)/permit(s) have been (or will be) applied for.

Once you have selected the appropriate licencing/permitting body for the relevant territory(ies) where field work is located, be sure to add relevant details in the free form section. It is important to specify under whose name is the licence/permit (the student’s? supervisor’s? another research partner’s?), the duration or licence/permit approval (i.e., one year, multi-year, etc. with appropriate years noted), and the license/permit number if possible.  A full list of potential licences, permits, and other requirements in different regions is provided by NSTP.

In the free form section available, also be sure to highlight any steps you have taken to acquire local and territorial approvals for your research.  The the NSTP committee places great importance on community interaction and engagement.  Please carefully consider the diversity of ways that community consultations, interactions, and relationship-building may be applicable within the context of your own research project and location.  Appendix 2 of the NSTP Information Manual is an excellent resource for ideas and contact information of individuals or organizations who can help you to develop these elements of your research effectively. As well, please consult this handout on community interaction and these examples for further guidance. We encourage you to discuss this with your supervisor well ahead of planning field work or NSTP applications, especially if you may be new to northern field work or if you may be embarking on research in a new region of the North.

Supervisor signature and recommendations – The student’s supervisor is responsible for completing this section. Comments should focus on student training (including relevant previous training experience), how the NSTP-supported field work relates to student research (i.e., completing their thesis, and relevance to current northern issues) as well as to the student’s future in northern research. Please be sure to clearly explain how the student will benefit from the research conducted, and how having NSTP funding will contribute to this benefit. In addition, it is helpful for the supervisor to highlight any student interactions with northern communities, and how this will be relevant for conducting – or reporting on – their research.

By signing the NSTP application, supervisors are confirming that they are familiar with the Ethical Principles for the Conduct of Research in the North, that they have discussed these principles with their students, and that they will ensure that their students conduct their research in accordance with these ethical principles. Approving the student’s report also means that the supervisor confirms that they have reviewed all sections of the NSTP application to ensure that they meet the required criteria laid out in the Student’s Manual, and in consideration of additional suggestions described in the sections above.

Students are responsible for preparing all aspects of the NSTP application, but supervisors are asked to carefully review each section to ensure they address all required elements of the application prior to completing the Supervisor Comments, and approving the report for Chairperson review. This will greatly aid in streamlining the process, and helps to avoid iterative reviews after the initial submission.