Collaborative Antarctic Science Scheme - NERC

The Collaborative Antarctic Science Scheme (CASS), previously known as the Collaborative Gearing Scheme, provides opportunities for scientists in recognised UK research institutions to do small-scale collaborative science projects. These projects should offer significant additional science outcomes, by attaching additional personnel, instrumentation, or tasks to existing Antarctic activities, or using research station infrastructure.

CASS only provides access to Antarctic logistics and financial support to cover some specific costs. It does not provide funding for salaries, capital equipment or other direct science costs. Research proposals submitted for CASS support are expected to be relevant to NERC’s science remit, involve minimal impact on British Antarctic Survey (BAS) logistic resources, and lead to findings that will be disseminated in the peer-reviewed literature.

Find out about the application procedure and download an application form on the BAS Polar fieldwork opportunities website.

The next closing date for applications is 15 March 2024.

Apply to conduct late-season ship-based CASS projects aboard the RRS Sir David Attenborough

The RRS Sir David Attenborough will be undertaking two rotations between Punta Arenas in Chile and Rothera Research Station in early May and mid-June 2025. The primary purpose is to support the commissioning of Rothera’s new Discovery Building and to demobilise the construction team.

Through CASS, the vessel will have a small number of berths available to support underway science. This would be limited to activities that do not require specialist engineering and science support. Subject to constraints on transit, examples may include experiments using the uncontaminated seawater system and associated laboratories, underway air sampling, underway survey, and deployment of ‘plug and play’ instrumentation.

Any substantive deviation from the ship’s course or deployments of instruments such as the conductivity, temperature and depth boom that would impact the ship schedule are unlikely to be supported unless there is prior agreement and an associated funding stream.

Find information on the ship’s science capabilities.

The ship is planning to cross Drake Passage and then transit down the western side of the Antarctic Peninsula to Rothera over a period of five days.

We encourage any interested parties to engage with the Antarctic Access Office ( as soon as possible. You must complete an application form and submit your proposal to no later than 4:00pm UK time on 12 April 2024.

Find out about the application procedure and download an application form on the BAS website.

Due to operational constraints this opportunity may be withdrawn at short notice.

Contact for more information

Antarctic Access Office


Last updated: 8 April 2024

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