The II International PhD School “Russia in the Arctic Dialogue: Local and Global Context” was hosted online by the Northern Arctic Federal University as a side event of the X International Congress of Arctic Social Sciences (ICASS Х).
20 PhD students from Norway, Finland, Czech Republic, China, USA, Belgium, Germany and Russia participated in the event. The intensive programme of the School included lectures given by leading experts and researchers from Hokkaido University (Japan), University of Tromsø — the Arctic University of Norway, Federal Polytechnic School of Lausanne (Switzerland), Fridtjof Nansen University (Norway), Harbin Engineering University (China), Northern (Arctic) Federal University, as well as our international projects partners.
The key topics for discussion this year were the Russian Arctic Strategy 2035, geopolitics and international relations, local communities in the changing Arctic, logistics and transport systems, environmental challenges and risk management in the Arctic. Due to its interdisciplinary content, the PhD School gathered researchers and specialists from various scientific fields and sparked off a significant discussion. The students managed to find answers to many questions and open new horizons in the field of Arctic research.
“This school solves one of the challenges that we see in the Arctic today – it is an interdisciplinary collaboration. We have policymakers, scientists, and sometimes they are focused only on their fields… This school connects scientists, so that we can collaborate not only now but also in future. And we can learn from different disciplines. So this is, I think, not just learning for our own sake, but your school solves really a challenge of connecting scientists. Thank you very much for that!” said Alma, a PhD student from UiT—Arctic University of Norway.
“I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to participate in this school and meet such distinguished scientists. I have been mostly involved in economics and ecology. This conference opened my eyes to a lot of areas that I have not considered before”, said Ishel, a postgraduate student from Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University and University of Maryland (USA)
Elena, a postgraduate of Yale University (USA), admitted: “This school actually filled in the gaps in my knowledge of the Russian Arctic as a fascinating region where I work. I deeply hope to come to Arkhangelsk next year and stay in touch with professors and all of you!”
During the week PhD students presented their research projects. The topics of the research covered a wide range of issues: international relations and Asian countries’ interests in the Arctic, regional collaboration in the Arctic, ecology and the development of oil and gas industry in the Russian Arctic, security issues, paradiplomatic relations of Greenland. Each presentation was met with great interest not only by the experts evaluating the work, but also among the participants themselves. Students asked questions, exchanged useful information and supported each other.
“Thank you for connecting people, making these contacts and inspiring us to work together”, remarked Daria, a PhD student from University of Lapland (Finland).
“For me, it was really inspiring to meet all these interesting people and PhD students. Sometimes it seemed as if we are in one room in Arkhangelsk at the university”, said Marcus, a postgraduate student of the University of Lapland (Finland).
In 2022, PhD School in NArFU will be held in the format of an International Forum for Young Scientists "Russia in the Arctic Dialogue: Local and Global Contexts" and within the context of Russia's chairmanship in the Arctic Council. The forum will be organized by the Department of International Cooperation, the Higher School of Economics, Management and Law, and the Department of Training and Certification of Scientific and Pedagogical Staff of NArFU.