Arctic Floating University

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Northern (Arctic) Federal University invites researchers, PhD-students, students to take part in the marine research and education expedition in the Arctic.

Visit the Arctic. Study the Arctic. Feel the Arctic.


Arctic Floating University is an annual scientific and education marine expedition, which brings together young people and researchers in order to study the Arctic. For scientists - it is a possibility to conduct research in the high-latitude Arctic. For students – it’s a unique educational program containing multidisciplinary course of lectures and practical training together with experienced researchers.

Aims of the expedition: 

  • organize complex interdisciplinary research of the Arctic environment;
  • training of young researchers and specialists for work in the Arctic region (hydrometeorology, ecology, biology, chemistry, geology, geography);
  • develop international scientific and educational collaboration in the Arctic.

Expedition Organizers: Northern (Arctic) Federal University; Roshydromet; Russian Geographical Society

Expedition Dates: July 17 – August 3, 2020

Expedition Duration: 18 days

Expedition Route:  Arkhangelsk - Cape Zhelaniya (Novaya Zemlya) - Island Graham Bell (Franz Josef Land - FJL) - Heiss Island (FJL) - Hooker Island (FJL) - Northbrook (FJL) - Arkhangelsk (as agreed with organizers, corrections can be made upon request of participants before expedition)

Expedition participants: 57 people (students, post-graduate students, research fellows of both Russian and foreign scientific and academic institutions)

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  • Consists of the research and educational sections

Research program (tentative):

  • study of the hydrological regime of the seas of the Arctic Ocean;
  • study of transfer through biological pathways of highly toxic pollutants to Arctic Ecosystems;
  • monitoring of the state of the environment in areas of active economic activity in the marine and coastal zones of the White, Barents Seas;
  • study of biodiversity of the Arctic region;
  • ice cover observations
  • assessment of the accumulated environmental damage and the level of territorial pollution in the areas of former economic activity;
  • study of the adaptive mechanisms of the human to the conditions of the high-latitude Arctic including the conditions of the special shift work;
  • other research fields can be included if possible

Educational modules (tentative):

  • Arctic hydrometeorology; 
  • Oceanography of arctic waters; 
  • Arctic and subarctic biodiversity of Northern European Russia; 
  • Environmental conditions of arctic waters and coastal territories; 
  • Climate change in the Arctic
  • History of Arctic exploration
  • Arctic in the system of international relations;
  • Arctic legal framework;

Work on educational modules will be organized in form of lectures, seminars or field works according to the module plan.


All expeditions are organized on the research vessel “Professor Molchanov”. Originally built in 1982 for the Russian Hydro-Meteorological Service the R/V “Professor Molchanov” has been refurbished to accommodate a maximum of 80 passengers and crew.

The vessel is a steel-hulled, ice-strengthened ship for the Arctic supply and research, completely refurbished to meet both passenger and scientific needs. The R/V complies with international environmental and safety standards.

The R/V “Professor Molchanov” has all the necessary facilities for organizing the educational process, laboratory and practical research. Public areas feature a large dining room, an observation lounge, a conference room with modern multimedia equipment, three laboratories, and a medical office with ship doctor.

Brochure about RV “Professor Molchanov”

Information about research equipment available at R/V “Professor Molchanov”


Scientists, PhD-students and students focusing on Arctic research and/or studies are prioritized. In case of free places available other categories of participants can be considered.


A participation fee per person is 380 000 RUB (around 5 400 EUR). Fee includes accommodation on the board of the vessel (students: cabin for 3-4 persons; other participants: cabin for 2 persons), 4 meals a day, educational program, landings, use of laboratories on the board and vessel research equipment.


Online application form available at Evaluation results will be sent to applicants in February 2020. A contract will be concluded with all selected participants.

Deadline: 15 January 2020


Please feel free to contact:

Alexander Saburov, Director of the Arctic Center for Strategic Research, Northern (Arctic) Federal Univesity
Telephone: +7 8182 21 89 39 / +7 950 660 68 58

Umidakhon Gapurova, Expert of the Arctic Center for Strategic Studies, Northern (Arctic) Federal University
Telephone: +7 996 502 41 23


Brochure about AFU

Updated 22.03.2022