Nansen professor

University of Akureyri (Mynd: Auðunn Níelsson)

The Nansen professor is a guest professorship in Arctic studies at the University of Akureyri. The professorship is named after Fridtjof Nansen, the famous Norwegian polar scientist and humanist. The position is awarded to an outstanding scientist working on issues that bear on legal, economic, social and natural circumstances in the Arctic.

The guest professorship is awarded for a twelve-month period. The position is advertised on the website of the University.

Generally, an applicant for the position must have completed a doctorate or possess comparable experience.

  • The applicant must have a strong academic background in the field of legal issues and sustainable development in the Arctic
  • The candidate should be experienced in working across disciplines with complex human-environmental-social issues
  • The applicant should have strong communicative and social/interpersonal skills
  • Research experience relating to the Arctic and a track of participation in international research networks will be necessary.
  • The applicant must have documented skills to acquire research grants

A housing and relocation grant will also be available for candidates with permanent residence outside Akureyri.

What consists in the guest professorship?

The work of the professor consists, for example, in the following:

  • Contribute to research and teaching
  • Develop lines of study at UNAK on Arctic issues
  • Work closely with other researchers in furthering the Northern research and teaching milieu
  • Contribute to the development of Arctic studies
  • Give public lectures on Arctic issues in local, national and international fora
  • Participate in the contemporary debate on changes in the Arctic

The professor has access to a special fund which is to make it possible for him/her to form and strengthen ties to domestic and foreign research teams and attend conventions.

History of the Nansen professorship

The Ministers for Foreign Affairs in Iceland and Norway signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on 29 September 2011 concerning cooperation in the field of Arctic scientific research.

The MOU includes the establishment of a professorship in Arctic studies at the University of Akureyri. The professorship is named after the famous Norwegian polar scientist and humanist Fridtjof Nansen.

Holders of the Nansen professorship:

  • 2013-2014 Dr. Natalia Loukacheva
  • 2014-2015 Dr. Astrid Ogilvie
  • 2015-2017 Dr. Jessica Shadian
  • 2017- 2019  Dr. Gunhild Hoogensen Gjørv
  • 2019- Gunnar Rekvig, current Nansen professor