Frequently asked questions for scientists
Who do I talk to about my science project (new or existing)?
How can I change or vary an aspect of my existing science project?
Submit a Request for variation form.
There are two categories of variation request, which will be determined by the impact of the request on the Australian Antarctic Program:
- Minor – these include additional team members not travelling south, deferral requests, additional Australia-based seasons, as well as small changes to project objectives, milestones and the like.
- Major – these include any changes where extra support is required from the Australian Antarctic Division (AAD), including additional field sites or marine science support, science equipment and technical support, and kitting for non-AAD vessels. This also includes requests for additional seasons requiring field support, additional berths, and activities involving animal ethics or permit approvals.
This Request for Variation form must be submitted by the project’s Chief Investigator (CI) to SP&C at email@example.com, and they will facilitate the approval. Major variations must be accompanied by an email or letter from the CI’s head of research unit or institution stating they are aware of and support the request.
Your variation request and the decision (once received) will be viewable as an attachment on the project in the Antarctic Applications Online system (AAO)
I am an AAD scientist and I need to travel (not to Antarctica) for my project. What are the steps I need to take?
Check if this travel is in your Australian Antarctic Science Project
- If Yes – Follow the travel information found on the AAD intranet (right hand menu under finance travel and procurement)
- If No – You will need to submit a Request for Variation form and recieve approval before embarking on any travel arrangements
How can I safely transport my scientific samples?
Don’t forget to ensure your service level agreement includes your desired sample destination if that destination is outside of the AAD.
Can I use drones in Antarctica?
Yes, however… The operation of a remotely piloted aircraft (RPA/drone) as part of an Australian Antarctic Project in Antarctica or on the RSV Nuyina is viewed by the Department of Climate Change, Energy, Environment & Water (DCCEEW) as the same as an operation in Australia, and is subject to the same rules, regulations, and laws.
If your intention is to fly a RPA owned/operated by your project, you will need (as a minimum) to be operating under an Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) issued ReOC, with CASA licenced pilots and registered RPA >250g in weight. If your flight profile falls outside the standard operating conditions for RPA operations (refer AAD UAS Standard Operating Procedures Vol. 5, section 8) you will need CASA approval for those operations (eg EVLOS, BVLOS operations, operations above 400 feet AGL).
If you or your team are considering using drones for a project, you must contact the AAD Deputy Chief Remote Pilot on firstname.lastname@example.org.
I have an idea for a science project. Is there a process for me to suggest it?
If you are not currently engaged in the Australian Antarctic Science Program, send your ideas to email@example.com – for Program Leader and Chief Scientist consideration.
Please note though, that there will be no open call for new Australian Antarctic Science Program projects. The focus of any new projects must align with the Australian Antarctic Science Program priorities.
If you’re from the Australian Antarctic Program Partnership or Special Research Initiative, please talk to your program manager.
If you’re part of the Australian Antarctic Division, please talk to your Program Leader.
Does the AAD have processes in place to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 in the Antarctic and Sub Antarctic?
COVID-19 Vaccination is mandatory for all travellers with the program.
The most up to date information on our COVID-19 processes can be found here.
Anyone travelling to Antarctica or the sub Antarctic with the Australian Antarctic Science Program should familiarise themselves with this information (or risk being unable to travel).
Avian Flu: Safety and Environment Alert October 2023
To maintain your safety and prevent the spread of Avian Flu, all scientific expeditioners must read the Safety and Environment Alert regarding Avian Flu. Further information can be obtained by emailing either WHS@aad.gov.au or AADEnvironment@aad.gov.au.
How can I submit a publication to the publications database?
We have a new online form. Find the form and a link to our publications database here.
Can I use legacy samples from previously completed projects within the Australian Antarctic Program, that are under custodianship of the AAD?
Yes you can. Please use our Australian Antarctic Program Request for Legacy Sample Use form