Fulbright Scholar Program

Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program Catalog of Awards

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Polar Law

Europe and Eurasia


Award Details
Award Activity

The University of Akureyri offers a unique masters program in Polar law – the study of governance in the Arctic and the Antarctic. It is a highly international program, with most students coming from outside of Iceland, including the other Arctic states.

Teach in the Polar law program (masters level)and potentially some teaching in the undergraduate program. Precise teaching duties will be agreed in cooperation with the scholar in light of his or her areas of expertise and the period of the visit. However, we envisage teaching in a selection of the following courses (depending on field of scholar):
Introduction to Circumpolar Studies (masters) (Fall 2021)
Antarctic Law and Policy (Fall 2021)
Arctic Security and Cooperation (masters) (Fall 2021)
Development Economics in the Arctic and Arctic Economies (Fall 2021)
Public International Law (undergraduate and masters) (Fall 2021)
Human Rights Law (undergraduate) (Fall 2021)
Model Arctic Council (Spring 2022)
International Environmental Law (masters) (Spring 2022)
Environmental Governance in the Arctic (masters) (Spring 2022)
The Rights of Indigenous Peoples (masters) (Spring 2022)
Law of the Sea (undergraduate and masters) (Spring 2022)
Comparative Legal Systems (undergraduate) (Spring 2022)
The teaching would take place in seminar format: the teacher should lead with introductions to the materials and stimulate discussion. Class sizes are usually between 10 and 30 students.
Our undergraduate courses and some of the graduate courses are taught by means of flexible learning. Students may attend in person, attend classes live on-line or listen to recorded classes.
Often, a mix of communication methods is employed.
Books are required for some courses (for example, basic textbooks in international law, law of the sea, environmental law, and an introductory textbook on Arctic governance,etc.) but for others, sufficient material is available free of charge online (e.g., the Arctic Human Development Reports, documents of the Arctic Council, etc.). Even when a textbook is required, most courses require students to go beyond this and access materials online (e.g., international treaties, case law, multilateral declarations, etc.) and to use research databases (e.g., leitir.is and heinonline.org).

We would encourage the visiting scholar to give at least one public talk at the University of Akureyri and to participate at local seminars and conferences, including the Arctic Circle Assembly in Reykjavík in Fall 2021 and the Polar Law Symposium (location yet to be determined). The University of Akureyri publishes the annual Yearbook of Polar Law and the scholar will be encouraged to submit work for peer review in that journal. The scholar may also be requested to supervise theses at masters and/or undergraduate level. We will consult with the scholar regarding program development, pertaining both to content and teaching methods for the Polar law courses.

We would also like to encourage the selected Fulbright scholar to teach on our general law program which includes comparative legal studies. A considerable number of our courses are taught in English and we welcome exchange students every year.

Award Length
Approximately 4 months
Award Dates

Fall Term: 20th August 2021 - 18th December 2021;

Spring Term: 4th January 2022 – 14th May 2022


University of Akureyri in North Iceland

Flex Option
Discipline Type
Applications are sought in all disciplines
Areas of Interest

Applications are sought in all appropriate disciplines, but law is preferred. Political science with an emphasis on the Polar regions will also be considered. 

Special Features

Akureyri is a family friendly town of 17,000 people. All children have the right to free public education from age 6-20 and, from 2- 6 years of age, subsidized kindergarten. We have good access to outdoor pursuits, including skiing, hiking, running, and cycling. We also have an excellent swimming pool complex with two 25 meter pools and a variety of hot-tubs, slides, and a steam bath. 

The visiting scholar would work closely with the Faculty on Polar law, especially Professor
Rachael Lorna Johnstone, S.J.D.. Professor Johnstone is an expert in Polar law, having
published Arctic Governance in a Changing World (Rowman and Littlefield, Inc., 2019), Offshore Oil and Gas in the Arctic under International Law: Risk and Responsibility (Brill, 2015) and numerous academic articles and book chapters on international law in the Arctic and Arctic governance more broadly. The scholar would also work with Dr Antje Neumann, lecturer and expert in Polar law (with an emphasis on environmental law and the rights of indigenous peoples) and Ragnheiður Þorsteinsdóttir, lecturer and expert in international law (especially environmental law and European Union law) as well as our many visiting professors in Polar law.

Application Deadline
Degree Requirements
Ph.D. (or other terminal degree) not required
Number of Recipients
Program Staff
Outreach and Recruitment Specialist

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