Nunatta Katersugaasivia Allagaateqarfialu
Greenland National Museum & Archives

Application for General Scientific Field Research in Greenland

Following Greenland’s Heritage Act of 2010 and Museum Act of 2015, the Greenland National Museum is the entity responsible for overseeing that all scientific field research related to the country’s cultural and natural heritage be conducted in a responsible and ethical manner. These types of scientific activities include: any type of archaeological excavation and survey, meteorite collection, paleontological and/or paleo-environmental studies, as well as any other forms of sub-surface testing or sampling for scientific purposes that may relate to the country’s heritage resources. All researchers that wish to perform these types of work in Greenland must apply for a General Scientific Research Permit (GSR-1). This permit is issued in name to the project’s Principal Investigator (PI), who assumes full responsibility for adhering to the terms and conditions of the GSR-1 Permit.

To obtain a GSR-1 permit, PIs must complete and submit an application for General Scientific Research in Greenland (NKAGSA-1) to the Greenland National Museum. The application form and instructions are available as a fillable pdf and can be downloaded here. Please send the NKAGSA-1 application form and all requested supplemental documents as a single PDF file to Please note: individuals without an institutional affiliation are not eligible to apply for a GSR-1 permit.

The NKAGSA-1 application must be received by the Greenland National Museum no later than 1 May of the field season year. This means that to perform work for the summer field season of 2021, the deadline for application is 1 May 2021. For projects re-applying for a NKAGSA-1, a mandatory field report should be submitted to the NKA before the end of one (1) calendar year after the previous date of issue of the GSR-1 permit. There are no strict rules on the format or style of the report, however, for convenience the National Museum has created a reporting template that is available here.


For archaeological investigations

For archaeological projects, all collected artifacts and samples should be given a unique X number and the PI should register and submit a list of all finds using the NKA Artifact Registration template provided here.

For organic objects collected, the National Museum now requires that the artifact’s state of preservation be ranked on a scale of ‘poor’, ‘good’ or ‘excellent’. This also includes indicating whether further conservation measures are required for the object, and if so, what measures will be employed to preserve the object by the PI and project participants.

All excavated material and scientific samples remain the sole property of Greenland.

This includes all human remains, cultural artefacts, organic and animal remains, minerals, soil, and any supplemental data (e.g. genetic) collected during the fieldwork.

The Greenland National Museum also suggests that the PI and all field researchers familiarize themselves with Scott and Grant’s 2007, 3rd edition of a Conservation Manual for Northern Archaeologists prior to entering the field. Please be aware that the Greenland National Museum reserves the right to request the long-term conservation of any materials collected in Greenland. All research projects should therefore possess the adequate human and financial resources needed for future conservation, safe transport and storage of scientific samples and objects collected while in the field. Consequently, rules for the return of physical materials originating from Greenland must be followed per the guidelines provided in the GSR-1 Permit agreement.

Lastly, health and safety are of the highest priority while conducting field research in Greenland and we encourage anyone planning to enter the field to review the University of Copenhagen’s Safety Manual for Fieldwork in the Arctic (2017) and the INTERACT Fieldwork Planning Handbook (2019).


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