The mission of the French Polar Institute is to implement scientific projects in environments with specific conditions (climate, isolation, etc.) that require suitable skills and technologies.
The Institute selects scientific projects; researchers are invited to submit projects that are assessed based on the following criteria: scientific interest, schedule, costs incurred by the Council for Polar Science and Technology Programmes (CPST) and feasibility by the Institute teams. The board of directors then validates the list of selected projects based on the scores given by the CPST.
The Institute finances these projects: a budgetary envelope is allocated to the project leaders to cover certain costs (purchase of scientific instruments, etc.)
The Institute recruits staff to strengthen the project team during all or part of a summer campaign and to make sure that all the necessary work is done in order to keep carrying out scientific experiments during the winter. Recruited staff may be assigned to several selected projects.
The Institute organizes the transport of teams of scientists from their home laboratory to the location of their project and vice versa, it also provides them with clothes, houses them and feeds them.
The Institute organizes the transport of and sometimes purchases the scientific equipment needed to carry out projects in the field.
The Institute adapts the scientific instruments to the environmental conditions at the project site and is responsible for their maintenance.
The Institute plans scientific operations and scientific logistics operations (moving an instrument, clearing snow from a shelter, etc.).
The Institute organizes scientific expeditions outside the stations (25 km from Concordia, scientific traverses, Port-Martin and Commonwealth Bay missions, etc.).
The Institute helps raise the profile of these research projects.
The Institute manages a very large research infrastructure, Concordia station.
In order to ensure the implementation of scientific projects, the Institute relies on means, infrastructures and human resources.
The Institute manages its budget, and looks for sources of funding.
The Institute recruits personnel to perform the duties of its headquarters, and those of its scientific stations.
The Institute ensures the safety of its personnel, at headquarters and in the field, and that of scientists by setting rules and organizing training.
The Institute also ensures the protection of the places where it carries out its activities by setting rules.
The Institute manages scientific research stations: it builds them, maintains them, and ensures the purchase and transport of equipment and food.
The Institute develops logistical and technological tools.
The Institute forms partnerships with actors from the industrial, scientific, technological and cultural, local, national and international worlds.
The Institute represents France in international collaborations in polar environments and ensures that French polar research reaches a wide audience.
The Institute collaborates with its foreign counterparts.
The Institute forms international partnerships.
The Institute takes part in international polar research strategy meetings (International Arctic Science Committee (IASC), Forum of Arctic Research Operators (FARO), EU-Polarnet, NySMAC, CEP, COMNAP, SCAR, EPB).
The Institute takes part in the dialogue on the Antarctic Treaty and the Madrid Protocol.