Draft Arctic Research Plan 2022-2026

The Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee is required to develop and implement an Arctic Research Plan every five years. The draft Arctic Research Plan 2022-2026 identifies priorities for U.S. interagency collaboration and partnerships that will increase the value of the federal research investment in the Arctic and for Arctic residents. It addresses the most pressing Arctic research needs that require a collaborative approach and that can advance understanding of the Arctic, inform policy and planning decisions, and promote the well-being of Arctic and global communities.

In March 2021, IARPC released a draft of the next Arctic Research Plan (2022-2026) and requested public comment through June 11. IARPC is now working with federal agencies to revise the draft plan. Learn more about the development of the next plan.

Read the Draft Plan

Download PDF

Submit Comments

The comment period for the draft Arctic Research Plan 2022-2026 is now closed. IARPC accepted comments through the Federal Register Notice, email, hardcopy, and voicemail. A full list of comments with attribution will be made available on the IARPC website after the plan is finalized and publicly released. We intend to release the final plan in December 2021.

Plan Overview & Elements

The rapid changes occuring in the Arctic are complex, dynamic, and interconnected. These changes have global consequences and profound impacts for Arctic communities. As a result, emerging research questions are multi-disciplinary and are best addressed by multiple federal agencies working closely with non-federal partners. Every five years, IARPC is required by law to prepare and execute an Arctic Research Plan in coordination with the U.S. Arctic Research Commission, the governor of the state of Alaska, residents of the Arctic, the private sector, and public interest groups. The Arctic Research Plan 2022-2026 responds to challenges identified by Arctic communities, federal agencies with a presence in Alaska, federal agencies with Arctic investments, the state of Alaska, and other non-federal partners.

graphic showing draft plan policy drivers, priority areas, and foundational activities

Policy Drivers

This draft plan adheres to four critical policy drivers in U.S. Arctic research policy that reflect long-standing U.S. interests in the Arctic and the collective priorities of IARPC federal agencies. Policy drivers include:

  1. Well-Being: Enhance the wellness of Arctic residents with an emphasis on the themes of cultural vibrancy, economic development, and mental and physiological health.
  2. Stewardship: Advance responsible management of the Arctic environment with an emphasis on globally driven changes.
  3. Security: Strengthen national and regional safety, as well as risk management and emergency preparedness themes.
  4. Arctic-Global Systems: Improve understanding of the Arctic as a component of planet Earth.

Priority Areas

This draft plan identifies four priority areas which represent areas of broad, crosscutting focus that need additional attention or research, support one or more policy drivers, meet the mission and interests of more than one federal agency, and engage multiple existing collaboration teams and non-federal partners. The priority areas and goals of this plan exemplify the complex interactions between human, societal, and environmental challenges.

Priority Area 1: Community Resilience and Health
Goal: Improve community resilience and well-being by strengthening research and tools to increase understanding of interdependent social, natural, and built systems in the Arctic.

Priority Area 2: Arctic Systems Interactions
Goal: Enhance our ability to observe, understand, predict, and project the Arctic’s dynamic interconnected systems and their linkages to the Earth system as a whole.

Priority Area 3: Sustainable Economies and Livelihoods
Goal: Monitor, maintain, and proactively adapt the Arctic’s natural, social, and built systems to promote sustainable economies and livelihoods.

Priority Area 4: Risk Management and Hazard Mitigation
Goal: Secure and improve quality of life through an understanding of disaster risk exposure, sensitivity to hazard, and adaptive capacity.

Foundational Activities

In addition to identifying four priority areas, this draft plan builds upon five foundational activities. These activities have been identified as essential tools to support a robust and impactful federal research program. They are critical to achieving the priority area goals outlined in this plan and will remain foundational to Arctic research beyond the five year duration of this plan. Some foundational activities build from established communities of practice within the IARPC Collaborations community.

Foundational Activity 1: Co-Production of Knowledge and Indigenous-Led Research

Foundational Activity 2: Data Management

Foundational Activity 3: Education

Foundational Activity 4: Monitoring, Observing, Modeling, and Prediction

Foundational Activity 5: Technology Innovation and Application

Implementation and Metrics of Success

In contrast to previous IARPC Arctic research plans, this draft plan presents a high-level strategy without explicit direction on implementation. In order for IARPC to respond more swiftly to emerging or immediate needs while continuing to support U.S. Arctic policy, this plan will be implemented through biennial implementation plans. These implementation plans will identify specific objectives, deliverables, and metrics. Four new priority area collaboration teams will be established. These teams will direct and coordinate activities, including those of existing collaboration teams, to achieve goals and ensure the coordination of non-federal partners and resources. Read more about implementing the Arctic Research Plan 2022-2026.


A. Alignment of Priority Areas with USARC Goals Report – This document will be developed with the final Arctic Research Plan 2022-2026

B. Policy Driver Background Document

C. Overview of Engagement Process

D. List of IARPC Agencies and Principals – A list of the IARPC Principals will be included with the final Arctic Research Plan 2022-2026.

E. Principles for the Conduct of Research in the Arctic

F. Equity and Inclusion Background Document