Thematic Network on Health and Well-being in the Arctic

The main task of the Thematic Network is to increase the quantity and quality of scientific research and education carried out in the Arctic by organizing Master's and PhD education, by conducting research projects and by dissemination.


The goal of the Thematic Network on Health and Well-being in the Arctic is to support sustainable development on health and well-being in populations in the circumpolar regions. The network aims to do so by

  • promoting research projects and education on health;
  • organizing research training;
  • distributing scientific information.

The network will base its research and higher education activities on the contemporary needs and priorities of the circumpolar regions and aims to promote a multidisciplinary approach to improve social circumstances for the populations, both in regard to health and well-being as well as delivery of health care and social services in the Arctic.

The topics in research and education

The important topics, such as mental wellness, demographic change, gender issues, research ethics, social aspects of urbanization, marginalization, and violence are being outlined with the partners. New important field of research and education is One health which is holistic view to health, and it combines many already mentioned topics and also different disciplines together.

Subgroup: Nordic Society for Circumpolar Health




Examples of research activities:

One Health

The One Health is a multidisciplinary approach to health risks and risk mitigation for humans, animals, plants and the environment. At the moment there are several research projects on-going: CLINF led by Birgitta Evengård (Nordic Centre of Excellence, climate change effects on infectious diseases, 2016-20); Nunataryuk led by AWI (Horizon project, Permafrost thaw and the changing arctic coast: science for socio-economic adaptation, 2017-22); and One Arctic – One Health (SDWG project of Arctic Council; see: SDWG website and UArctic website. There is also collaboration with INTERACT (EU funded project, 2012-2020) in the monitoring of possible vectors for zoonotic diseases.

“One Health in Northern Communities and Ecosystems” MA level course application received funding from the UArctic Project Funding for Cooperation Activities within the Framework of the University of the Arctic (UArctic). A group of international experts in One Health with involvement of our TN will develop and offer the course to students in 2021-2024. Project contact:

Healthy ageing

Healthy ageing in the Arctic is a topic attracted several scholars from the Thematic Network and developed via several channels: (1) received funding from the Nordic Arctic Co-operation Programme, NAPA for the project "Arctic Healthy Aging communities: Safe and inclusive outdoor environment and public spaces (The Nordic AHA-Communities)", 2023-2026, (2) received funding from the Nordic Council of Ministers 2020-2022 for the project "Indigenous and non-indigenous residents of the Nordic-Russian region: Best practices for equity in healthy ageing (NORRUS-AGE)". (3) TN members worked on the "healthy ageing" theme within the Northern Dimension Institute ThinkTank Action project, 2018-2022. (3) TN members contributing to the TN on "Ageing and Gender in the Arctic" project “AGE-Arctic”. Projects contact:

Circumpolar Maternal and Child Health Working Group

The Maternal and Child Health Working Group’s vision is to promote and advocate for a human-rights based approach to improving health outcomes and equity in the circumpolar region. The Group aspires to: i) nurture collaborative relationships both within the groups as well as across and beyond the region, ii) offer support to maternal and child health projects, iii) advocate for ethical collaborations with Indigenous people and their families, and iv) and produce scientific articles that can contribute towards improving the health and well-being of Arctic mothers, children and families. More information, group members and research focus see in the Group Statement. Contact: Christine Ingemann (




In collaboration with partner universities and institutes of the TN and other organisations there are running-on Summer/Winter schools and workshops for Master and PhD students. Summer/Winter schools are arranged as an add-on to relevant conferences, allowing Master and PhD students to engage in networking and present their research at conference venues throughout the Arctic. Master’s program in the Health and Well-being in the Circumpolar Area (led by UOulu and endorsed by UArctic) was a joint international effort to establish a long-lasting education program. It was running from 2005 to 2017, and there were graduated altogether 20 Masters, and two of those have also finished their PhD studies.

  • Summer/winter schools and workshops for the years 2010-2016 can be seen here
  • International research projects can be seen here
  • Working groups and programs can be seen here

Completed activities:

Other Information

The results of the questionnaire 2018

In January-February of 2018, the TN Health in the Arctic circulated the questionnaire to its members with the aim of identifying the involvement and developmental prospects. We have updated the research and educational activities to which the members were involved and profiled their interests for the future ones. Total of 32 respondents, it was found out that two thirds of members are actively involved on several levels: (1) Leading the network, (2) Organizing and co-teaching PhD courses, (3) Cooperating in joint projects concerning environmental and human health and presented at the UArctic and ICCH congresses, (4) Learning and receiving mobility grants to participate at the summer schools for students. Several population groups have found to be most addressed in the studies such as women and children, elderly people, Indigenous people, as well as other priority research lines in environmental health, health care system and multidisciplinary research. The important food for thoughts was to point out the need for anchor projects to work on together and apply for joint grants and funding for the further courses.

More results can be seen here.


The network is led by Gert Mulvad (University of  Greenland), Anastasia Emelyanova (UOulu), and Anna Rönkä (UOulu). The website is coordinated by a core team working in the area of Arctic Health at the Thule Institute, University of Oulu, Finland.

Gert Mulvad, Lead of the UArctic Thematic Network on Health and Well-being in the Arctic


Anastasia Emelyanova, Vice-Lead of the UArctic Thematic Network on Health and Well-being in the Arctic