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Commonwealth Futures Climate Research Cohort

Theme: Global challenges

The Commonwealth Futures Climate Research Cohort unites talented climate and environment researchers in a bid to drive change in climate mitigation and adaptation, and influence national, regional, and international decision-making.

New programme set to launch in 2023

Following the success of the 2021 pilot, the ACU and the British Council are launching the second Commonwealth Futures Climate Research Cohort. The project is part of the British Council's Going Global Partnerships programme, which aims to builds stronger, more inclusive, internationally connected higher education and Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) systems.

Twenty early career researchers (ECRs) will be recruited, from 10 priority countries (Bangladesh, Egypt, Ghana, India, Kenya, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka), to participate in a one-year training and development programme. The priority focus of this will be to strengthen research-related skills and enhance their engagement in climate action through processes such as the UNFCCC Conference of Parties (COP).

The programme is currently in the recruitment and application phase. Details of current opportunities are below. The new cohort programme will launch in March 2023.

Call for Theme Leads (UK Higher Education Institutions) 

The Role:

We are currently seeking experienced academic research staff, from up to 5 UK-based higher education institutions (HEIs), to lead a research strand within the broader scope of climate change mitigation and adaption and build coherence, direction, and academic rigour into the programme.

Applications are welcome from any subject, while interdisciplinary approaches are particularly encouraged.

Application window closes: 23:59 UTC, Thursday 1 December 2022.

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Call for Training Providers

The Role:

We are currently seeking
providers to co-design and lead the delivery of a number of training and development components, as part of the second Commonwealth Futures Climate Research Cohort programme.

Application window closes: 23:59 UTC, Sunday 4 December 2022.

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Call for Knowledge Brokers

The Role:

We are currently seeking knowledge brokers, working within the climate action space, to connect and build relationships between relevant stakeholders, and guide co-creation processes, as part of the second Commonwealth Futures Climate Research Cohort programme.

Application window closes: 23:59 UTC, Sunday 8 January 2023.

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The Pilot Programme

The ACU and the British Council  partnered to establish the Commonwealth Futures Climate Research Cohort, supporting 26 rising-star researchers to bring local knowledge to a global stage.

The diverse cohort worked on building international connections, and engaging with experts, to influence climate and environment related issues in their communities and beyond.   

The cohort convened researchers that possessed expertise in a range of disciplines and a deep understanding of communities disproportionately impacted by climate change.

Reflecting the diversity of the Commonwealth, cohort members were from 25 ACU member universities, from 16 countries.

During the programme, the 26 researchers attended a series of expert-led workshops, designed and delivered a series of peer-led research-to-action projects, benefitted from mentoring relationships with senior academics and experts in the sector, and identified opportunities to further their engagement with global climate stakeholders.

By supporting the development and retention of research leaders, the ACU-British Council partnership hopes to build a more equitable research landscape, ensuring that university research continues to thrive, inspire action, and play an essential role in delivering impactful climate solutions across the Commonwealth. 

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Research-to-Action Projects

The 26 stars of the Climate Research Cohort came together to design and deliver collaborative research-to-action projects, transforming multidisciplinary knowledge into climate action.

Read about previous projects
Fast Paced Urban Environment In West Africa

Stories from the first Climate Research Cohort


This space is dedicated to celebrating the voices of researchers around the world, who are united by a vision of a greener, fairer, and healthier planet for all.

The are stories written by the multidisciplinary researchers and mentors of the Commonwealth Futures Climate Research Cohort, who have each made their own distinguished journey in climate research and advocacy. Working in different corners of the world to make a difference, their stories will touch upon topics ranging from research impact and political engagement to personal inspirations, successes, and challenges at the intersection between research and action.

Entries are grouped under topical themes, drawing attention to the multidimensional impact of climate change on society, politics, the economy, and the natural world. 

 

Climate themes

Theme: life on land

Life on land

Every day, environmental researchers studying terrestrial life in all corners of the world help us better understand - and protect - the wonders of our natural world. 

Cohort Hub Themes (20)

Climate justice

By applying a human rights lens to the climate crisis, we can work towards climate solutions which reduce inequalities between men and women, rich and poor, and older and younger generations. 

Theme: Cities

Sustainable human habitats

Sustainable homes are the building blocks of sustainable cities. Achieving green urban development unlocks climate solutions we urgently need - and the journey begins with research and community engagement.

Theme: Oceans

Safeguarding our oceans

The oceans underpin nearly all processes of life on Earth, but the dual threats of climate change and pollution are wreaking havoc on fragile ecosystems. 

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Collaborating for humanity's future

Collaboration has played a vital role in humanity's progression. To secure the planet and humanity's future, we must utilise extensive partnerships, research and knowledge sharing.


Commonwealth Climate Resilience Network

With many Commonwealth countries on the frontline of climate change, the ACU Commonwealth Climate Resilience Network (CCRN) is working to build resilience within universities and their wider communities. 

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Palm trees and shoreline view by Jose Espinal
Explore the theme
Theme: Global challenges