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Commonwealth Futures Climate Research Cohort

Theme: Global challenges

26 researchers for COP26

The ACU and the British Council have partnered to establish the Commonwealth Futures Climate Research Cohort, supporting 26 rising-star researchers to bring local knowledge to a global stage in the lead-up to the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26).

In the run-up to COP26, this unique and diverse cohort will build international collaborations and work with experts to influence issues related to climate and environment in their communities and beyond.   

The cohort convenes researchers with expertise in a range of disciplines, and who have a deep understanding of communities disproportionately impacted by climate change. Reflecting the diversity of the Commonwealth, members of cohort are based at 25 ACU member universities from 16 countries. Throughout 2021, the 26 researchers will attend a series of expert-led workshops, design and deliver a series of peer-led research-to-action projects, benefit from mentorship by senior academics and experts in the sector, and identify opportunities to further their engagement with global climate stakeholders.

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

Research to action projects

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

Discover the projects
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Stories from the 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.

Throughout 2021, we will be featuring 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 different topical themes, drawing attention to the multidimensional impact of climate change on society, politics, the economy, and the natural world. Themes will be continually updated, so make sure to check back regularly to access the latest stories.

Browse the entries by clicking on the themes below.

Available themes

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. 

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. 

Theme: COP26

Looking towards COP26

On the fifth anniversary of the Paris Agreement, 2021 marks a key year for countries to step up their climate commitments and pledge to address the root causes of the climate crisis. 


Join the ACU's COP26 Campaign

#UnisForOurPlanet is our campaign to show how universities - and the people within them - are spearheading critical solutions and efforts to tackle climate change. Find out how you can join the conversation by clicking below.

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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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Explore the theme
Theme: Global challenges