Commonwealth Futures Climate Research Cohort 

2023/24 programme


Spring 2023 saw the launch of second Commonwealth Futures Climate Research Cohort. The 2023/24 programme is funded by the British Council's Going Global Partnerships and delivered in partnership with Durham University, Queen Mary University of London, SOAS University of London, the University of York, the University of Warwick, PlanAdapt and the University of Cape Town Researcher Development Academy (UCT-RDA).

In collaboration with the partners above, a one-year applied training and development programme has been designed for early career researchers (Climate Cohort Fellows) , with a focus on research co-creation and climate action research. The programme will consist of the following key features: 

  1. A series of virtual training workshops and asynchronous activities with a focus on how to co-create a research project with policy and/practice stakeholders.
  2. Seed corn funding to deliver a project to apply learning from the workshops. This will be undertaken through the co-development of research questions with end users, delivered in collaboration with their peers and supported by a UK-based senior academic and a climate knowledge broker.
  3. Opportunity to apply for one conference travel grant to support attendance and engagement at a national, regional, or international climate action-related event/conference.
  4. Inter-generational academic mentorship provided for each Fellow for career and professional development support.
  5. Participation in a transdisciplinary research sandpit to facilitate the co-creation of a research project with policy and practice stakeholders.
  6. Grant writing training to support Fellows with the submission of a grant proposal to an internal research grant competition.
  7. Selected proposals will receive funding for a six-month research-to-action project 

Climate Cohort Fellows

20 Climate Cohort Fellows were selected to take part in the 2023/24 programme. They were drawn from ten countries (Bangladesh, Egypt, Ghana, India, Kenya, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka) and 18 research institutions.

Each Fellow is attached to a specific theme and will collaborate with their theme team members to conduct the activities of the training and development programme.

A series of virtual workshops and asynchronous activities will focus on building skills and expertise in how to effectively co-create a research project with policy and practice stakeholders.

Through group-based project work, engaging potential users of research findings in the co-creation of research questions, the Fellows will forge partnerships of diverse disciplinary and country contexts and apply their learning in real-world settings. This will be supported by five UK based academic theme leads and climate knowledge brokers.

The formative stages of the training programme will be supported by UCT RDA, who will deliver a series of virtual workshops to upskill the Climate Cohort Fellows in stakeholder engagement and the co-creation and leading of impactful research.

Research themes

The 2023/24 programme will focus on five research themes, with fellows supported by academic leads from Durham UniversityQueen Mary University of LondonSOAS University of London, the University of York and the University of Warwick.

The five key themes are: 

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Meet the training providers

Climate Cohort 202324 Training Provider Panel Image (2)

The climate knowledge brokers will be sourced via PlanAdapt, an independent knowledge services provider that utilises a global network to support effective, economically just and socially inclusive climate change adaptation and risk management around the world. PlanAdapt will be on hand to facilitate productive engagement with policy and practice stakeholders during scoping, co-creation, and delivery of the research-to-action project.

Meet the knowledge brokers

Climate Cohort 202324 Knowledge Broker Panel Image

A number of senior academic experts in climate research will act as mentors to our Climate Cohort Fellows.This will provide added support to the pivot from research to action. 

The broader objectives of the Climate Cohort programme are to amplify the voices of early career researchers and to assist their growth into future research leaders. These future research leaders will be key allies for governments, with science continuing to make critical contributions to national, regional, and international decision making on climate change mitigation and adaptation. There continues to be gaps between academia and the wider policy environment - and between local expertise and global dialogues. The Climate Cohort programme aims to enhance academic engagement with climate policy and practice stakeholders, building international connections, and ensuring that university research continues to provide the rigorous evidence required to drive climate change innovation and solutions. 

Climate Cohort 202324 Partner Panel (4)

The Commonwealth Futures Climate Research Cohort is part of the British Council's Going Global Partnerships, which aims to builds stronger, more inclusive, internationally connected higher education and Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) systems. 

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