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COP26 Fellowship in Agriculture and Climate Change

Application Deadline: 27 June 2021.

The Grantham Institute – Climate Change and the Environment at Imperial College London, are sponsoring an 8 month COP26 Fellowship in Agriculture and Climate Change.

The Fellowship is an opportunity for an early career or experienced researcher to engage with the international climate negotiations in the run up to the 26th Conference of the Parties of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP26).

The overarching purpose of the Fellowship is to support the international climate negotiations through the provision, synthesis, translation or interpretation of scientific evidence. 

Applications are invited on the topic of agriculture and climate change: adaptation and resilience and mitigation – from any disciplines, including social sciences, natural sciences, engineering, arts and humanities. The scope of proposals must be of direct practical relevance to the deliberations at COP26 and support the objectives of the COP.

Agriculture and climate change are long-term issues and so, in addition to the research and impact activities, the fellow will also produce a plan that is future looking, considering how to secure long-term impact from the project.

Organisation

The fellowship is awarded through the Grantham Institute, Imperial College London (ICL), and will work closely with an existing group of four COP26 Fellows funded by the ESRC-funded Place-Based Climate Action Network (PCAN). Together, these five Fellows will be part of the UK’s COP26 Universities Network run by the Grantham Institute and led by Alyssa Gilbert. The network will ensure strong connectivity across the UK academic community and take advantage of the existing connections the network has with the COP26 Presidency, and other key stakeholders in civil society and business. The fellowships will form the nucleus of a broader programme of coordinated outputs and events by UK universities ahead of COP26.

Each fellowship will have its own deliverables, but the universities network also plans some overarching activities, to which the COP26 Fellows will be expected to contribute (e.g. joint policy briefs, public engagement and workshops with policy makers). 

Training and some expert advice may be available to help support the Fellows build relevant engagement skills and deliver impact.

Eligibility

Successful applicants are in an existing employment contract with a UK Higher Education Institution and enjoy the support of their employer.  Applications are welcome from both junior and senior researchers.  All fellows must have completed their PhDs.

The proposed activities must be relevant to the COP26 process and timed accordingly. As such, the emphasis will likely be on research synthesis, engagement, training and knowledge co-creation, rather than primary academic research. However, we expect many of the insights from the fellowships to be published in peer-reviewed journals in due course.  The standard UKRI expectations on data management, research ethics and reporting apply. 

Budget

The overall budget for the fellowship is £58,000 with overheads capped at £7000.

The budget envelope is inclusive of overheads and estate costs. Funds may be used to cover salaries, research assistance, engagement activities, travel and other research expenses.

The fellowship is expected to take place during the academic year 2021 / 22 for at least 6 months, and COP26 fellows are expected to commit a significant part of their time to COP26 activities.

As an illustration, fellowship bids might look as follows:

  • a Fellowship for an early career researcher might comprise of 0.8 FTE for the Fellow over 8 months plus a small research fund for travel and publications.
  • a Senior Fellowship for an experienced researcher might comprise of 0.2 FTE of the Senior Fellow plus an allocation for research assistance and a small research fund.

Timeline

The Fellowship will be awarded during the academic year 2020/21, covering the pre-COP26 process, COP26 itself and (depending on when it is held) the period immediately after COP.

This implies the following timeline:

  • Deadline for applications: 27 June 2021
  • Notification of awards: 12 July 2021
  • Start of the fellowships: mid-July 2021

Criteria for assessment

Proposals will be assessed according to the following criteria:

  1. Relevance: A research topic that is relevant to COP26 and related priorities in the coming 1-3 years.
  2. Track record: A solid track record in research and engagement, commensurate with the candidate’s level of experience.
  3. Excellence: An ambitious, rigorous and original project that combines research and engagement in a novel and effective way.
  4. Impact: A clear pathway to impact and excellent potential for impact within the timescales of the project.

The selection process is managed by a panel spanning the Grantham Institute, led by Alyssa Gilbert, Director of Policy and Translation, and Dr Alina Averchenkova (COP26 Fellowship coordinator, London School of Economics and Political Science).

How to submit

The proposal documents are kept deliberately light to encourage a large and diverse set of applications.  Candidates are expected to:

Proposals should be submitted via email to l.read@imperial.ac.uk. The deadline for submissions is 27 June 2021.

The fellowship will be awarded solely on the basis of that submission. There will be no rebuttal, interview or second stage submission. 

For further questions about the COP26 Fellowships or the submission process please contact a.gilbert@imperial.ac.uk.  

Official Website: COP26 Fellowship in Agriculture and Climate Change

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