The UK Climate Resilience Programme ran from 2019 to 2023

Embedded research offers all-round benefits

Twenty four organisations are participating in a call for UK-based academic researchers to apply for  29 funded placements with them on proposals to address aspects of climate resilience. 

Host organisations for the UK Climate Resilience Embedded Researcher scheme range from Anglian Water to the Church of England, along with government departments, place-based climate change partnerships and agencies, private companies, consultancies, banks and sub-national governments. 

From climate-smart marine management to high-impact weather and public health, the scheme offers a wide range of opportunities for researchers. Five 12-month placements are on offer in the current round but further placements are likely to be made available in 2021-2022. 

The Embedded Researcher scheme is offered through the UK Climate Resilience Programme, for which Priestley Centre researchers Prof Suraje Dessai and Dr Kate Lonsdale are Champions.  

As well as creating accessible, relevant and timely research findings for the Programme, the scheme is designed to challenge the idea that academic researchers are ‘knowledge producers’ and people making decisions in organisations are ‘end users’.  

Kate Lonsdale said: 

“We recognise that ‘end user’ organisations are also knowledge producers and that to enhance the effectiveness of decision-making we need to increase opportunities for collaboration and co-exploration of climate information relating to the research question identified by the host organisation.  

 Spending periods of time in the organisational setting and building relationships with, and immersing in, the culture and practices of the people shaping and making these decisions, is extremely valuable. The embedded researcher is able to better identify, describe and understand the decision-making context, what kind of climate information is needed and how it can most appropriately be used.  

 This should enhance the impact of research on policy and practice, and in turn, shape the future research agenda based on a more realistic understanding of knowledge needs.” 

 As well as co-producing new knowledge, the Embedded Researcher can play a number of other roles including: co-exploring existing knowledge; creating and sustaining learning forums and mechanisms; strengthening networks and building a learning culture; sharing lessons about adapting. 

Each researcher can apply for up to £70K (at 80% FEC). Funding will be awarded as a research grant to the researcher and profiled across 12 months from 1 September 2020; however, individual start dates at the host organisation, duration and working pattern of the placement should be flexible and negotiated between the researcher and host.
Full details of the host organisation opportunities and contact information for hosts can be found in the annexes on the UK Climate Resilience Programme website. Potential applicants must contact host organisations by no later than 11 May 2020, with hosts informing their preferred researcher candidate by 18 May 2020. 

The closing date for applications is now 16.00 on 10 June 2020 (please note: these deadlines replace previously published dates). 

 This blog was written by Kate Lock who leads on communications for the Champions team.