AIMS NEI Fellowship Program for Women in Climate Change Science

The AIMS NEI Fellowship Program for Women in Climate Change Science (WiCCS) seeks to increase the participation and the contribution of women to a more sustainable societal response to climate change.

This fellowship program was made possible by a grant from the International Development Research Centre, Ottawa, Canada, www.idrc.ca, and financial support from the Government of Canada, provided through Global Affairs Canada (GAC), www.international.gc.ca. It is part of a broader effort by AIMS NEI to build the intellectual capital needed to better our understanding of the causes of climate change in Africa, and to solve the myriad challenges to Africa’s development resulting from climate change.

Established in 2017, the first call for applications attracted 14 highly competitive applications and eventually, three fellowships were awarded to dynamic women scientists working in the area of climate change science and its related disciplines. By the end of 2021, 20 fellowships in total would have been awarded to outstanding women working on (i) revealing the triggers of our changing climate; (ii) mapping past, current and future climate patterns; (iii) increasing our knowledge of the impacts of these climate patterns on humanity and life on earth; (iv) providing recommendations and solutions on how best to adapt, mitigate or increase our resilience to climate change and its associated impacts, etc.

Highlights

Meet the first cohort of Women in Climate Change Science and learn about their research

The first cohort of Women in Climate Change Science had the privilege to interact with the Canadian Minister of International Development during her visit to AIMS Rwanda in November, 2018

Current call for applications

We are pleased to open the second call for application for the AIMS NEI Fellowship program for Women in Climate Change Science. The application deadline is the 28 February 2019, 23:59 CAT.

Climate change represents one of humanity’s greatest challenges of the 21st century. The continued ascent of our species depends to a significant extent on our ability to limit further catastrophic changes to the climate and to adapt to both past and future changes. In many parts of the world, changes in climatic variables – including incessant increases in temperature and declines in precipitation – are already having detrimental impacts on food security, human health, energy, biodiversity, etc. Some of these impacts further alter the climate – e.g. plant biodiversity loss reduces CO2sequestration, contributing to temperature rises – creating positive feedback loops with increasingly perilous consequences for humanity.

It is recognized, including by international institutions like the United Nations, that a sustainable societal response to these challenges requires the collective participation of both men and women. However, women have historically had fewer opportunities than men to play significant roles in society’s quest for solutions to climate change. This is despite the fact that in many parts of the world women’s livelihoods are more dependent on climate-sensitive services afforded by natural ecosystems, making them more vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.

The AIMS NEI Fellowship Program for Women in Climate Change Science (WiCCS) seeks to increase the participation and the contribution of women to a more sustainable societal response to climate change. This fellowship program was made possible by a grant from the International Development Research Centre, Ottawa, Canada, www.idrc.ca, and financial support from the Government of Canada, provided through Global Affairs Canada (GAC), www.international.gc.ca. It is part of a broader effort by AIMS NEI to build the intellectual capital needed to better our understanding of the causes of climate change in Africa, and to solve the myriad challenges to Africa’s development resulting from climate change.

Applications are invited from outstanding female scientists currently residing anywhere in the world. Successful applicants are expected to execute in a suitable African host institution a self-initiated project with the potential to contribute significantly to the understanding of climate change and its impacts, and/or to the development and implementation of innovative, empirically grounded policies and strategies for mitigation, adaptation, and/or resilience.

Because mathematics is important for establishing rigorous linkages between observations, their explanations, and the evidence needed to support impactful decision-making, preference will be given to applicants proposing projects that make substantive use of the mathematical sciences, be it for modelling climate change, quantifying its impacts, evaluating the cost-effectiveness of interventions, designing experiments, analysing data, or other relevant activities.

Click here to access the full call for applications

To be eligible, applicants must be:

    • female;
    • in possession before the fellowship start date of a doctorate in a quantitative discipline, including, but not limited to, applied mathematics, climatology, physics, computational chemistry, statistical ecology, computer science, theoretical biology, and engineering;
    • currently employed on either a permanent or a temporary basis, in a non-profit work environment, including government;
    • actively engaged in research, policy, and/or practice relevant to climate change modelling, mitigation, adaptation, and/or resilience and among others; and
    • the lead and/or senior author of at least one refereed publication on a topic relevant to climate change modelling, understanding the causative factors of climate change, climate change mitigation, adaptation, and/or resilience etc.

To apply, please complete and submit by the 28 February 2019, 23:59 CAT, this online application form to which the following documents should be attached:

  • a completed personal details form, including a detailed budget for all non-project-related activities;
  • a completed project proposal form, including a detailed budget for all project-related activities;
  • a curriculum vitae; and
  • an electronic copy of a representative publication in climate change modelling, it causes, climate change mitigation, adaptation and/or resilience on which the applicant is the lead and/or senior author.

Supporting documents should be saved as a pdf in the format: “name of the researchprogram_type of_document_AIMSentity/centre_monthyear of applying_first and last name of applicant.” For instance, “MS4CR fellowship_application form_AIMSNEI_Dec2018_SarahJake”.

Applicants should request that three confidential letters of support be emailed to ms4cr-fellows@nexteinstein.org, using as subject: “MS4CR fellowship application support letter-first and last name of applicant” by the application deadline. Two of these letters should come from the applicant’s immediate supervisor at her home institution and the named collaborator at her proposed host institution. At least one letter should come from a referee who is qualified to assess the applicant’s experience in climate change research, practice, and/or policy. You should share with your referees a copy of the ‘Terms of Reference for Fellows’ and the ‘Instructions for Referees’ document.

These can be downloaded on the website at the following links:

 

 

All complete applications received by the application deadline will be screened for relevance by a Fellowship Oversight Committee. The Oversight Committee will send each application to at least two reviewers for reviewing and scoring based on a defined soring sheet. The reviewers’ scores and associated comments will be forwarded to an International Selection Committee. This Selection Committee will select and interview a subset of the applicants, and then choose and recommend to AIMS NEI about four applicants deemed most qualified to receive a WiCCS fellowship. All reviews done by the Selection Committee members and other reviewers will be based on the following criteria:

  • Quality of applicant: academic qualifications; quality of publications; experience in climate change-related work; real-world impact and recognition (e.g. through awards) of prior work.
  • Quality of proposed project: relevance to climate change modelling, practice and policy; strength of connection to the mathematical sciences; experience of applicant in project topic; quality of project design; feasibility; suitability of proposed host institution environment and of named collaborator; quality and realism of budget projections.
  • Potential impact of proposed project on scientific knowledge, practice and policy.

International Selection Committee:

Prof Jean Palutikof (Chair)

    • Founding Director, National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility (NCCARF), Griffith University, Australia; former Head, Technical Support Unit, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Working Group II (Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability); former Professor and Director, Climatic Research Unit, University of East Anglia, UK; lead author and review editor for several IPCC assessment reports.

Prof Babatunde J Abiodun

      • Associate Professor and Coordinator of Atmospheric Science Programme, Department of Environmental & Geographical Science, University of Cape Town, South Africa; Adjunct Professor, University of Missouri, Kansas City, USA; lead author on IPCC’s fifth assessment report, Working Group I (physical scientific basis of climate change); recipient of the prestigious Stanley Jackson Award from the South African Society for Atmospheric Sciences, 2013.

Dr Georgina Cundill

        • Senior Program Officer, International Development Research Center (IDRC), Canada. Research Associate at Rhodes University, South Africa. Co-lead of the Collaborative Governance and Management working group, Program for Ecosystem Change and Society. Science committee member for ecoSERVICES, Future Earth; Steering committee for Adaptation Futures 2018.

Dr Fatima Driouech

          • Head, National Climate Centre, National Meteorology Directorate, Morocco; IPCC Vice-Chair, Working Group I; co-Chair, World Meterological Organisation Climate Monitoring and Assessment Program (OPACE 2); lead author on IPCC’s fifth assessment report, Work Group I.

Prof Gina Ziervogel

            • Associate Professor, Department of Environmental & Geographical Science and Research Chair at the African Climate and Development initiative (ACDI), University of Cape Town, South Africa; South Africa’s Distinguished Young Woman Researcher in Humanities and Science, 2015; editorial board member, Oxford Research Encyclopaedia of Natural Hazard Science; lead author on IPCC’s Special report on extreme events and disasters.

For more information about the selection process and the committees mentioned above, please consult the following documents:

 

The fellowship is worth up to USD 35,000. The exact amount of the fellowship will be specified at the time of the award. This amount will be paid to the Fellow in three installments in accordance with a schedule that will be defined at the time of the award. Fellows must submit accurate banking details (using the form provided below) to avoid undue delays in receiving their fellowship payments.

Fellows will be required to submit quarterly reports on their progress using the reporting template provided below. These reports must be co-signed by the named collaborator at the Fellow’s host institution. Fellowship payments will be withheld from Fellows who fail to submit complete and accurate progress reports in a timely manner.

In the event that a Fellow needs to take a break from her tenure of the fellowship to continue at a later time, she must submit a written request to extend her fellowship tenure using the form provided below. Such extensions will be granted only under exceptional circumstances and at no additional cost to AIMS NEI. In such cases, a new agreement letter specifying the fellowship resumption date as well as modified reporting and payment schedules will be issued to the fellow.