The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has pledged support for two international postgraduate students as they tackle global challenges around climate change at Oxford.

A gift of £110,000 from the IPCC is enabling the creation of two new scholarships for students accepted onto the University’s Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) in Environmental Research. The scholarships will allow DPhil students from developing countries – those most affected by climate change – to access the world-leading research environment of Oxford.

Floods are made more likely by the more extreme weather patterns caused by long-term global climate change. Photo by Pok Rie/Pexels

During their studies the scholars will explore our understanding of the scientific basis of the risks of climate change, its potential impacts, and options for adaptation and mitigation. They will also build the skill sets they require to support the efforts and address the needs of their home countries in tackling major environmental challenges.

The scholarships are being co-funded by the IPCC and the DTP, through its partnership with the Natural Environment Research Council.

A world-class training ground

The Doctoral Training Partnership in Environmental Research is a world-class training ground for students working across the breadth and at the frontiers of environmental research. Thesis topics are offered across three core streams of research (the physical climate system; biodiversity, ecology and evolutionary processes; and dynamic Earth, surface processes and natural hazards), with supervisors based in nine participating departments.

One significant benefit of carrying out a DPhil through the doctoral training partnership is the opportunity for students to develop projects in collaboration with partner organisations. These are located across the globe and can provide access to facilities, equipment, fieldwork sites, data and collections of materials and samples. Current partners of the DTP in Environmental Research include the Natural History Museum (London), Save the Elephants (Kenya) and the European Space Agency.

Thanks to the IPCC’s support, students who may not otherwise have the opportunity to attend Oxford will have access to this unique approach to doctoral study – empowering them to create solutions to critical environmental challenges and achieve their academic potential.

Supporting the next generation of thought leaders

Professor David Gavaghan, Director of Oxford University’s Doctoral Training Centre, said: ‘We are very excited to receive this very generous support from the IPCC which will allow international students from all backgrounds to undertake advanced research in this area of critical global importance. Oxford has a long history of academic associations with the IPCC, and we are delighted to deepen our relationship by supporting the next generation of academics and thought leaders.’

Established in 1988, the IPCC is the United Nations body for assessing the science related to climate change. Mr Abdalah Mokssit, Secretary of the IPCC, said: ‘In 2007 the IPCC was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for its efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change. The IPCC Scholarship Programme was established with the funds received from the Nobel Peace Prize award. Partnering with the University of Oxford will contribute to further strengthening the scholarship programme towards achieving its aim and objectives.’