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NERC climate scientists are invited to participate in a new public engagement, and professional development looking to engage young people with their environmental science research, and develop their digital and youth engagement capacity.

As a part of their contribution to COP26, NERC Public Engagement have commissioned a public engagement project that seeks to support young people in the UK who experience eco-anxiety to reshape new positive narratives about the future. Through a series of events and co-design activities, the project will look at how the actions and stories of young citizens and recent scientific advancements in decarbonisation fit together within a systemic picture.  

How you can be involved:

NERC are now inviting NERC researchers* to this unique professional development and engagement opportunity to work on the project with eco-anxious young people. Through a series of workshops with young people, you would be supported to share insights from your research and professional careers, engage young people in climate science, and develop your own public engagement skills including co-design, storytelling, digital communication and engagement with young people. 

*for this project Common Vision and NERC are inviting NERC researchers in the broadest sense to be involved including; PhD students, Early career researchers, and other roles involved in delivering NERC science research e.g. project managers, engagement staff etc.

To express interest in taking part, please email Matilda Agace, Research and Engagement Manager at our partners Common Vision – – and please copy in Hannah Lacey  NERC Public Engagement Programme Manager  no later than 4pm 7 September 2021

Time commitment:

NERC are seeking researchers who can commit to being involved for at least six months. In the first month (September) we envision this taking about a day of your time to feed into the project design and initial materials. From then on, we will require an afternoon or your time in October, December, and February. The total estimated time commitment will be no more than 3 days of your time between September 2021 and March 2022.

More about the project: 

The magnitude of the climate crisis and the mismatch between the scale of the problem and the power that any individual has to address it, has left many conscientious young people with feelings of eco-anxiety, anger and helplessness. While these feelings of helplessness may paralyse some young people, they can also be precursors to committed action and positive activism.

This public engagement project, funded by NERC, will examine the narratives which permeate and influence public understanding of climate change. It will draw on insights from environmental science research to understand and showcase the many different ways that citizens are already engaging with decarbonisation on their own terms, and how these individual actions can complement wider structural and systemic shifts. Through active storytelling exercises and live prototyping events we will engage young people in shaping new positive narratives about the future and co-designing materials which can be used to address eco-anxiety.

About the partners: 

This project is a collaboration between the following partners:

·        The project is funded by the National Environmental Research Council (NERC) the UK's largest funder of independent environmental science, training and innovation.

·         Common Vision is an independent think tank with a mission to unite people around long-term intergenerational goals and catalyse collaborative action and collective agency. Common Vision specialises in public dialogue and engagement and has a strong track record facilitating policy dialogue and civic leadership opportunities for young people.

 ·         Octophin Digital is a London-based digital agency working primarily within the wildlife conservation, arts and charity sectors.

 ·        Force of Nature is a youth non-profit mobilising mindsets for climate action. Force of Nature supports leaders across business, education and policy to centre young people in delivering intergenerational climate solutions.

·        Climate Cares is a team of researchers, designers, policy-makers and educators aiming to understand and support mental health in the current climate and ecological crises. Climate Cares is a collaboration between the Institute of Global Health Innovation and the Grantham Institute at Imperial College London.