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COP Climate Action Studio


SCENARIO Doctoral Training Centre, Walker Institute

Project Team

Prof Ros Cornforth, Dr Lucy Wallace, Prof John Methven


SCENARIO Doctoral Training Centre, Walker Institute




UK; Germany; Morocco; Poland

Key Contact

Prof Ros Cornforth, Walker Institute


PhD, Climate Change, UN, UNFCCC, COP, COP 23, COP 24, Doctoral Students




The COP Climate Action Studio (COP CAS) enables doctoral students to remotely participate in the annual UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) Conference of Parties in real time. This programme is a partnership between the SCENARIO Doctoral Training Centre and the Walker Institute.

The COP CAS aims to facilitate the development of key skills surrounding interdisciplinary working, and provide direct experience of how researchers can successfully engage with other stakeholders. Participation in COP CAS provides SCENARIO students with exposure to the latest ideas in policy and practice, and enhancing their abilities to work with users of research.

As part of the programme, students receive training in a number a workshops to help them develop the skills needed to engage with and disseminate some of the key ideas and issues they are exposed to.

The students work together as a group to decide which parts of the COP programme they think will be most useful for them to engage with. This process will be facilitated by the Walker Institute and, as well as developing the skillset of the SCENARIO students, the outputs from this enable a range of stakeholders to follow the conference in a range of formats.

SCENARIO doctoral students will be challenged to work directly with stakeholders, in a way that is truly meaningful to the user community.

The COP CAS directly supports and strengthens the interaction between participating SCENARIO doctoral students and relevant user communities by encouraging students to engage in a more interdisciplinary sphere with a range of academic and non-academic stakeholders. This process helps to change traditional academic practice, producing a cohort of forward-thinking students who are comfortable engaging in the policy and practice arenas to make a real difference to real issues with their research.

The SCENARIO students who participate become both producers and users of the new knowledge they gain from the COP CAS project.


This year, the COP Climate Action Studio at the Walker Institute will be operating from 6–17 November 2017. COP23 will take place in Bonn, Germany. There will be a competition in September to send two doctoral students to the actual conference. All students who register for the programme will get the opportunity to participate remotely via the Climate Action Studio, and will benefit from workshops before and after, which will be used to build skills in communications, as well as enhance understanding of the role of research in policy and practice.

Part of the remote participation experience for COP23 will include access to an innovative prototype robot avatar developed by Deutsche Telekom. The robot will be physically located at COP23, on the Walker exhibition stand, with the user-VR technology located in the Climate Action Studio at the Walker Institute. This extra dimension will provide a unique immersive experience enabling the students to interact with people visiting the exhibition stand.