Leeds Uni Partners with Indigenous Communities on Climate Science

New research into climate change will focus on the lived experience of Indigenous communities in the Arctic.

University of Leeds and Inuit researchers will look at ways to connect Indigenous knowledge with the science behind climate research in a ground-breaking new project.

The project is led by Professor James Ford, Chair in Climate Adaptation at the Priestley Centre for Climate Futures and has been awarded a prestigious European Research Council grant of £2.1 million. He is one of 255 research leaders across Europe to be awarded a ERC Advanced Grant, which were announced today.

Professor Ford will lead a team of scientists including University of Leeds and Inuit researchers, PhD students and Post-Doctoral Research Assistants.

This investment nurtures the next generation of brilliant minds. I look forward to seeing the resulting breakthroughs.

This new approach will be pioneered, applied and tested in the Arctic in partnership with Inuit communities in Canada, Greenland, and Alaska who will help to provide understanding of how their mobility is being affected by climate change.

Professor Ford said: "What is particularly exciting about this project is that it starts with the lived experiences and knowledge of community members, which provides the basis for directing modelling of climate impacts where we focus on climatic conditions that matter.

"While the project will be conducted in the Arctic which is the region seeing the most climate change globally, our broader goal is to establish what I describe as the ethnoclimatology approach as a centrepiece of climate risk research that seeks to meaningfully integrate qualitative and quantitative approaches."

The research project which has been named ETHNO-CLIM will be co-produced with Inuit communities according to their societal values and will build on over two decades of world-leading research which Professor Ford has undertaken with Indigenous communities across the Arctic and globally.

The expected start date for the project is September 2024 and the research will take five years to complete.

Scientific breakthroughs

The ERC funding is amongst the EU's most prestigious and competitive, providing leading senior researchers with the opportunity to pursue ambitious, curiosity-driven projects that could lead to major scientific breakthroughs. The new grants, worth in total nearly €652 million, are part of the EU's Horizon Europe programme.

Iliana Ivanova, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, said: "To all the new ERC grantees, my heartfelt congratulations! These grants will not only support leading researchers in pushing the boundaries of knowledge, but also create some 2500 jobs for postdoctoral fellows, PhD students and other research staff across Europe.

"This investment nurtures the next generation of brilliant minds. I look forward to seeing the resulting breakthroughs and fresh advancements in the years ahead."

President of the European Research Council Prof. Maria Leptin said: "Congratulations to the 255 researchers who will receive grants to follow their scientific instinct in this new funding round. I am particularly happy to see more mid-career scientists amongst the Advanced Grant winners this time. I hope that it will encourage more researchers at this career stage to apply for these grants."

/Public Release. This material from the originating organization/author(s) might be of the point-in-time nature, and edited for clarity, style and length. Mirage.News does not take institutional positions or sides, and all views, positions, and conclusions expressed herein are solely those of the author(s).View in full here.