Four researchers have been awarded unique Fellowships to engage with the international climate negotiations in the run up to the 26th Conference of the Parties of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP26). The COP26 Fellowships, sponsored by UKRI through the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) were offered through the Place-Based Climate Action Network (PCAN) and support the international climate negotiations through the provision, synthesis, translation and interpretation of scientific evidence.  

The Fellows are embedded into the activities of the COP26 Universities Network run by the Grantham Institute at Imperial College London and led by Alyssa Gilbert, Director of Policy and Translation.  The Fellowships form the nucleus of a broader programme of coordinated outputs and events by UK universities ahead of COP26.

This page profiles the COP26 Fellows. Read about the outputs from their work.

Rebecca Ford

Dr Rebecca Ford is Chancellor’s Fellow and Senior Lecturer at the University of Strathclyde. She will be focussing on energy justice and how it can be embedded and aligned with other decision making areas to ensure a just transition. Dr Ford's work aligns evidence for a socially equitable energy transition with financial, environmental, and other outcomes.

Watch Rebecca's video

Thomas Hale

Dr Thomas Hale  is Associate Professor of Global Public Policy at the Blavatnik School of Government at the University of Oxford. He will be focussing on how cities, businesses, subnational and non-state actors can catalyse international climate policy. He is interested in how to build an ‘All Society’ COP that maximizes action from all different kinds of actors.

Watch Thomas's video

Jessica Omukuti

Dr Jessica Omukuti is is a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of York who has previously worked with the Green Climate Fund (GCF). Jessica will be focusing on the scaling up of climate finance and will include conducting an analysis of the Green Climate Fund's delivery of finance for adaptation to the local level in developing countries.

Watch Jessica's video

Harriet Thew

Dr Harriet Thew is a postgraduate researcher and graduate teaching associate at the University of Leeds. She has many years’ experience in youth participation in previous COPs. By working with young people and policymakers, her Fellowship will investigate how young people can drive forward a just transition towards Net Zero and contribute to a green recovery. 

Watch Harriet's video

Dr Stephen Whitfield

Dr Stephen Whitfield is an Associate Professor in Climate Change and Food Security at the University of Leeds. He will be focusing on improving equity and justice in agriculture transformation around the world, seeking to embed these principles in the work of the Koronivia Joint Working Group post COP26. 

Watch Stephen's video