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Towards a more integrated role for early career researchers in the IPCC process


The involvement of early career researchers (ECRs) has been limited during the past Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assessment cycles. We conducted a global survey among ECRs and interviewed key experts of the IPCC process. Our results show that ECRs are highly motivated to become actively involved in the IPCC process but face a number of barriers to contribute. Mutually beneficial ways forward on how ECRs could contribute are outlined here, and recommendations to implement these paths are suggested to IPCC as well as to ECRs. Concluding, we show that ECRs have great potential to actively contribute to the IPCC process for the continuity of the IPCC as well as to climate science in general.

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We wish to acknowledge Future Earth and the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) who supported the participation of the majority of the co-authors of this paper in the Future-Earth-PROVIA-IPCC workshop “Integrated research on climate risk and sustainable solutions across IPCC working groups: Lessons learnt from AR5 to support AR6” held from 29 to 31 August 2016 in Stockholm, Sweden. This workshop sparked the idea to conduct this study. Furthermore, we wish to thank the interviewees for sharing their perspectives and for their valuable time. Additionally, we kindly thank all the distributors and respondents to our global survey. We also acknowledge the role of the Young Earth System Scientists (YESS) community for bringing ECRs together to facilitate research collaborations of this kind. The authors wish to thank the anonymous referees for their valuable comments and helpful advice to improve the manuscript. We are also very thankful for the English language editing made by Dr. Fiona Tummon. This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

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Correspondence to Gaby Langendijk.

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This study complied with all relevant ethical standards and received letters of consent from all interviewees to publish this research.

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Gulizia, C., Langendijk, G., Huang-Lachmann, J. et al. Towards a more integrated role for early career researchers in the IPCC process. Climatic Change (2019).

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  • Early career researchers (ECRs)
  • IPCC process
  • Climate science