Stakeholder integrated research (STIR): a new approach tested in climate change adaptation research


Ensuring active participation of stakeholders in scientific projects faces many challenges. These range from adequately selecting stakeholders, overcoming stakeholder fatigue, and dealing with the limited time available for stakeholder engagement, to interacting with, and integrating, the research itself. At the same time, stakeholder participation is seen as a key component in developing research results that are conclusive to political and societal decision-making, and conducive to practical application. This article puts forward the Stakeholder Integrated Research (STIR) approach, designed to address these challenges by proving a structured method for stakeholder engagement in research. An assessment of the stakeholder engagement process within the CLIMSAVE project, including evaluations by participating stakeholders, is used to illustrate the STIR approach, highlighting its value for improving stakeholder involvement within two case studies of a highly complex climate change adaptation project. In comparison to other approaches, STIR directly addresses major stakeholder engagement challenges and simultaneously covers new ground to provide an encompassing and structured approach for integrating stakeholder engagement in research. Further attention needs to be given to involving stakeholder in project set-up and over the course of multiple years, as well as to improving stakeholder-science data translation.

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Fig. 1


  1. 1.

    “Climate change integrated methodology for cross-sectoral adaptation and vulnerability in Europe”, CLIMSAVE was a multinational research project funded under the European Union 7th Framework Programme.

  2. 2.

    All quotes used in this paper are taken from the stakeholder evaluations, which were conducted as described in section “Stakeholder integrated research (STIR): implementation and evaluation”.


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The authors would like to express their thanks to the participating stakeholders for their active and continued engagement.

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Correspondence to Marc Gramberger.

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This article is part of a Special Issue on “Regional Integrated Assessment of Cross-sectoral Climate Change Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability” with Guest Editors Paula A. Harrison and Pam M. Berry.

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Gramberger, M., Zellmer, K., Kok, K. et al. Stakeholder integrated research (STIR): a new approach tested in climate change adaptation research. Climatic Change 128, 201–214 (2015).

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  • Climate Change Adaptation
  • Adaptation Option
  • Stakeholder Engagement
  • Engagement Process
  • Workshop Series