Engagement Programme: Opportunities for funding

Do you have an idea for Engagement about the Deep South Challenge (DSC)?
Can you think of innovative ways to help New Zealanders to make more informed decisions about climate change research?
Are there new ideas that you'd like to test about climate change engagement?

Watch the video below, or read the following guidance, on ways to connect with the Engagement Programme through the Contestable funding process.

Overview of funding opportunities in the DSC Engagement Programme - with a focus on the 2017 Contestable Funding round.

How to get involved with the Engagement Programme

The goal of the DSC Engagement programme is to contribute to improving New Zealanders’ ability and capacity to make decisions informed by DSC-related research. This will be delivered by focusing on six engagement objectives, which are outlined in more depth in the DSC Engagement Strategy and Executive Summary.

People can help us to deliver on these Engagement Objectives by:
(1) submitting a proposal through the Expression of Intent process, for projects that will cost up to about $10k
(2) partnering with the Engagement Programme on delivery of its core programme, for example through work as a designer, writer, videographer, event facilitator etc
(3) applying for funding for a major project through the 2017 Contestable Funding Round.

Webinars about Engagement in the Contestable process

Two webinars specifically focused on development of Engagement projects for the Contestable Round will be held on Thursday January 26th, 11am, and Monday, February 13th, 2pm. To register for these please email DSC-Engagement@vuw.ac.nz.

Engagement funding through the Contestable process

There are three ways in which engagement can be included, and will be considered, in a Contestable proposal:

(1) Proposals for research into engagement about climate change, especially related to decision-making and adaptation.  These proposals will be assessed on research excellence as well as contribution to the Engagement Programme objectives. 

(2) Proposals that focus exclusively on engagement activities without an intention to contribute to academic research. These projects will be assessed on their ability to enable the Engagement Programme to meet its objectives.

(3) Proposals that focus primarily on research related to one or more of the other four DSC programmes and also include an engagement component. In this case, the research component will be assessed on science excellence and he engagement component will be assessed on its contribution to the Engagement Programme objectives.

More information about the criteria and process can be found under the 2017 Contestable Funding Round.

What kinds of projects might get funded?

We strongly encourage prospective applicants to read the DSC Engagement Strategy to ensure their proposal delivers on at least one of the Engagement Objectives. In many cases, a single proposal might deliver on more than one objective. Examples of the kinds of projects that would deliver on the objectives are below; they are intended only as illustrations.

Development and testing of new mechanisms to enable informed decision-making for key sectors

We would love to see proposals for new ideas that will enable informed decision-making about climate change and its impacts and implications. We are especially interested in projects that help the user to better understand the role of an Earth System Model and/ or the data that it produces, the impacts and implications of climate change that are projected by models, and decision options related to adaptation.

We are also specifically interested in engaging with sectors most affected by extreme weather; drought; sea level rise; and shifts in typical weather patterns. This includes, for example, finance, infrastructure and natural resources; marginalised or low-income communities; and sectors where New Zealand’s competitive advantage may be eroded by these impacts. We would also like to support efforts that lead to a broad geographic reach.

Examples of this kind of project include games, interactive websites, data visualisation tools, use of new technologies for decision-making, new approaches to workshopping and decision-making, or events targeted at a key sector that is currently under-served by DSC activities. We expect research projects into new mechanisms like this to involve some component of active engagement, and to therefore be assessed on both its research excellence and ability to deliver on the engagement objectives.

Major new public engagement projects

We strongly encourage science communication and public engagement professionals to consider submitting a proposal for a bold, innovative and exciting climate change engagement project - especially ones that enable the audience to better understand climate models, the connections between climate science and decision-making, or consideration of adaptation options.

We are especially interested in engaging members of the public who make decisions that could be influenced by an understanding about (DSC-relevant) climate change research. This is a wide scale, which spans individuals who may not currently take climate into consideration in any decisions, to individuals who might use climate data to make a specific decision. This definition encourages activities focused on young adults or families, but not those explicitly focused on school-children or curriculum development.

Examples of this kind of project include exhibitions, data visualisation projects that help to explain how models work, digitised representations that help users interrogate real climate data in a useable form, new and accessible approaches for conceptualising models, and trialling of innovative public engagement approaches to facilitate greater dialogue, co-creation, and empowerment in decision-making related to the impacts of climate change.

Building capability in climate change engagement

We are very interested in opportunities for training and support for a range of intermediaries and leaders to enable them to communicate more accurately and effectively, and facilitate climate change engagement events and activities across New Zealand. This includes both improving scientists’ ability to communicate effectively to various audiences and improving others’ (e.g., media, educators, arts community, community and sector leaders) understanding of climate change science and how it interfaces with decision-making.

While much of this work will be funded by the core Engagement programme, examples of projects that would complement this work include new mechanisms for up-skilling in facilitation and climate change science and the development of new products or processes that would make engagement easier for these climate "champions". This would include projects to make modeling and the NZESM more understandable to key audiences (including its strengths, limitations, scientific-ness, understanding projections, variability). Such a project would deliver on a number of Engagement programme objectives.

What next?

If you have an idea that you think might help the Engagement Programme to deliver on its objectives, please get in touch! 

Two webinars specifically focused on development of Engagement projects for the Contestable Round will be held on Thursday January 26th, 11am, and Monday, February 13th, 2pm. To register for these please email DSC-Engagement@vuw.ac.nz.

For more details, please contact the Engagement Team

Generic contact: DSC-Engagement@vuw.ac.nz
Engagement Programme Lead: Rhian.Salmon@vuw.ac.nz

About the Engagement Team

Date posted: 21/12/2016

News type: Update

Programme type: Engagement

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