Fiji National University (FNU) academic Dr Ravita Prasad has been selected from a world competitive scheme to be a member of the Commonwealth Futures Climate Research Cohort, which is established by a partnership between the Association of Commonwealth Universities and the British Council.

This unique research cohort will bring together 26 young researchers from 14 different countries around the globe to develop researchers’ skills and knowledge through a series of virtual workshops throughout the year on climate change.

The workshops will focus on, amongst other things, research leadership, how to engage with multiple non-academic stakeholders to share knowledge, and how to make a research impact. It will prepare Early Career Researchers to effectively conduct research-to-action projects and contribute to policy development and improving practices on climate change.

Apart from these workshops, the researchers will also be supported by senior climate-focused academics to mentor them throughout the year. These young researchers will also be supported with seed funding to undertake peer-led research-to-action projects on climate change.

Dr Prasad will also participate in the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow this November funded by the Association of Commonwealth Universities subject to travel and attendance dependent on COVID-19 guidance and restrictions.

“I feel honoured and excited at the same time to be part of this international research cohort and the COP26,” said Dr Prasad.“I am looking forward to meeting other participants and learn more about their area of research and interests. Being a participant of the COP26 will allow me to learn to understand other participants’ experiences in climate research.”Dr Prasad mentioned that being part of this research cohort will also give her the chance to be mentored by experts in specialised research areas.

“Professionally, it will build my network with other researchers in the same field as mine. It will develop my research leadership skills together with my expertise on how to conduct research-to-action projects.”

FNU’s Pro-Vice-Chancellor Research Professor Mohini Singh congratulated Dr Ravita Prasad on being selected to be a member of the Commonwealth Futures Climate Research Cohort and funded to attend the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow this year.

She said that Dr Ravita Prasad competed with applicants from around the world to win her place on this research cohort funded by the Association of Commonwealth Universities and the British Council.

“Climate change is an important topic for Fiji, for which Dr Ravita Prasad will gain substantial experience and knowledge by participating in the workshops set up for this Commonwealth Futures Climate Research Cohort which she will impart to climate change policy developers,  to the Government of Fiji and her colleagues at FNU.”

“I am very proud to see an early career researcher from FNU being selected and funded by the Association of Commonwealth Universities and the British Council to represent Fiji at this international research cohort and the United Nations COP26 Conference 2021. FNU is very proud of the calibre of its early career researchers who are future leaders shaping the landscape in Fiji in one or more disciplines, in this case on climate change,” said Professor Singh.

Dr Prasad, who teaches at FNU’s College of Engineering, Science and Technology (CEST), also scooped the FNU Vice Chancellor’s Research Excellence and Teaching Excellence Awards in 2020.

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