ResClim popular summary
The Norwegian Research School in Climate Dynamics (ResClim) has from 2009 to 2017 offered training for PhD students and their supervisors to produce world-class climate researchers. The goal has been to foster a new generations of climate scientists in climate research, prepared with in-depth knowledge of climate dynamics, its components and interactions, and with an understanding of the political and societal impacts of climate change, as well as a set of transferrable skills such as project management, networking and collaboration, communication and presentation skills, and ethics.
At the end of ResClim in 2017, a total of 107 former PhD students have graduated and 97 are still on track towards their PhD degree. As far as we know only 3 students have terminated their contract and started in new jobs before completing their PhD. 10 former students are currently working in research institutions outside Norway, the rest are in Norway. 42 are in governmental institutions, 30 are in the institute sector, and only 6 are in the private sector.
The gender distribution among alumni and on-going students has been 54 % female and 46 % male. 53 supervisors have been affiliated to ResClim. 30 related to UiB (9 female), 9 to UIO (1 female), 10 to UiT (6 female) and 4 to UNIS. The gender distribution among the supervisors has been of 30 % female. Although skewed, this is still better than for senior personnel at our partner institutions. Our international advisory council has had 3 female and 2 male members.
An important task for ResClim has been to create a national network in climate. Each year in March, all ResClim members (students, supervisors, the International Evaluation Board, the Steering Committee and administration) have been invited to a 3-4 days meeting. Here all students have presented their research as either lecture or poster, and there have been activities for both students and supervisors including transferable skills training and social interactions. The meetings have been in Geilo, in Bergen, at Hurtigruten (x2), at Sommarøya near Tromsø, at Oscarsborg near Oslo, and in Sund and Os near Bergen.
Due to the funding from RCN, ResClim has been able to organise a long list of activities for our students. Climate research is evolving fast, and there is a need for interdisciplinary skills, in-depth skills, as well as creativity in both problem solving and outreach. This requires new types of research training than what is traditionally provided. To meet this demand, we have provided our students with advanced, in-depth theoretical skills, a multitude of transferable skills, and also to some degree hands-on field experiences. While some of the activities
have been organised only once, many of the courses have been provided regularly throughout the course of the school. In total we have organised 49 intensive courses and workshops. The total of participants have been 588, whereof 411 from ResClim. Our PhD students have found the courses very useful and many have participated in multiple courses.
ResClim has organised, or co-organised, a series of summer schools. The Advanced Courses in Climate Dynamics (ACDC) summerschools, aimed at advanced graduate students, has been organised every year since 2009 in Norway, Iceland, Greenland, Canada, or the US. So far, 191 participants from institutions in 12 countries have completed the summer school, and the school has got the reputation of being the best in the world in its field. ResClim has also organised a summer school with more than 60 participants at Svalbard, and co-organised several others in Norway, Austria, Italy and South Africa.
From ResClim there have been several spin-off activities organised by the students. An annual Nordic PhD conference started as collaboration between ResClim students and students at the Bert Bolin Centre at Stockholm University, but now also involves students from Denmark. The conference is for PhD students only, with the exception of sometimes specially invited external experts. The conference started in 2014, and has had between 22 and 36 participants.
Another ResClim legacy is the writing skills community ClimateSnack. This has been developed over the past 5 years with substantial financial and moral support for ResClim. There are now groups several places in Europe and US that write popular scientific texts, peer-review them, and finally post them on http://www.scisnack.com/. Many of the texts have also been published in newspapers and magazines.
We are very pleased to see that most of the ResClim activities have been taken over by the new Research school on changing climates in the coupled earth system CHESS. We would finally thank the Research Council for the generous funding support to ResClim and for fruitful collaboration for more than 8 years.
The proposal for a Norwegian Research School in Climate Dynamics is a direct response to the "Nasjonale forskerskoler" call from the Norwegian Research Council. It is based on a truly national network of 10 institutes in Bergen, Oslo, Tromsø, and Svalbard , including all major institutes that educate PhD students trained in the physical and chemical components of the climate system. In total almost 50 students and near 40 seniors scientist will be involved.
Climate change has led to an increasing demand from society on the climate research community for improved scenarios, reduced uncertainties, and more reliable data for mitigation and impact studies. To meet this demand, fundamental research on the physics and chemistry of the various components of the climate system and their mutual interactions is pivotal. This requires candidates that have strong in-depth knowledge in their specific parts of the climate system, but at the same time have sufficient broad knowledge to comprehend the overall picture, c an communicate with experts from other disciplines, and are able to transfer their knowledge to the non-scientists. This requires skills that have not previously been properly addressed in national research training.
In order to strengthen the national research training, the school will coordinate a wide range of activities, including (1) short, intensive courses with international expert lecturers; (2) Specialized workshops and summer schools in collaboration with international partners; (3) One biannu al event designed to expose the students in climate dynamics to the multidisciplinary challenges of climate change to societies and ecosystems; (4) One annual meeting for all PhD students, supervisors, and members of the international advisory board; (5) Support participation at conferences and promote outreach activities, (6) Focus on network building and gender issues, and actively support and promote the female PhD students and scientists at all levels