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Climate Impacts Research Capacity and Leadership Enhancement (CIRCLE)

The Climate Impacts Research Capacity and Leadership Enhancement in Sub-Saharan Africa (CIRCLE) programme is an initiative of the UK's Department for International Development (DFID) to develop the skills and research output of early career African researchers in the field of climate change and its local impacts on development. The programme will also work with institutions to develop a coordinated and strategic approach to supporting early career researchers. CIRCLE has been allocated GBP 4.85 million over 5 years (2014-2018), and is managed by the ACU and the African Academy of Sciences (AAS).
Alongside the fellowships, an institutional strengthening programme (ISP) will be led by Vitae to strengthen capacity of the institutions involved in the programme to provide support for early career researchers. The position of researchers and their institutions within global academia will be further strengthened through guidance from the Quality Support Component (QSC), a consortium of internationally renowned institutions, led by the Natural Resources Institute at the University of Greenwich, UK. The consortium will advise on developing and disseminating the research that contributes to international discourse in the field.
This blog features research and updates from our CIRCLE Fellows and the institutions involved in the overall programme.
You can find out more by visiting our website: 

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CIRCLE Institutional Case Study: MOUAU

By Prof. Phillippa Ojimelukwe, Michael Okpara University of Agriculture Umudike (MOUAU)

When I saw the advertisement for the CIRCLE programme, I had little confidence that we would succeed in becoming a Home institution. I was uncertain we would be able to compete favourably with other well-established institutions; I also thought that the funders would be sceptical of lesser known institutions. Thankfully my fears were unfounded and the CIRCLE programme has been a revolutionary experience for Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Nigeria. We have benefitted both from the fellowship programme (with four fellows selected from MOUA) and the Institutional Strengthening Programme (ISP).  

The ISP has been transformative for our institution. We started with a detailed analysis of our institutional gaps and weaknesses. We aligned this with our university’s mandate - to lead the frontiers of research in agriculture for national development in a sustainable manner and to train high…

Research Uptake Discourse on Women, Entrepreneurship Development and Climate Change

By Dr Catherine Akinbami, Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria

In order to have a holistic approach, the economic, social and environmental issues which are interdependent aspects of a society must be considered within a unified framework so as to promote human welfare, especially in the rural areas. The consideration of the social dimension of climate change is important in order to ensure that human rights are not compromised as climate change impacts the fundamental security, lives, health and livelihoods of people, especially the most vulnerable. Also, greater consideration of the social dimension can enhance the effectiveness of mitigation and adaptation as well as the policies needed to drive them. 

On the 20th of April, stakeholders gathered at the Centre for Sustainable Development, University of Ibadan, Nigeria for a Policy Discourse on women, entrepreneurship development and climate change. The stakeholders comprised of policy makers from ministries (such as Women Affairs, Envi…

CIRCLE at the ACU Developing the Next Generation of Researchers workshop

By Verity Buckley - CIRCLE Programme Officer

In July 2017, I attended the ACUs Developing the Next Generation of Researchers workshop. Hosted by the University of Lagos, the workshop explored innovative approaches to academic mentoring and career development for emerging researchers. I was not only looking forward to the content of the event, but also the opportunity to meet with some of the CIRCLE Visiting Fellows (CVFs) who were helping to facilitate the programme. Eight CVFs were scheduled to deliver sessions on areas such as mentoring, research cooperation, professional development and the role of the researcher in a global research environment. The CVFs were well suited to deliver these sessions, having made substantial achievements and progress in their careers since completing their CIRCLE fellowship, despite facing a number of challenges.

Researchers face a range of obstacles throughout their careers, particularly during the early stages. The importance of immediately taking res…