Strategy 2023 - 2026
Actionable knowledge for transformation
Climate change is one of the greatest threats to life on our planet. Despite a growing focus on the problem, modern society is not currently on a path towards meeting the commitments of the Paris Agreement to limit warming to 1,5 degrees.
There is substantial knowledge concerning the behavioural changes, policies, energy infrastructures and technologies required to tackle climate change. Now is the time to prioritize action that sets fundamental change in motion.
At the Centre for Climate and Energy Transformation (CET), we think of such change as sustainability transformation. This is a deliberate process that alters the political, cultural, economic, and social characteristics of society in a way that makes us more sustainable. Transformation must be driven by a commitment to democracy and justice. As researchers, this means we must have an intentional approach to what we conduct research on, how we do that research and how we create impact.
CET aims to produce actionable knowledge that can inform policy and practice about how to achieve rapid, just and deep transformation of society to mitigate climate change.
Goal 1: CET produces high-quality research on climate and energy transformation
1.1 Research on social implications of transformation.
Steps to mitigate climate change can reinforce social inequalities and conflict. We, therefore, need to gain a better understanding of the social, political, and cultural implications of transformation towards climate sustainability. We focus on the ways climate change and transformation are experienced and acted upon by individuals, communities, policymakers and organisations.
1.2 Locally grounded, internationally focused.
We recognize the importance of understanding the role of local context in empirical research, and of acknowledging the key role local actors can play in transformation. We are particularly focused on understanding transformations in our own city, region and country. Being locally grounded allows us to engage in networks, partnerships and projects at the highest international levels. Our international research focus can stimulate local action by sharing lessons and experiences from elsewhere.
1.3 Creating capacity for high-quality research.
High-quality research is a collaborative effort, often involving researchers from all career stages. A key function of CET is to train and involve early career researchers. We prioritise connecting senior and early career researchers in all parts of the research process, including academic publications. We have strong research clusters on governance, urban and regional change, media studies, public perception, and energy transformation and will work to strengthen these clusters further.
1.4 High-quality international publications.
We work to foster a culture of high-quality research and scientific writing among academic staff at the centre, affiliates and through our research partnerships. CET aims to publish research findings in highly ranked scientific journals.
1.5 Expanding the notion of research ‘impact’.
While scientific publications are important in academia, assessment of what constitutes high-quality research should not be limited to impact factors alone. We think of communication, critical debate and capacity building as integral parts of what makes good research. The research process does not end when it reaches the pages of a journal.
1.6 Making use of interdisciplinarity and diversity.
To help mitigate climate change it is necessary to make use of perspectives from different disciplines and researchers with different backgrounds. Interdisciplinary research and diversity enable us to better understand complex problems and to investigate questions from different points of view. We seek out collaboration from a variety of academic and non-academic perspectives.
Goal 2: CET’s research helps advance transformation towards a sustainable society
2.1 Actionable knowledge production.
Interaction with stakeholders, social actors and decision-makers throughout the research process makes our research questions more relevant and our analyses more insightful. This increases the likelihood that our research contributes to transformation. We will seek to coproduce knowledge with decision-makers and other stakeholders whenever this is appropriate.
2.2 Prioritising communication.
We will take advantage of the broad expertise of CET researchers from various disciplines in contributing to relevant public debate. We will communicate research findings to, and engage with, public and private decision-makers, organisations and society as a whole. Knowledge will be communicated in appropriate formats and in a way that makes it relevant to stakeholders and the public. We will prioritise, incentivise and train our researchers in engaging with the media, stakeholders and actors in society.
2.3 Partnerships beyond academia.
CET has already established good working relations and project collaborations with several local and regional institutions and private sector actors. We will maintain and strengthen these relations and actively engage with new public and private stakeholders, nongovernmental organizations and relevant national level governance agencies.
2.4 Sustainable research practices.
CET will strive to lead by example through research with as little environmental impact and carbon footprint as possible. The CET Low-carbon Travel Policy will be a guide to reducing GHG emissions from CET activities, including food, waste and the digital carbon footprint. This policy will be revised and updated in the strategy period.
Goal 3: CET is an open knowledge hub that attracts and fosters researchers
3.1 A great place to work.
Researchers do their best work in places with an open exchange of ideas, where there is a friendly and inclusive atmosphere, and where setbacks are seen as a normal part of academic life. This is particularly the case with early career researchers, who often face multiple pressures. CET will be a place where everyone has the best opportunities to succeed. We encourage appropriate work-life balance and mutual support.
3.2 A knowledge hub for interdisciplinary research.
CET will be an active meeting place for research on climate and energy transformation at the University of Bergen, NORCE and NHH. We will create areanas for researchers, students and users of research, both in person and virtually. This includes hosting regular seminars and scientific conferences, as well as workshops and other meetings for knowledge exchange, discussions, idea generation and project development. We will engage our alumni in our network and activities.
3.3 Interdisciplinary education.
CET will provide a supportive and stimulating learning environment for both PhD and master students. Whenever possible, we will pursue innovative teaching methods that engage students with societal challenges. We will seek to participate in relevant teaching and education programs across the university. We will support efforts to bring together students, researchers, and practitioners in innovative, interdisciplinary and problem-oriented forms of education.
3.4 Intersectionality, inclusion and gender.
We welcome and encourage diversity. We want CET to be a workspace where everyone feels safe to be who they are and have a sense of belonging. We will continue to encourage open and respectful conversations about gender and diversity, and to examine our own biases and privileges. We will organize seminars where we discuss and educate ourselves on these topics. We will strive towards gender balance and diversity at all levels, including the CET leadership group, steering committee, recruitment positions and in the involvement of researchers in project proposals and events.