The Degrees Modelling Fund
The modelling fund is an idea that was repeatedly raised and consistently supported at our workshops around the developing world. From Brazil to Bangladesh, participants said that they wanted local scientists to research the local impacts of SRM, while noting the absence of support for such work.
The design for the Degrees Modelling Fund (previously called the DECIMALS fund) was shaped by climate experts from across the Global South and some of the world’s leading SRM scientists. It was originally administered by The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS), which distributes more than $1M in research grants every year to support science across the developing world.
The launch of the Degrees Modelling Fund in April 2018 was accompanied by a Comment in Nature. A group of eminent Southern scholars and NGO leaders – all organisers of Degrees workshops in their respective countries – called for developing countries to play a leading role in SRM research and discussion.
The 2018 call for proposals
The first call returned 77 applications from 30 different developing countries. Following independent scientific review, eight grants were awarded to teams from Argentina, Bangladesh, Benin, Indonesia, Iran, Ivory Coast, Jamaica, and South Africa. This group includes BRICS, SIDS and LDCs and represents most developing regions of the world.
The teams typically work with data generated by large climate model runs such as the Geoengineering Model Intercomparison Project (GeoMIP) or the NCAR Geoengineering Large Ensemble (GLENS). Grants of up to USD 70k have been supporting the researchers as they explore the climate impacts that matter most locally, from droughts to extreme temperatures to precipitation changes.
In 2021, six of these teams were awarded continuation grants, and three new teams were awarded initial grants in Bangladesh, Kenya, and the Philippines.
The 2023 expansion
In 2023, the Degrees Initiative announced a doubling of SRM research in the Global South with 15 new teams awarded in Benin, Brazil, Cameroon, Chile, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mali, Nigeria, Pakistan, South Africa (x2), Thailand, and Uganda.
To date, over 150 researchers in 21 developing countries have contributed to projects, making the DMF the world’s largest SRM research programme in terms of scientist numbers.
The Degrees Socio-Political Fund
Most SRM research—especially of its social and political dimensions—has taken place in the Global North. Yet the challenges are at least as relevant in the Global South, which has the most at stake.
Building on the experience and successes of the Degrees Modelling Fund, we launched the Degrees Socio-Political Fund in 2023 to help Southern researchers explore these issues. It is the first fund aimed exclusively at researchers in developing countries and emerging economies to study SRM in the social sciences, including anthropology, economics, ethics, geography, law, political science, psychology, risk science, and sociology. The first round of projects will be announced in the first half of 2024.
The Degrees Research Funds aim to go beyond just providing grants. The wider goals include capacity-building, community-building, and expanding the conversation around SRM. Degree-funded teams receive financial support to attend conferences, to collaborate with each other and with SRM experts, and to discuss their findings with local communities.
Experts from around the world provided a huge amount of advice and guidance about the design of the Degrees Modelling Fund. In particular, we would like to thank the participants of a planning workshop for the DMF, held in the margins of the Global Forum in Berlin in October 2017:
- Prof. Paulo Artaxo (University of São Paulo, Brazil)
- Prof. Govindasamy Bala (IISc Bangalore, India)
- Dr Peter Irvine (Harvard University, USA)
- Prof. Asfawossen Kassaye (University of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia)
- Prof. Ben Kravitz (University of Indiana, USA)
- Prof. Felino Lansigan (University of the Philippines Los Baños)
- Rodel Lasco (University of the Philippines, Los Baños).
- Dr Douglas MacMartin (Cornell University, USA)
- Prof. Saroj Kanta Mishra (Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, India)
- Dr Christopher Oludhe (University of Nairobi, Kenya)
- Prof. Alan Robock (Rutgers University, USA)
- Dr Fahad Saeed (Climate Analytics, Germany)
- Prof. Michael Taylor (University of the West Indies, Jamaica)
- Dr Simone Tilmes (National Center for Atmospheric Research, USA)