GDB7 | Unleashing your potential as an Early-Career researcher: bridging the research-policy divide
Unleashing your potential as an Early-Career researcher: bridging the research-policy divide
Convener: Helena Martins | Co-conveners: Hazel Jeffery, Stefanie RyndersECSECS

Climate change, biodiversity loss, and artificial intelligence are contemporary challenges that demand evidence-based policy decisions; it is therefore critical that researchers actively engage in providing insights and expertise to support decision-making. Engaging with the media and civil society can play an important role in building public trust and understanding of scientific research, and helping citizens understand policy measures and make informed decisions. However, there are several challenges researchers, especially early-career researchers (ECRs), face when interested in engaging with stakeholders and the policy-making process. These include institutional, social, cultural and personal barriers such as lack of mentoring and trust from senior researchers, lack of professional recognition/reward, lack of access to policy-makers, professional instability, or lack of confidence and training.
In this debate we will explore how to enable the sustainable engagement of ECRs with the policy landscape. What role can ECRs play in bridging the gap between scientific knowledge and policy implementation? How can early career researchers navigate the intricate mechanisms of stakeholder engagement? What significant challenges and barriers do they face and how can these be overcome?
In an open dialogue with the audience, our panellists will discuss strategies and mechanisms for collaboration between young researchers and policy-makers, and identify pathways to develop an effective dialogue that would help lead to evidence-informed actions and decisions. We will explore the role of funding agencies, scientific academies and organizations, senior researchers, early-career networks and the media. How can these different actors adapt to support ECRs in engaging with society? What collaborative efforts can be fostered to empower the next generation of scientific leaders?
The panel will be moderated by a science journalist and include members from funding agencies, scientific academies and organizations, senior researchers, and early-career networks. This session is a joint initiative of the EU-funded research projects OptimESM and ESM2025, which aim to develop the new generation of Earth system models and further our understanding on the evolution of the Earth system.


Ayesha Tandon: science journalist, Carbon Brief


  • Beth Dingley: Science and Communications Officer, WCRP Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP) International Project Office
  • Faten Bahar: Young Earth System Scientists (YESS) community
  • Chloe Hill: EGU Policy Manager 
  • Richard Tavares: Project Adviser, European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency (CINEA)
  • Roland Séférian: Senior climate researcher, Centre National de Recherches Météorologiques (CNRM)

Additional speakers/contributors without abstracts

  • Ayesha Tandon, Carbon Brief, United Kingdom
  • Beth Dingley, WCRP, United Kingdom
  • Chloe Hill, European Geosciences Union, Germany
  • Faten Attig Bahar, University of Carthage, Tunisia
  • Richard Tavares, EASME, Belgium
  • Roland Séférian, CNRM (Université de Toulouse, Météo-France, CNRS), France