Training future leaders
Imperial is a global top ten university with a world-class reputation in science, engineering, business and medicine. We’re known for innovation, excellence and employability around the world.
An understanding of climate change and the environment is increasingly essential for employees and entrepreneurs. The Grantham Institute continues to deliver quality training as well as growing our programmes to meet the demand: training future leaders and ensuring our students have the diversity of thought, backgrounds, experience and skills to make an impact. As part of our growth, we are launching a new MSc in Climate Change, Innovation and Entrepreneurship with the Department of Chemistry at Imperial. Check out our online study guides for undergraduate, Master’s and Doctoral courses, plus I-Explore Climate Change and Solutions module for current undergraduates and the Clean Power Program for a Professional Certificate in Clean Power.
- Student numbers: 93 students enrolled on the MSc Climate Change Management and Finance (2020-2021)
- Student numbers: 70 PhD students involved in outreach activities through 8 challenge teams (2020-2021)
PROFILE: Cynthia Wang, MSc Climate Change, Management & Finance
Cynthia left her home in the United States to study in the “green finance capital”, London, and joined this practical Master’s course “at the forefront of science and tech research” at Imperial.
Her experience working in policy research and development at various non-profits and research institutions, including as a Princeton in Asia Fellow at the Beijing office of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), meant she was ready to join an “engaging, passionate and supportive” cohort with “an optimistic and wide-ranging outlook on how to best combat the climate crisis”.
Cynthia drew on her previous research on socioeconomic inequality in the US to write for the Grantham Institute blog on the deadly impacts of extreme heat for the most disenfranchised, and during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, worked on a project to help the Institute understand the opportunities for underrepresented UK community groups to engage with climate change solutions.
She now works for the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) since graduating at the end of 2021.
Imperial places great emphasis on the integration of Master’s courses with world class research activities. The award winning MSc Climate Change, Management & Finance, taught by the Grantham Institute and Imperial College Business School, provides graduates with the interdisciplinary skills required in business on issues relating to climate change and sustainability – and has expanded to 120 student places per year due to high demand.
PROFILE: Courtnae Bailey, SSCP DTP
“We can’t keep waiting until we see catastrophes happen to propel momentum”, says Courtnae, who is part of the Science and Solutions for a Changing Planet Doctoral Training Partnership (SSCP DTP). But, after a year of fires in California, the flooding in the UK, “these events are bringing attention to the need to reduce emissions”.
However, “these impacts have been happening in developing countries for years, without necessarily having the global media coverage,” she says. “In order to have impact, our ambition needs to be more than superficial and mobilise financial resources to the countries in greatest need in a manner that is equitable and does not exacerbate existing development challenges such as high debt.”
Courtnae travelled to Glasgow in Imperial’s delegation to the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26). As a research postgraduate studying how to increase private investment for adapting to climate change, she hoped to observe the discussions on commitments from both private and public sectors toward meeting and surpassing the overdue “collective long-term finance goal to mobilise $100 billion per year by 2020 for climate action”.
“[Attending a global event like COP26] you then start to realise more deeply how everything is linked and better understand how your work fits into the much bigger picture, which gives you an idea of what your next steps might look like – both for your PhD and your career.”
WATCH: Women and Climate Change: Leading the way to a more sustainable and equitable world
Imperial trains postgraduate researchers to address society’s big challenges in government-funded PhD programmes that harness academic study, talent and imagination; all supported by extensive professional development.
The Science and Solutions for a Changing Planet NERC Doctoral Training Partnership aims to inspire a new generation of experts and leaders to tackle some of the toughest environmental challenges of our time.
PROFILE: Dr Andreas Kafizas, Course Co-Director
Imperial is launching a new Master’s programme, the MSc Climate Change, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, designed to give students the skills they need to produce technological solutions to combat climate change. It is based in the heart of the entrepreneurship ecosystem at Imperial’s Centre for Climate Change Innovation.
Dr Andreas Kafizas, formerly Grantham Lecturer and now researching light-activated materials (photocatalytic coatings) in the Department of Chemistry, is one of the course’s co-directors. His experience has seen him consulting on photocatalytic coatings for air purification for the Environmental Industries Commission, and for the companies CodiKoat and SmogStop® Barriers.
The new course covers developing technological ideas, creating a viable business plan and securing investment. “Students will learn these skills through individual and group assignments, which will foster their ability to work as a team, self-reflect and improve their performance,” says Dr Kafizas.
Students with science, technology and engineering backgrounds will learn “a foundation for how to identify and provide valuable solutions to sustainability problems”.
“We look for applicants who are forward thinking and want to lead the development of solutions to the climate emergency; this is the course for you!”
Practical experience of research, innovation and networking are key to this hands-on programme. As well as working closely with startups throughout the year, students will also benefit from undertaking an internship. Online applications open soon.