Thanks for your interest in the Highlands and Islands Climate Change Grant!


This grant is designed to support and connect communities in the Highlands and Islands to work with a researcher to build mutually beneficial relationships to take local action to adapt to climate change. These grant-funded projects will run from April to October 2022.

This is a new type of grant, funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) to support diverse communities to connect with researchers to inform community action and use research to respond to climate change. 

The Royal Society of Edinburgh are providing support, and will contribute to the community panel selection process. See our guidelines to find out more about the grant selection process.

We want communities and researchers to develop relationships and, in the process, gain a better understanding of each other’s expertise, experiences and perspectives.

What funding is available?


Grants of up to £4,500 are available to community groups to run a project or activity on a local climate change issue that benefits their community, engages with climate change topics and/or research and involves working with a researcher through public engagement and/or knowledge exchange.

Projects can be a new idea or build on existing work by the community which would benefit from partnership with a researcher

To be eligible for a grant, the application must come from a community group (rather than a researcher) and groups must be community-based. Grant-funded projects should run from April to October 2022.

Here is the recorded version of the webinar for the Highlands and Islands Climate Change Community Grant which shares information about the grant and application process, as well as the researcher matching process:


How will community groups work with a researcher?

We welcome applications from

  • groups who don’t have a partnership with a researcher but have an idea of what they would like to do and how a researcher could help. Successful applicants will be matched up with a researcher in the next stage of the process.
  • And community groups who have worked with a researcher before, or have someone in mind, are also eligible to apply for the grant.

The BSA will match appropriate researchers to each project in March 2022 (for those who need it). This will be done through researcher and community group ‘conversations’ to establish how best to work together. This BSA will support this process.

We anticipate project plans may need updating once a match is made with a researcher to ensure it fits everyone’s priorities and capacities.

Some examples of ways in which a community project could involve working with a researcher could be to:

  • Share knowledge/ideas about climate change in more accessible and creative ways.
  • Learn from each other’s climate change expertise and build or strengthen a community–researcher relationship.
  • Support the community to explore a question themselves through sharing different research techniques and skills.
  • Connect better with the evidence (e.g. using data) through discussions to make evidence-informed decisions as a community.

We will prioritise projects that have potential to lead to longer-term community and researcher relationships, rather than projects where researchers carry out research or gather data “on” a community, for example:

Communities will be asked to consider and to be involved in the project and we anticipate many of the projects will involve a blend of digital and in-person activities (with a contingency around COVID-19).

  • We will not fund projects suggesting only a ‘one-off’ intervention with a researcher e.g. a single visit with no follow-up, relationship building, or further interaction.
  • Whilst working in a consultancy capacity might be an element of the project, we're interested in relationships developing over the duration of the project.
  • We’d also like to see how the researcher can learn from the group which may inform their research in the future.

What we hope communities and researchers will get from working together 

Community groups will have the opportunity to work with a researcher to address climate change issues relevant to their community. It is an opportunity to explore how research and the research process can add value to community projects and explore the impact of research on the communities it serves.  

For researchers, this is an opportunity to work with a grassroots community organisation and support them to address climate change, adaptation and resilience ‘on the ground’.  Researchers should note, whilst the project might link to your other research, the focus chosen by the community must be the priority and primary goal. 

BSA will be hosting three evaluation project meetings to provide support and share the learning between the projects taking part. For more information on how we will share the learning, please visit our guidelines.

We hope this grant will explore how research can better support communities and achieve these outcomes:

  • Equitable and collaborative relationships developed between communities and researchers. 
  • Communities have a greater appreciation of the value of research and the role of a researcher. 
  • Researchers have a greater appreciation of the value of community input and greater confidence in working with communities. 
  • Communities are more able and more motivated to engage with research. 
  • Communities have a greater awareness of issues related to climate change, sustainability and the environment. 
  • Insights into what works and doesn’t work for projects bringing underserved communities in rural Scotland together with researchers around the theme of climate change. 


For more information, please visit:

The 10 organisations awarded the Highlands and Islands Climate Change Community Grants 


Frequently Asked Questions

Highlands and Islands Climate Change Community Grant homepage

If you have any questions or require any assistance, please get in touch on [email protected].