Apply! British Council’s Cultural Relations and Climate Change – essay competition

Launched in 2019, the Cultural Relations Collection features short and accessible essays that explore British Council contexts and case studies to reflect on the theory and practice of cultural relations more broadly.

The overarching essay theme for this call is climate change, and the role that cultural relations – with its emphasis on developing the conditions for global co-operation – can or could play in addressing and responding to this. The focus should also be on work in Official Development Assistance (ODA) contexts.

Picture of an iceberg fragment from the Colombia glacier, taken in Prince William Sound, Alaska

Melting and fragmented glaciers are one result of climate change. Image © 

Research questions

We are looking for proposals for essays that address this theme through any of the following strategic areas central to the British Council’s cultural relations work:

  1. arts and culture
  2. festivals and showcasing
  3. social and creative enterprise and economy
  4. cities and urban networks
  5. education: including schools, further education, skills and technical and vocational education and training (TVET), higher education and lifelong learning
  6. student and researcher mobility
  7. science and research
  8. language teaching
  9. alumni networks
  10. youth leadership
  11. digital skills
  12. gender equality
  13. cultural exchange and dialogue.

Through developing essays that approach climate change through these areas, we aim to generate new knowledge and insight into how building connections, trust and understanding can support global co-operation in the face of the great global challenge of our time.

Successful proposals, as judged by a panel, will be awarded a £1,000 essay prize.

A collaborative approach is intended to encourage reflection and knowledge exchange, potentially informing future British Council programme development. We are keen bring current scholarship, research trends and critical theory into dialogue with the professional experience and practice-led, ‘on-the-ground’ expertise of our global staff.


  • this Call is open to all researchers affiliated to a UK university
  • we welcome proposals from those at all career stages, though the opportunity might be particularly suited to PhD and early-career researchers
  • we also welcome proposals from more established academics who have emerging ideas that they want to ‘test out’ or apply to new research contexts.

Outputs and deadlines 

  • essay proposal submission deadline: 17:00 on Wednesday 9 December 2020
  • selection of research partners: applicants to be notified of outcomes by Friday 18 December 2020
  • writing: deadline for submission of first drafts: first week of March 2021 with final drafts to be submitted mid-April 2021
  • final publication of essays on British Council website is anticipated Summer 2021.

How to apply 

See also

Visit the official link


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.