Call for Research Proposals: Ecological Economics, Climate Justice, and Commons Governance

York University in Toronto, Canada, with funding from the Canadian Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Scholarships Advanced Scholars Program (QES-AS), is pleased to offer funding opportunities for doctoral and post-doctoral researchers working internationally on topics related to ecological economics, commons governance, and climate justice.   This funding will support research travel, living expenses, and research internships or collaborations with civil society organizations in the context of research partnerships, as well as the public dissemination and sharing of research results.





We aim to build a network of emerging scholars (PhD students and post-doctoral fellows) from Canada and from Low and Middle-Income Countries (LMICs) who are working to address the injustices resulting from global climate change through equitable participatory democratic governance.   Scholars will be invited to join the successful ongoing Economics for the Anthropocene (E4A) network (e4a-net.org), as well as the global Queen Elizabeth Scholars (QES) network of researchers (www.univcan.ca/programs-and-scholarships/queen-elizabeth-scholars/ ;  http://www.queenelizabethscholars.ca/qescholars/).



Global climate change unfairly and disproportionately harms those already living in poverty and in polluted, unhealthy environments.  As climate change accelerates, these unjust trends threaten cities, public safety, agriculture, infrastructure and human livelihoods worldwide.  Since marginalized populations are first and most severely affected, their situated knowledge is crucial for timely and efficient policy-making.  In times of climate change, democratic governance systems must find ways to overcome traditional barriers to the political participation of socially-vulnerable populations, including women and the poor.  This is central to climate justice.  Strengthened democratic governance is also the key to preventing “tragedies of the commons,” where so-called common-pool resources, such as aquifers, fisheries, forests, airsheds, and oceans, become less available to people whose livelihoods depend on them.  Such commons, and other collectively-managed resources and institutions known as “new commons,” are increasingly under threat due to climate change and globalization; but a growing number of scholars see collective resource management as a promising way to protect livelihoods and build resilience for the marginalized.  Ecological economics, which situates economies within material constraints and emphasizes distribution and equity, provides an ideal transdisciplinary theoretical frame for studying these pressing, challenging issues.  This project will bring together scholars from around the world through their research on ecological economics, climate justice and democratic commons governance.

All participating scholars are required to undertake internships in partnership with Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) working in areas related to their research interests, so that their academic work has immediate relevance and applicability.   The QES program supports not just research projects and travel between Canada and LMICs, but also exchange trips among LMIC researchers and LMIC partner organizations.

Our current network of academic partners includes: the University of São Paulo, Education and Environmental Politics Laboratory (OCA), Piracicaba, Brazil; University of KwaZulu-Natal, Centre for Civil Society, Durban, South Africa; University of Johannesburg, Department of Anthropology and Development Studies, Johannesburg, South Africa; Eduardo Mondlane University, Faculty of Education, Maputo, Mozambique; and McGill University, Montreal, Canada.  Current CSO partners include: Ecoar Institute for Citizenship, São Paulo, Brazil; South Durban Community Environmental Alliance, Durban, South Africa; and Justiça Ambiental, Maputo, Mozambique.  We expect the number of partner organizations and universities to grow, and invite related proposals involving additional universities, organizations and countries.

The evaluation of the proposals will take into account issues of gender and ethnicity in order to reduce the historical disparity found in the training of doctoral researchers and postdoctoral fellows in universities.



To be chosen as a Queen Elizabeth Scholar, you must be a researcher from Canada or from a Low or Middle Income Country (LMIC).  This program is not designed to support tuition or full academic degree programs; Scholars must be at the dissertation stage in their home doctoral program, or conducting research at the post-doctoral level.

Areas of research may focus on any aspect of ecological economics, commons governance, and/or climate justice.



Research projects funded through the QES program must involve between 90 and 365 days of full-time research activity, in Canada or any country eligible for QES funding (see    www.univcan.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/qes-guidelines-call-for-proposals-oct-6-2016.pdf  ).   All research funded through this Call must be completed by September 30, 2020.



Interested candidates are invited to submit a detailed proposal for the team’s consideration. Proposals should be a maximum of 10 pages long, including references, with a minimum 11-point font and 1.5 line spacing, and should include the following elements:

  • research topic / problem to be investigated
  • relation to existing literature; research contribution
  • methodology
  • any travel requirements
  • details on research partnerships and collaborations with civil society organizations
  • applicant’s c.v.
  • full budget with explanatory notes. Eligible expenses include:
  • Travel expenses: includes international airfare (the most direct and economical routing), airport taxes, visas, medical insurance, immunization and ground transportation;
  • Living allowance: includes accommodation, local transportation, food and communications and all other personal expenses;
  • Research expenses: includes remuneration for research assistants, resources for the research (e.g. journals, data) as well as computer and laboratory services/equipment.


NOTE: Budgets are limited to $10K per Scholar, for research-related expenditures taking place within a 3 to 12-month period.



Applications will be accepted for consideration on a rolling basis, subject to availability of funds, from July 30, 2017 until January 31, 2019.

Applications may be submitted in either Word or PDF format by email, to Patricia Walker (pattyf@yorku.ca).   For additional information, please see this project’s website:





Categories: Uncategorized

Leave a Reply