Knowledge brokerage for sustainability transitions: a paid policy experience across Europe

The European Commission and UKRI-funded SSH CENTRE project invites Early to Mid Career Researchers to apply for an exciting knowledge brokerage programme for sustainability transitions between July 2023 and July 2024.

  • This opportunity is open to PhD and Early to Mid Career Researchers working in Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH) on themes of climate, energy or mobility, who have not previously been principal investigators on a grant over €100,000. 
  • Each of the 30 selected participants will receive €2,000 as an honorarium to participate in the entire programme.
  • Participants will complete an online training course in November 2023 to develop skills in knowledge brokerage between SSH research and policymaking communities.
  • The knowledge and skills developed through the training will then be applied in a group project with other researchers, working with one of six European cities to develop initiatives to provide evidence-based policy advice related to mobility, energy or climate change. Participants will be funded to attend a 2-day workshop in their partner city.
  • Participants will develop contacts with a network of cities actively engaged in accelerating the transition process towards a carbon-free society.

Knowledge brokerage in climate, energy, mobility policy areas

Through this paid policy experience, participants will receive (online) training on knowledge brokerage for policy work. The training will include how to: co-produce evidence, integrate knowledge from different epistemic communities, and translate research for policy relevance. 

Upon completion of the knowledge-brokerage training, research teams will develop and undertake an (online) knowledge brokerage initiative, supported by SSH consortium partners. Participants will be organised into six research teams by the SSH CENTRE partners (and able to indicate their preferred topics during application). The knowledge brokerage initiative will support partner cities to pursue their respective decarbonisation aims through the identification, organisation and transfer of relevant SSH knowledge. Each research team will meet with city representatives (online, and then in person during a city workshop) to help develop their knowledge brokerage initiative.

The topics (and their respective cities) that research teams will develop and undertake a knowledge brokerage initiative are:

  • Local climate strategies (Frederikshavn, Denmark): Developing strategies to make cities independent of fossil fuels and able to adapt to climate change
  • Resource efficiency/sufficiency and circular economy (Grenoble, France): Building sustainable economic models which are resource-wise, resilient, circular, and fair.
  • Energy Communities (Arnhem, The Netherlands): Creating energy communities that make citizens freer to choose and actively engage in clean energy production.
  • Fossil-free heating and cooling (Rijeka, Croatia): Shaping intelligent cooling and heating systems that accelerate the decarbonisation of cities.
  • Mobility Communities (Porto, Portugal): Rethinking mobility systems through co-creation processes with urban dwellers to favour liveable and just cities for everyone.
  • Digital mobility platforms (Čačak – Serbia): Developing digital mobility platforms to make mobility solutions energy-efficient and accessible to all.the impact of transport on the climate, promoting easy and broad access to mobility solutions to all and the well-being of residents

Participants in the programme will be funded to attend a 2-day workshop hosted in the city that they are focusing on, with this workshop including a city tour with local stakeholders to get feedback on the work done by the team so far and to deepen understanding of the realities of “doing policy work”. Before the workshop, each research team will produce a provisional brief on the initial findings from their knowledge brokerage initiative. A final report will be written up  at the end of the programme (July 2024).

The application deadline was Monday 3 July 2023 at 11:59pm (CEST).

You will then be sent the full online application form to complete. The form asks for your educational experience and motivation to participate in the knowledge brokerage initiative.

Further detail on the programme, its requirements and expectations can be found in the FAQs document

The €3m Horizon Europe project SSH CENTRE (Social Sciences and Humanities for Climate, Energy aNd Transport Research Excellence), focusses on the vital contribution of Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH) to accelerate the EU’s transition to carbon neutrality.

Knowledge brokerage plays an increasingly important role in facilitating and enabling, the exchange of knowledge among otherwise poorly connected actors.  This is particularly vital when it comes to connecting (social) science and policymaking to give direction to and accelerate change processes in complex areas, such as the transition to a carbon-free society. In such cases, there are no standard solutions available. Rather, tailor-made approaches are needed to identify the knowledge to exchange, the actors who need them, and the most appropriate techniques to do so. 

Skills related to knowledge brokerage are not widespread, especially in SSH disciplines. It is almost taken for granted that SSH researchers know how to transfer the knowledge they produce, without anyone having taught them. This can lead to knowledge which would be useful for shaping transition policies remaining unexploited unable to reach the policy frontline, especially at the local level. This is the problem our programme seeks to address.


  1. The Knowledge Brokerage Programme is open to PhD Researchers and Early to Mid Career Researchers (defined as researchers who have not previously been principal investigators on a grant over €100,000) working in SSH.
  2. Applicants need to be currently working or studying at organisations in the EU or Horizon-Associated countries (including the UK).

Note: whilst all participants must be currently working in SSH, we are also looking to recruit participants that have experience with STEM disciplines (Sciences, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), for example having undertaken STEM modules at undergraduate or postgraduate level, or experience working in close collaboration with STEM researchers. 


If you have any queries, please feel free to contact the coordinators of the knowledge exchange programme: Luciano d’Andrea (; Daniele Mezzana (

Indicative timeline:

  • 3 Jul 23 – Application deadline
  • Jul 23 – Successful applicants notified
  • Sep 23 – Introductions between participants, cities, and SSH CENTRE partners
  • 20-24 Nov 23 – Online training (5 half days) 
  • 31 Jan 24 –  Research teams finalise design of knowledge brokerage initiative
  • Mar 24 – Teams give an online presentation of the provisional findings 31 Mar 24 – Submission by teams of provisional written briefing
  • Apr/May 24 – 2-day City Hub Workshops 
  • 31 Jul 24 – Completion of the knowledge brokerage initiatives and presentation of the final briefing

Call led by K&I

About the Call