The WCRP Regional Information for Society (RIfS) Core Project focuses on research that underpins provision of actionable information for society’s response to climate variability and change. RIfS is in its establishment phase and presents opportunities for framing and developing the directions and priority foci of research on climate for society.
RIfS is an exciting new dimension to WCRP activities that leverages existing core projects and lighthouse activities, expands their scope of influence and coordinates new research required to provide actionable climate information at the regional scale. RIfS was officially approved by the WCRP Joint Scientific Committee in November 2020.
This call invites the community to nominate candidates (including self-nomination) to become members of the RIfS Scientific Steering Group (SSG).
Involvement in the RIfS SSG brings a range of benefits for participants. As a SSG member you will be involved in the core of the international community on climate science, with opportunities that include:
- Personal career development through exposure to frontier research activities and collaboration with the world’s leading climate scientists.
- Develop and participate in collaborations on regional climate research.
- Be a representative voice for your region’s research activities and interests and benefiting from linking and aligning these with the international communities activities.
- Developing and expanding your network of scientific collaborators within the international research community.
- Having a voice to help strategic planning of WCRP activities that actively leads at the frontiers of climate science.
- Contributing to the professional development of the next generation of scientists and scholars.
- Helping to enable global climate-change readiness and societal resilience.
Full details of the RIfS vision, science plan, management structure is available on the RIfS website.
The vision is to understand, develop, and enhance the effective flow of relevant information among scientists, decision makers and society developing policy-relevant climate research. To achieve this, RIfS coordinates, facilitates, and implements targeted research on regional climate information, and develops connections with stakeholder communities to enhance the construction, communication, and adoption of climate information by society. This will be accomplished though:
- Targeted research on the development and construction of regional climate information
- Close integration and collaboration with complementary activities of other WCRP activities and initiatives
- Strong external partnerships that include both the climate science community and stakeholders
RIfS has its own operating budget and support from a RIfS dedicated International Project Office (IPO). RIfS reports to the Joint Scientific Committee of the WCRP. RIfS is the intellectual home for the Coordinated Experiment on Regional Downscaling (CORDEX) and the Global weather and climate Extremes Platform.
The RIfS Scientific Steering Group (SSG)
The vision and science plan of RIfS are implemented through actions designed and managed by the Scientific Steering Group (SSG) under the leadership of three co-chairs, and with the dedicated support of the IPO. The SSG further coordinates a forum tasked with furthering dialogue and collaboration with other activities in the WCRP, and a second forum to engage with representatives of the external stakeholders of climate information.
The SSG is composed of 15 members who will be appointed for an initial term of 4 years with two possible extensions of two years each, following the WCRP membership guidelines
- To contribute scientific knowledge, experience and energy in designing, developing and implementing RIfS activities to achieve the overall goals.
- To proactively invest in evolving, guiding, and sustaining the RIfS activities to serve the overarching goals of the core project. (For example, engaging with relevant regional hubs, organising workshops or helping develop training materials).
SSG members are expected to help in implementing the RIfS science plan, including organising various activities with a focus on underpinning actionable information for society in response to climate variability and change. Examples may include: developing regional workshops, conferences, training activities; designing joint activities with other WCRP groups; engaging in dialogue with external partners; designing guidance documents for the community; developing research proposals for regional activities, etc.
SSG meetings are expected to take place regularly, typically of 3 hours duration every 3-4 months or at the discretion of the SSG co-chairs, with possibly a longer annual meeting. There may be times when there is more or less work, depending on the activities undertaken (e.g., more intensive time demand may be needed with, for example, a workshop or publishing a RIfS paper). SSG meetings are expected to be online, with some face-to-face meetings if it is possible to leverage suitable opportunities. Some out-of-hours work may be required due to time zones.
Typical activities that a SSG member would engage in could include:
- Attending a RIfS-related workshop (virtually or in person)
- Additional virtual meetings for dialogue with other parts of WCRP and external stakeholders (5-10 1-hour virtual meetings / year)
- Document preparation such as a white paper, or guidance document
- Developing networks and communities of practice with your local regional community
- Proposal conceptualization and development
- Presentation about RIfS to other organisations / conferences / meetings
- Participating in new research activities (if desired)
SSG members are not paid. Financial support to travel and participate in person in regional activities may be available on a case-by-case basis.
The SSG selection process and criteria
We seek nominations that ensure broad diversity of regional representation, gender, career stage, research discipline & expertise, and equitable representation of the global north and south. Additional selection criteria could include having connections with research activities and projects in your region, or links with cognate activities of the WCRP. Nominees should have demonstrable experience in one or more of the following areas:
- Expertise that fits one or more of the RifS themes:
- Regional climate understanding for climate projections (multi-decadal)
- Regional climate understanding for predictions (seasonal to decadal)
- Weather and climate extremes
- Communication and Societal Engagement
- Humanities and Social Science engaged with climate;
- Climate services and stakeholder/user engagement;
- Vulnerability, Impacts and Adaptation (VIA) research;
- Disaster reduction, risk and hazards management communities
- Climate policy and adaptation decision making
The RIfS co-chairs and current members of the SSG will undertake the shortlisting from the submitted nominations. The identified names will then be submitted to the WCRP Joint Scientific Committee for final approval at JSC-43b in November 2022.
How to apply
If you are interested in joining the SSG, please submit your application via the online form https://forms.office.com/r/mpteRqtLTD by 30 Sept 2022. Self-nominations are welcomed. Please circulate and distribute this call among your communities and networks.
Please direct inquiries about the nomination and selection process to Nico Caltabiano (