Climate change: from one small island to another

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Students from small island developing states will soon land on the Island of Montreal to study climate change at UdeM, thanks to a new international scholarship.

Université de Montréal will soon host a master's student from a small island developing state through a new international scholarship program aimed at addressing issues of climate change.

The program was initiated by Prince Charles and the University of Cambridge, from which he graduated, and is being launched simultaneously at three other universities: the University of Toronto, McMaster University and, in Australia, the University of Melbourne.

"While climate change is a global issue, small island developing states face particular environmental risks,” said Université de Montréal rector Daniel Jutras. “These scholarships will support the next generation of scientists from those nations and help them shed new light on climate change issues.”

Added  Valérie Amiraux, UdeM’s vice-rector of community and international partnerships: "Here, on the island of Montreal, young scientists who receive this scholarship will join research teams that are among the best in their field. Together, they'll be able to study and propose solutions for heatwaves, flooding, air pollution generated by wildfires, and many more climate disruptions."

A first UdeM recipient is to arrive at the university for the 2022-23 academic year. A second student will be welcomed in 2024-25. Funded by the university and administered by its Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies program, the scholarships will cover the full cost of study, including tuition and a stipend or living allowance.

The awards recognize the disproportionate effects of climate change on UN-designated Small Island Developing States (SIDS), many of which are part of the Commonwealth. The awards were announced today to coincide with Commonwealth Day.

“The students that these new scholarships are aimed at are likely to have experienced first-hand the severe effects of climate change, including flooding and erosion in their own countries and communities," said said Cambridge vice-chancellor Stephen Toope. "The alumni of the program will form a cohort of talented people who will become future leaders and ambassadors in sustainability.”

At Cambridge, the scholarships will be offered through the Cambridge Trust, established in the 1980s to fund students from the Commonwealth and the wider world who lack the means to pay for their studies.  Having graduated from Cambridge's Trinity College in 1970, Prince Charles has been involved in the work of the Trust for many years, serving as Patron since 2010.

“I hope that these scholarships will make a difference both to the students who receive them and to their countries as they grapple with the many challenges of climate change," said Helen Pennant, the Trust’s director.

Those interested in the scholarship at Université de Montreal will be able to apply in September 2022 to the Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies program.

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