Climate Outreach

Climate Communications Awards

It’s our 15th anniversary this year and we can’t think of a better way to mark the occasion by celebrating not just our achievements, but also some of the amazing work delivered by organisations and individuals around the world who are driving public engagement with climate change.

Announcing the Climate Outreach Climate Communication Awards!

Submissions close on 4 October 2019

Awards Ceremony on 7 November 2019 at the Sheldonian in Oxford, UK


Our four award categories seek to champion climate communications work from around the world that helps us to share, understand, show and communicate climate change.


The awards for Climate Change Public Engagement, Climate Communications Research and Climate Visuals Photography will each be assessed by an expert judging panel, and the winner of each of these categories will receive a £1000 cash prize.

The award for Climate Change Communicator of the Year will be put to a public vote and the winner will gain the prestige of winning the people's vote.


How can you participate?

  • Apply for one or more of the first three award categories.
  • Let an organisation or individual you think should apply know about these awards.
  • Nominate someone for the Climate Change Communicator of the Year award, which will be decided by a people’s vote.
  • Attend the Awards Ceremony - please join us to celebrate the best new work building awareness of climate change around the world. Book your ticket(s) to attend the Awards ceremony here.


Important dates

  • The deadline to apply for an award or nominate someone for the people's vote award is Friday 4 October 2019, 1 pm BST.
  • Shortlisted applicants and winners will be notified later in October.
  • The Awards Ceremony will take place in Oxford, UK on Thursday 7 November 2019. Winners and shortlisted applicants will be invited to join us in person if they are fairly local, or via video if not (we are keen to not have people fly to our event), and will have an opportunity to showcase their work.

Climate Change Public Engagement Award

Meaningful and lasting public engagement is key to tackling climate change. ‘Engagement’ is more than just informing people: it requires actively involving them. Everyone has a right to understand the causes, impacts and solutions of climate change. For society to achieve the changes required to tackle climate change, we need to understand climate change in terms of our own values, our own concerns and see ourselves in the story of collective change.

For this award we are looking for projects that listen, start a conversation, empower, and enable people to talk and take action. We are particularly keen to hear about projects that have engaged new audiences, beyond the ‘usual suspects,’ in innovative ways.  Projects should be able to demonstrate that they have generated a shift in attitudes and empowered ongoing engagement with climate change. We are open to any audience, media, scale and format.

Who should apply?

Anybody from around the world who has carried out a project aiming to increase public engagement with climate change within the last three years. This could be a project or outreach event designed and delivered by an individual, a community organisation, or a larger organisation. Applicants must be over the age of 18.

Interested in applying? Have a look at the application form as well as the FAQs & T&Cs below.


Judges for the Climate Change Public Engagement Award

To be announced shortly.

Climate Communications Research Award

Given the urgency and scale of the challenge, the way we communicate about climate change has to be based on the best available evidence of what works - and doesn’t work.

In this category, we are looking for key research studies that have developed fresh understanding and insights on climate change communication.

We’d like to hear about innovative research studies that seek to answer questions about how to best engage the public in a meaningful way with climate change. We’d also like to showcase upcoming talent in this research area, and so are asking for applications to come from Early Career Researchers.

Topics may include areas such as reaching new audiences, testing and developing frames and narratives, or developing understanding around key concepts in climate change communication. The winning study must demonstrate how it has contributed new evidence-based understanding to the practice of climate change communication. It could be a research paper, a PhD or Post-Doc project - anything that has investigated climate communications.

Who should apply?

Early Career Researchers from around the world who have conducted research in climate change communications within the last three years, and are able to share results from their study. Applicants must be over the age of 18.

We define Early Career Researcher as an undergraduate or postgraduate (Masters/PhD) student or a researcher who has received their highest degree (Bachelors, Masters, or Doctorate) in the past seven years (where applicable, provided parental leave fell within that period, up to one year of parental leave per child may be added).

Interested in applying? Have a look at the application form as well as the FAQs & T&Cs below.


Judges for the Climate Communications Research Award

Tom Saunders

Tom photo
Tom is Head of Public Engagement at UK Research and Innovation.
His team run projects in areas such as citizen science and public involvement in research and innovation policy making. Before this Tom led research on technology and inequality at Nesta, focusing on the future of work and inclusive policymaking. He is also a trustee at climate charity 10:10.

Adam Corner


Adam is Director of Research at Climate Outreach and Associate Director of the CAST Centre (Climate Change & Social Transformations).

He has published widely in academic journals, and writes regularly for international media including The Guardian and New Scientist magazine.

Roz Pidcock


Roz manages Climate Outreach's science communication programme, both in the UK and internationally.

She has a PhD in oceanography and was previously Head of Communications for the IPCC's Working Group I and Deputy Editor of Carbon Brief, a specialist climate change news and analysis organisation in the UK.

Climate Visuals Photography Award

The images that define climate change shape the way it is understood and acted upon. But polar bears, melting ice and arrays of smoke stacks don’t convey the urgent human stories at the heart of the issue. Based on international social research, Climate Visuals provides seven principles for a more diverse, relatable and compelling visual language for climate change.

In this category, we are looking to celebrate the work of a photographer - amateur or professional - who has successfully engaged audiences with climate change and its causes, impacts, and/or solutions.

Photographers will be judged on how well their photography embodies the seven principles of visual climate change communication. The judges will also consider how effectively and widely their images have been published, shared, exhibited or innovatively presented to have impact.

A maximum of 5 photographs can be submitted. However, they will be scored individually. All photographs submitted will be randomised as single images amongst all other entries and entrants before judging.

Who should apply?

Anybody is welcome to apply - professional or amateur photographer. Applicants must be over the age of 18.

Interested in applying? Have a look at the application form, the FAQs and general T&Cs below, as well as the T&Cs specific to this award.


Judges for the Climate Visuals Photography Award

Nicole Itano


Nicole Itano is the new Executive Director of  tve.

Prior to that, she was WWF-UK’s Director of Media and Content, headed Save the Children UK’s creative team, and also spent a decade in international journalism where she reported from more than 50 countries for many of the world’s leading media outlets.

Kirstin Kidd

Kirstin Kidd

Kirstin Kidd is a Picture Editor at the Economist.

She has over 10 years experience working on print magazines, book and online sector.  This includes New Scientist Magazine where Kirstin worked on long-term, in-depth picture research, as well as the fast-paced news agenda that required both commissioning and sourcing photography.

Eric Hilaire

pasted image 1

Eric Hilaire is the Environment, Science and Global Development Picture Editor at The Guardian.

Previously, Eric lived in Hong Kong, where he began his career as a newspaper picture editor.

Toby Smith

Toby mug shot

Toby Smith is the Climate Visuals Programme Lead and Media Liaison.

He has 12 years experience as an award-winning Environmental Photographer who focuses on building innovative, global stories through collaboration and publication in leading editorial outlets.

Climate Change Communicator of the Year - People’s Choice Award

This is a people’s vote. We’d like to know who you think should be recognised for their contribution to engaging people with climate change. This should be a person who has been in the public sphere in the past year, communicating climate change with the public. This could be a person who is relatively well known, or it could be someone in your community.

How it will work

This competition will happen in two stages:

  • In the first stage, we will accept nominations from you, the public. Simply fill out this short nomination form saying whom you wish to nominate and why. The deadline is 4 October 2019.
  • The judging panel will then gather all nominations and decide on a shortlist. This shortlist will then go to the public vote. The nominee with the most public votes wins. Voting closes on 23 October 2019. The winner will be announced at our Awards Ceremony in Oxford on 7 November 2019.

You do not need permission from the person you wish to nominate. We will notify those who have been shortlisted to let them know they have been nominated for an award, and make sure they are happy to be included in the people’s vote.


  • How will the categories be judged?

Each category has its own panel of expert judges. These panels are a mixture of Climate Outreach staff and external judges with expertise in the category’s field.

They will assess applications based on the information included in the application forms and in the short description above for each award.

The judging panel will produce a shortlist, and those on the shortlist will be notified in October. Shortlisted nominees may be asked to provide some additional information. The winner for each category will be decided by one final judging round. Shortlisted applicants will be informed whether they have won or not 1-2 weeks before the event.

  • Can I nominate someone for any of the awards?

You can nominate someone for the Climate Change Communicator of the Year People's Choice Award. For the other categories, we require that the individual or organisation who delivered the work be the one to apply. If you know someone who should apply, please do share these awards with them.

  • Are these awards international?

Yes, anyone can apply from around the world for the first three awards, and you can nominate anyone from around the world for the Communicator of the Year People's Choice Award. Please note we are keen to not have people fly to our event, and winners who are not fairly local will be able to join us via videolink.

  • I can’t attend the Awards Ceremony on 7 November in Oxford - can I still apply?

Yes - if you’ve done a fantastic job at communicating climate change, we want to know about it. Winners will be able to join us in person or via video. The full event will be recorded and available to watch later. We’re asking that people do not fly to our event and expect winners who are not fairly local to join us via videolink.

  • What happens if I win but can’t afford to travel to the Awards Ceremony?

We will be able to help towards the costs of attending. Please note we’re asking that people do not fly to our event - winners who are not local will be able to join us via videolink.

  • Who has won in previous years?

Nobody - this is the first time we have run these Climate Communication Awards!

  • Any other questions about the awards?

Please email us at and we'll get back to you as soon as we can.

Terms & Conditions

Entries will only be accepted through the application / nomination forms linked here.

Information submitted must be truthful and accurate on the time and date you enter.

To enter an award you must be 18 years old or over at the time of entry.

The submission deadline as published is absolute.

We cannot take responsibility for entries that are lost or delayed, or which are not received for any reason.

The judges’ decisions will be final, and no correspondence will be entered into.

By entering, the shortlisted applicants and winners agree to participate in such promotional activity and material as we may reasonably require.

Winners agree to spend their prize on activities related to climate communications, the exact nature of which will be agreed  with Climate Outreach.

Winners commit to reporting back on the use of the prize funds and any associated impact within 11 months of the award event.

We reserve the right to amend these terms & conditions at any time.

The Climate Visuals Photography Award has an additional set of T&Cs.

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