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Call for applications: Early career representatives in Knowledge-Action Networks

Future Earth is opening up its Knowledge-Action Networks to early career researchers  and early career professionals. Becoming part of Knowledge-Action Networks in their early stages will allow you to shape innovative research agendas over the coming years and connect with a global network of leading academics  and stakeholders.

Future Earth seeks to engage early career professionals in our activities as broadly as possible, helping to build the next generation of transdisciplinary researchers.

The structure of Knowledge-Action Networks

All Knowledge-Action Networks are in the  early stages of development. During this initial period, each Knowledge-Action Network is governed by a development team. The teams consist of members of the Secretariat, the Science and Engagement Committees, the Global Research Projects, as well as researchers and practitioners who are not part of the internal Future Earth structure. Development teams are set up to drive the scoping process for the initial period. The teams are tasked with mobilising the relevant communities of researchers, potential funders and societal partners from civil society and the public and private sectors. This process is public with the intention of bringing communities together to identify those parties with strong interest and relevant expertise and background. The goal of this scoping phase is to co-develop a research and engagement plan, a steering group and a funding strategy.

The following Knowledge-Action Networks are now open for applications:

Your tasks

Each development team has a different setup and will require different tasks from its members. These tasks can include:

  • Coordinating with researchers and practitioners
  • Expanding the network to researchers  and practitioners globally
  • Contributing to the development of a new research agenda for the Knowledge-Action Network
  • Organising in-person meetings and online webinars
  • Conducting thematic literature research

Who can apply?

  • Future Earth explicitly invites applications from both researchers  and practitioners
  • Early career researchers: max 6 years after PhD, max 10 years after master's
  • Early career practitioners: max. 10 years into your career
  • All candidates need to be a member of an early career network or organisation linked to sustainability. This is a central selection criterion and will ensure that your role has a wider impact on the early career community
  • Future Earth explicitly encourages applications from Africa and Asia

Your profile – our requirements

  • You need to have a relevant educational background, significant professional experience or indigenous/local knowledge on the topic of the Knowledge-Action Network you apply for
  • Your educational background, professional experience or local knowledge needs to be strongly related to sustainability
  • We are explicitly open to all disciplines and professions, as long as they are linked to sustainability


Please note that this is a voluntary position. Future Earth can offer a letter of support for development team members to seek a commitment from their respective employers for time to work on Future Earth. Committee members do not receive a stipend, but all relevant travel costs and living expenses for meetings will be covered.

Time commitment:

Candidates need to be available for 6 to 12 online meetings (1 to 2 hours each) and one in-person meeting per year. On top of that, the selected candidates will be asked to work up to 10 hours per month. Time commitment will vary between the different Knowledge-Action Networks and will depend on the respective activities, but the willingness and ability to invest the required amount of time is a central selection criterion.

Application process

Please note that you can only apply for one Knowledge-Action Network. However, if you feel that you have relevant knowledge or experience in the area of another network, please indicate this in the application form.

Selection process:

Each Knowledge-Action Network is at a different stage and each development team functions differently. Therefore, each Knowledge-Action Network will choose an individual number of early career representatives, depending on their current composition and workload.

Please apply by 2 November 2016 by filling in this form. Please note that you will be asked  to submit certificates for all the  relevant scientific studies or professional training indicated in your application form.

In case of any further questions, please contact