Catalysing the impact of climate-related research from across the University of Cambridge and developing vibrant cross-disciplinary research communities to address the most pressing societal and technological challenges in response to climate change

What we do

Cambridge Zero Research helps identify, catalyse and support the development of new climate-related research projects and collaborations across the University and to amplify their impact. We connect researchers from across disciplines and departments and work with them to shape and develop impactful research proposals related to climate science and societal responses to climate change, recognising that climate change cannot and should not be addressed in isolation from broader aspects of human wellbeing and sustainability.

How do we do this?

We advertise relevant Research Funding opportunities through our Research Mailing List and, where useful, we support the development of collaborative interdisciplinary research proposals in response to those opportunities. This often involves collaborations that span departments and disciplines and involve external partners.

To help catalyse, connect and develop research communities around particular issues, we organise internal and external-facing Research Events, including Research Symposia and collaborative Workshops. The following provides details of upcoming and previous events, which cover broad themes such as climate and health; energy materials for net-zero; the built environment, and environmental displacement and migration.

Past Events:

How we can help

If you have an idea for a research proposal but need others to help, Cambridge Zero can introduce you to other like-minded Cambridge researchers, helping you to build a team around common research interests. We can also provide coordination and facilitation enabling you to work collaboratively, identify funding opportunities and create interdisciplinary grant applications. If you are an Early Career Researcher thinking about your next project, we can help to introduce you to potential PIs or to join relevant research networks already in place. Please contact:

Please join the internal Cambridge Zero Research Mailing List to keep up to date with the latest research-related news, events and opportunities from Cambridge Zero. This mailing list is open to any staff and students at the University of Cambridge who are interested in Cambridge Zero's research work.

If you are not based at the University of Cambridge but would like to get in touch to discuss potential partnerships and collaborations, please email and we will get back to you.

Cambridge Zero exists to support climate and net-zero research, education, and engagement across the University, but is not an academic department, and so cannot host large grants or take the lead PI role on a proposal. You will need to find a Cambridge department willing to host the grant application. However, we may be able to help with this using our networks.

Research Themes

Zero-carbon energy transformation

Accelerating the clean energy transition through development of innovative technologies and policy tools to deliver next-generation power systems, batteries, photovoltaics, and alternative fuels, such as hydrogen, bioenergy and ammonia.

Health and society

Exploring the role of society and societal change in achieving net zero. Using research on topics ranging from public health to behavioural science and the empowerment of young people and indigenous groups to support evidence-based policymaking and law.

Resources and production

Creating a zero-carbon circular economy through demand reduction, recycling and resource efficiency, incorporating sustainable industry and agriculture. Developing solutions for hard-to-abate sectors such as self-healing concrete and using sunlight to produce sustainable chemicals and fuels.

Resilient futures

Working with communities globally to understand and design place-based solutions for climate adaptation and resilience. Incorporating climate risk assessment into financial and governance processes, and rethinking prosperity in terms of social and natural capital.

Transport, cities and infrastructure

Re-visioning mobility and the built environment through active travel solutions, decarbonisation of vehicles, road freight and aircraft, and by developing sustainable architectural design, natural construction materials and living infrastructure.

Carbon drawdown and climate repair

Developing innovative solutions to sequester and store CO2, through carbon capture and storage, nature-based solutions and chemical looping, and exploring the legal, ethical, socio-economic and technological dimensions of climate repair and negative emissions technologies.

Research Centres

We've also been involved in launching a number of innovative new research centres recently including:

Landscape Regeneration

Centre for Landscape Regeneration

Providing the knowledge and tools needed to regenerate the British countryside using cost-effective nature-based solutions.
Computing for Climate Science

Institute of Computing for Climate Science

Studying and supporting the role of software engineering, computer science, artificial intelligence, and data science within climate science.
Cambridge Centre for Carbon Credits

Cambridge Centre for Carbon Credits

Creating a trusted, decentralized marketplace where purchasers of carbon credits can confidently and directly fund nature-based projects.
Centre for Climate Repair at Cambridge

Centre for Climate Repair at Cambridge

Advancing research on high impact climate repair projects that Reduce emissions, Remove greenhouse gases, and Refreeze the Arctic.

Postgraduate Academy

Cambridge Zero has recently launched a new Postgraduate Academy, which will bring together postgraduate students from across all disciplines at the University of Cambridge who are working on, or have a research interest in, climate change and net-zero.

The Academy is open to postgraduates of any discipline, providing a space to connect, discuss, and collaborate. It will host a year-round calendar of events including opportunities to get involved with Cambridge Zero activities, workshops and personal development programmes to develop research and communications skills, as well as socials, presentations and networking events.

Want to find out more, join our mailing list: Sign Up

Or watch our launch video:

Current Projects

Monitoring energy efficiency of buildings using thermal infrared space telescopes

Cambridge Zero is working with Prof Ian Parry from the Institute of Astronomy and Dr Ronita Bardhan from the Department of Architecture on this ambitious project. The University of Cambridge was awarded a share of over £7 million in funding meant to put the UK at the forefront of the latest advances in space innovation.

Learn more about this project here: Cambridge Research

Climate Risk project with UK Universities Climate Network (UUCN)

Cambridge Zero is a founding member of the UUCN, formerly known as the COP26 Universities Network. This project involves Dr Emily Shuckburgh, Luke Kemp (CSER) and Dr Erik Mackie leading on a series of outputs including briefing papers on Tipping Points and Cascading Risks, a Toolkit on Climate Risk Communication, as well as a series of podcasts. Listen to the first episode, with more to follow soon.

We are also working on a further report on Climate Risk Decision-making as part of this project.

University Research

Cambridge Zero connects research groups and institutes across the University, joining up their research and policy expertise. This includes* researchers and projects within:

* not all of the research conducted by these groups is relevant to Cambridge Zero.