Deadline for pitches: Sunday 14 July 2024

The C40 Knowledge Hub Launches Writing Competition for Graduate Students

Manila_ Philippines_ © Alyssa Babasa _ C40


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Do you have something to say to city decision makers about urban climate policy? Is there something you wish they knew? The C40 Knowledge Hub wants to hear from you! Find out more about this opportunity here.

The C40 Knowledge Hub is C40 Cities’ platform aiming to help all cities to prioritise, make the case for and effectively implement climate actions, informed by the latest research and the experience of leading cities. The Knowledge Hub is  the best-in-class knowledge library on climate specifically for an audience of cities, offering breadth and depth across urban climate sectors, tailored messaging, and global coverage. Launched in 2019, we now reach around a million people a year in over 23,000 cities/municipalities globally.

About the opportunity

As a student enrolled in a graduate/masters programme relevant to urban climate policy and practice, you will have your finger on the pulse of the latest research and expert teaching as well as a unique perspective to be heard by our audience of city decision makers and practitioners.

You are invited to pitch an idea for an op-ed (opinion piece) to be published on the Knowledge Hub, in your name, in September/October 2024. A panel of judges will select three winning ideas to be developed into an op-ed with support from the Knowledge Hub Content & Editorial team. The authors will also each receive a cash prize of $200 (or equivalent in the relevant currency).

Applicants are asked to submit an idea in response to one of the following prompts:

  1. You might have uncovered research findings during your studies on an issue of significance to urban climate action that is not yet well understood at city level. If you could tell city policymakers and practitioners one thing, what would it be?

  2. As a student at an early stage of your career in the urban climate field, is there something you would like to say to city policymakers and practitioners? This could but does not need to be about cities’ engagement with/support to students and young people - it could be about anything, so long as it comes from your perspective.

We look for op-eds that offer experience and advice, a clear call to action, or other practical, actionable message for cities based on the individual’s perspective, position or research. This is the first time we are running this opportunity so we don’t yet have op-eds online from students/early career professionals, but existing pieces such as those below offer an idea of what we’re looking for:

About the process

All applicants must submit their op-ed idea via this Google form.

The three selected op-ed authors will meet with the Knowledge Hub Content & Editorial team to talk through the idea, the Knowledge Hub’s approach and op-ed requirements, and next steps. You will draft your op-ed in your own voice and the Knowledge Hub team will help with editing before it is published.

Op-eds should be no more than around 1,000 words long. We estimate that the process might take around a day of your time, from initial conversation to publication.

Terms & guidance:
  • Applicants must be enrolled in a graduate/masters programme related to urban climate policy (either currently or one that ended in 2024). This includes programmes specifically related to cities’ climate policy (understanding that such programmes might use different language, such as ‘sustainable cities’ etc), as well as relevant sectoral programmes with a strong focus on urban climate/sustainability concerns. 
  • Applicants must be at an early stage of their career, with no more than 3 years of relevant professional experience (there is no minimum professional experience required).
  • The opportunity is open to relevant programmes in all countries globally.
  • Your idea should be of interest to city staff working in many cities worldwide or within a region. Your pitch should not be focused on just one city. While we do host op-eds focussed on one city, these are written by staff from the city itself with a view to sharing their experience with their peers.
  • Your pitch should be no more than 1,500 characters (including spaces). We will ask you for: a) the key message you want to convey and b) why.
  • Pitches must be submitted in English. While the Knowledge Hub offers machine translation into 18 languages, the op-ed will be published in English.
  • Deadlines: All pitches should be submitted by the close of Sunday 14th July. We’ll get back to all applicants with the outcome within a few weeks, and the selected authors will work on their piece in August and September.
  • The $200 will be awarded to the winning applicants after their piece is published.
  • The Knowledge Hub team reserves the right to not take forward selected op-ed pitches in case of editorial misalignment.

You can reach the Knowledge Hub team at with any questions or comments. Note that ideas must be submitted using the Google form to be considered.

Thanks for your interest, and we look forward to hearing from you!