"Make Our Planet Great Again": Chateaubriand Fellow Shares Her Experience at the One Planet Summit

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Following the decision of the United States to withdraw from the Paris agreement, as announced by President Trump on June 1, 2017, the President of the French Republic Emmanuel Macron issued a call to students and researchers working on climate change to join France in the fight against global warming. More than 1,800 complete applications were received in total from students and researchers from around the world, who were interested in a long or short stay in France, a collaboration with a French lab, or a PhD program in France. Among them, over 1,000 came from the United States.

In France, the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) and the French National Research Agency (ANR) were in charge of evaluating applications for long-term research positions in France. In the first round of selection, 18 high-level projects were selected by an international jury. Among these 18 researchers, 13 come from the United States. Laureates will join their new research labs in France in the coming months. In the United States, the Embassy of France in Washington is in charge of U.S. applications for short stays, PhD programs and collaborations with French labs. Thanks to additional funding made available as part of the "Make Our Planet Great Again" initiative, the Embassy will take advantage of its existing mobility and collaboration programs to support projects related to earth system science, energy transition, and climate change and sustainability.

Theresa Oehmke is one of the U.S. PhD students who applied on the makeourplanetgreatagain.fr platform. Theresa is studying Environmental Engineering at Berkeley and received a fellowship from the Chateaubriand Fellowship Program, a program implemented by the Embassy to support outstanding PhD students who wish to conduct research in France. Thanks to this fellowship, she was able to join a laboratory in Marseille in September 2017 for 8 months: the Institut de Recherche sur les Phénomènes Hors Équilibre (IRPHE, a CNRS, Aix-Marseille Université and École Centrale Marseille laboratory). There, Theresa uses particle dynamics to understand the behavior of aquatic organisms in the oceans, which plays an important role in the global carbon cycle. Their behavior is influenced by extreme events, which are likely to increase with climate change. Thanks to the additional funding available, she will have the opportunity to extend her stay in France.

Two years after the Paris Agreement, the One Planet Summit was organized in Paris on December 12, 2017 to address climate change by bringing together international leaders and civil society organizations. In parallel to the summit, during the event Tech For Planet organized at the startup incubator Station F on December 11, the President of the French Republic revealed the names of the 18 selected researchers and welcomed them on stage along with Theresa Oehmke.


Watch the video made by Theresa Oehmke for her participation in the summit:


Watch the interview of Theresa Oehmke from the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs:


  • Are you a PhD student at a U.S. university? Apply to the Chateaubriand Fellowship Program to conduct research in a French lab for 4-9 months and benefit from additional "Make Our Planet Great Again" fellowships: https://www.chateaubriand-fellowship.org/ (the call for applications is open until mid-January)
  • Are you a researcher at a U.S. university wishing to initiate a collaborative research project with a French team? Apply to the Thomas Jefferson Fund and benefit from financial support in the context of the "Make Our Planet Great Again" initiative: http://face-foundation.org/thomas-jefferson-fund/index.html (call for applications will open mid-January)
  • Contact: deputy-ntics@ambascience-usa.org