Rachel Harcourt

Rachel Harcourt


I’m a PhD researcher working between the Priestley International Centre for Climate in the Faculty of Environment, and the Centre for Decision Research in the Business School.

My current project is looking at how the UK is narrating climate change impacts and adaptation. It hypothesises that how we tell the story of the UK's changing climate will influence individual’s willingness to engage in becoming a climate ready society. Drawing on media and other publicly available texts, it will identify the currently most prominent narratives circulating within the public discourse. The analysis will focus particularly on who is identified as having agency to respond to climate risks and how. It will then work with research participants to evaluate whether individuals find these narratives motivating and engaging, and to explore whether their might be other, more effective ways to story the UK’s journey towards climate readiness.

I am being supervised by Professor Wandi Bruine de Buine, Professor Suraje Dessai and Dr Andrea Taylor.

I have previously completed an MSc in Sustainability and Business, although my academic background is originally in Literature studies.


  • MSc, Sustainability & Business, University of Leeds
  • MA, Modern & Contemporary Literature, Birkbeck, University of London
  • BA, English Language & Literature, King's College London

Research groups and institutes

  • Sustainability Research Institute
  • Climate Change Adaptation, Vulnerability and Services