Applied Sustainability Research projects in the CES Practitioner Doctorate PhD/EngD Programme

Our CES Practitioner Doctorate Student (PDS) programme gives its multi-disciplinary Doctoral Researchers a unique opportunity to develop and apply the latest thinking in sustainability research through specialist partnerships between outside organisations and the University.  

Start date

1 October 2022


3 years full time for PhD (option potential for 4 years to EngD subject to Partnering Organisation).

Application deadline

Funding source

Diverse external funding from companies, charities, NGOs, Gov depts etc.

Funding information

£20,000 stipend, fees and research training support grant covered.


The unique CES PDS programme enables UK students to conduct their Doctoral research in sustainability to PhD/EngD level directly linked to, and embedded in, a PDS Partnering Organisation (PO).  The PDS programme has approximately five PO-funded PDS Doctoral Practitioner places available to start-up in late September 2022.

The following illustrates briefly a non-exhaustive list of the types of projects/POs currently available:

  • Evaluating and interpreting sustainability heuristics (w/ Unilever plc)
  • Carbon and environmental footprinting in the gaming sector (w/ Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe)
  • UK Renewable energy supply systems (w/ a major power provider)
  • Biodiversity and nature recovery networks (w/ Surrey Wildlife Trust)
  • Recovery and refining of recovered materials (w/ a major UK refiner)
  • Finance for sustainability – with PO tbc (in development)

We invite applicants with a keen interest in applied sustainability research to contact us now so that you can be considered for one of at least five exciting PDS doctoral research opportunities starting in late September 2022.

Related links

More information about CES Practitioner Doctorate in Sustainability (PDS)

Eligibility criteria

Minimum Upper Second UK or equivalent BSc/BA degree and/or MSc/MA at Merit or equivalent in a discipline relevant to diverse aspects of applied sustainability research and thinking. Broadly, these may well be in the engineering, natural and social sciences, but we welcome applications from other disciplinary backgrounds.

We particularly welcome applications from individuals with experience in industry/business, government and/or NGO/third sector organisations and account is taken of such relevant experience in balance with formal qualifications as outlined above.

IELTS minimum 6.5 overall with 6.0 in Writing, or equivalent.

This studentship is only available to UK students. 

How to apply

To apply please contact: Caroline Stuart at (PDS Development and Administration Officer) by email to express your interest in joining the programme by stating the named project, with an accompanying CV and a covering letter, prior to making any formal admissions application via the University’s Admissions procedures.

For all of the PDS opportunities, we will be conducting interviews as we receive applicant CV’s via email and appointing sequentially – so if interested, you are encouraged to CONTACT US NOW (do not wait until the deadline!)

Formal admissions applications will be required via the University’s Admissions procedures - this will follow your PDS interview and arrangement within the PDS programme for an offer.

Applicants will be required to provide two Academic References from previous academic supervisors, or one Academic and one Industry reference prior to interview.

Studentship FAQs

Read our studentship FAQs to find out more about applying and funding.

Application deadline

Contact details

Name: Caroline Stuart



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