Fully funded applied sustainability research projects in the CES Practitioner Doctorate Programme

Our Centre for Environment and Sustainability (CES) Practitioner Doctorate in Sustainability (PDS) programme gives its multi-disciplinary Doctoral research students a unique opportunity to develop and apply the latest thinking in sustainability research through specialist partnerships between outside organisations and the University. PDS students conduct their PhD or EngD research in sustainability directly linked to and embedded in a PDS Partnering Organisation (PO). We are inviting applicants with a keen interest in applied sustainability research to notify us now so that you can be considered for one of at least five exciting PDS doctoral research opportunities starting in late September this year.

Start date
27 September 2021
Standard project duration is 3 - 4 years subject to arrangement with the PDS Partnering organisation
Application deadline
Funding information

Stipend £18k p/a for 3 years. Fees covered by programme. Only UK applicants.


The CES PDS programme enables UK students to conduct their Doctoral research in sustainability to PhD and EngD level directly linked to and embedded in a PDS Partnering Organisation (PO). The PDS programme has approx. five project/PO funded PDS studentship places available for start-up in late September 2021. Applicants are invited now to express your interest in the PDS programme as a basis for specific follow-up on an individual project/PO basis. The following illustrates briefly the types of project/POs available:

  • Evaluating and interpreting sustainability heuristics
  • Carbon foot-printing in the gaming sector – with Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe
  • Remote working: pros and cons for sustainability and space in HEIs – with University of Surrey Estates Group
  • Biodiversity action planning for HEIs – with University of Surrey Estates Group
  • Social Value analysis and assessment – with PO tbc (in development)
  • Finance for sustainability – with PO tbc (in development)

Once academic supervisor will be from CES.The second academic supervisor can be from CES or from across the university depending on the specialist knowledge required.

Related links
Collaborate with us through applied industry research Student testimonials What our students say

Applicants are most welcome to request further detail and guidance on the projects available. Please contact Mrs Deidre Richardson.

Eligibility criteria

Applicants are expected to hold a first or upper-second class degree in a relevant discipline, or a lower second plus a good Masters degree (distinction normally required).

Your application will be assessed.  You will be notified via email if shortlisted for interview by Thursday 26th July.  Interviews are planned to take place between 2nd and 16th August 2021 via zoom or in person.

IELTS requirements: 6.5 or above (or equivalent) with 6.0 in each individual component.

This studentship is only available to UK students. 

How to apply

Apply via the Sustainability PhD page with the following documents:  Degree certificates and transcripts, cover letter indicating area of interest, a recent cv, 2 reference contacts

Application deadline

Contact details

Caroline Stuart

CES/PDS Development and Administration Officer



Studentships at Surrey

We have a wide range of studentship opportunities available.