Over the years we have initiated internal funding competitions.

Past competitions by year


We are pleased to announce that the third round of the USROP competition is now open! The competition is open to all undergraduate students at Surrey to apply for funding to carry out a placement or research project in a Sustainability-related topic over the summer months this year. 

Applications are made online and the deadline for all submissions is 4pm on Tuesday 07 May 2019.

Further details about the call can be found in the information document available to download below and details about past successful projects are listed further down this page. 

All queries should be directed to

The third round of the Conference Support Programme closed in January 2019 and we are delighted to announce that four colleagues have been funded to attend their chosen Sustainability-related conference. Applications were made online and we received very strong submissions. Many thanks to all of our applicants and congratulations to our winners!


Name: Peter Roth, Chemistry

Conference: European Polymer Congress - Heraklion, Greece

Details: The conference will be attended by delegates from academia and industry, including polymer chemists and materials scientists. The main topic of the event is 'Biopolymers, biocomposites, bioengineering and biotechnology', encompassing the preparation and properties of plastics from renewable resources and their potential in a circular economy. 


Name: Chris Jones, Psychology

Conference: The British Psychological Society's Annual Conference - Harrogate, UK

Details: The theme of this year's conference is 'the psychological impact of inequality' with a focus on stigma and health, gender and educational inequality.The conference therefore maps onto a number of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 


Name: Tom Roberts, Sociology

Conference: Energy and Society in Transition: 2nd International Conference on Energy Research and Social Science - Arizona, USA

Details: This conference will explore the intersection between a changing global population and our energy needs. The focus will be on understanding the changing nature of our relationship with energy and approaches to managing the inevitable transition which the global energy system is undertaking. 


Name: Christine Corlet Walker, CES 

Conference: European Society for Ecological Economics Conference - Turku, Finland

Details: This conference is focused on transdisciplinary research, looking at the theoretical and practical prerequisites for sustainable development. Conference themes include: safeguarding biodiversity, climate and ecosystem services, reconciling consumption, need and wellbeing, developing sustainable futures, formulating transformative policies. 


The 2017-18 round of the Sustainability Research Theme's Conference Support Programme closed in January 2018. We received a large number of high quality applications which were considered by an internal panel. We are delighted to announce that five colleagues were supported to attend their chosen conference. 

We would like to thank all of our applicants and extend big congratulations to our winners! Brief details of the successful applications are listed below. 


Name: Rosie Cole, Surrey Business School

Conference: 5th International EurOMA Sustainable Operations and Supply Chains Forum, Kassel

Details: The conference was part of the European Operations Management Association which deals with sustainable supply chain management. It aimed to stimulate discussions between related research communities and to encourage multi-method studies exploring how to manage operations and supply chains in a sustainable way. 


Name: Mauro Lafratta, Centre for Environment and Sustainability

Conference: International Water Association's SMICE2018 - Sludge Management in the Circular Economy, Rome

Details: The aim of the conference was to build understanding of opportunities and limits in the adoption of European policies of circular economy for sludge management. Research in circular waste water and sludge management could help contribute to the general knowledge and real application by water utilities of more sustainable technologies. 


Name: Candice Howarth, School of Hospitality and Tourism Management

Conference: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Edmonton

Details: The IPCC conference was a pivotal event in advancing global understanding of how climate change will impact cities and the role of cities in tackling climate change. The event aims to inspire research, inform a special IPCC report on cities and support the implementation of the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda at an urban level. 


Name: Piyush Mohanty, Civil and Environmental Engineering

Conference: 9th European Conference on Numerical Methods in Geotechnical Engineering, Porto

Details: This conference provided an excellent forum for researchers, scientists and engineers from around the globe to exchange ideas on topics related to behaviour of different buildings, bridges and their foundations in the event of earthquakes and will contribute to the aim of building resilient infrastructures and making cities and human settlements safe. 


Name: Kavin Narasimhan, Sociology

Conference: International Association People-Environment Studies, Rome

Details: IAPS brings together researchers working on topics exploring the relationship and interactions of people with their natural and built socio-physical surroundings. Themes of the conference included: sustainability and social innovation, resource crises, selection, design, operation and management of built environments and their ecological impacts, green economy. 

The second USROP closed in May 2018 and we are pleased to announce that four undergraduate students will be awarded to carry out short research placements over the summer months.


Student: Faizal Amin, Electrical and Electronic Engineering

Supervisor(s): Professor Ravi Silva & Dr Imalka Jayawardena

Details: The project characterised and modelled hybrid solar cells using commercial technology computer aided design software, emulating behaviour and performance. 


Student: Amrit Singh Samra, Civil and Environmental Engineering

Supervisor(s): Dr Devendra Saroj, Ms Cat Reeby & Miss Joan Talubo

Details: Water consumption at Surrey is higher than our peer institutions, therefore this project aimed to ascertain where use is highest and what we can do to reduce consumption levels. 


Student: Carla Marti Sobrepera, Mechanical Engineering Sciences 

Supervisor(s): Dr Kin Hing Lo

Details: How much can electric vehicles be optimised through the study of external and cooling flows? This project aimed to find ways to reduce the air resistance of these vehicles in order to increase the range and reduce the amount of energy used to power them. 


Student: Paul Agbaje, Mechanical Engineering Sciences

Supervisor(s): Dr Kin Hing Lo

Details: This project aimed to achieve flow separation control and drag reduction on a passenger car model using wind tunnel tests and force balance measurements. 


During 2016/17 the Sustainability Research Theme offered the first rounds of funding opportunities for 1) internal academic colleagues and students under the Conference Support Programme and, 2) the Undergraduate Sustainability Research Opportunity Programme (USROP). We have been delighted with the range and quality of applications to both schemes. 

The Conference Support Programme has contributed to the presentation aspects of the sustainability-facing research of four of Surrey’s academics/researchers at conferences. 

The first round of the USROP was a huge success and four excellent proposals were funded. All four undergraduate students worked closely with an established academic supervisor on a Sustainability-related research project on campus over the summer of 2017. The winners were based in different schools and departments across the University, including Hospitality and Tourism, Chemistry and Sociology. 

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