Call for proposals from all faculties – Grantham Centre for Sustainable Futures

The Grantham Centre for Sustainable Futures invites applications from potential supervisors for PhD student projects to start in October 2018. Applications are open to University of Sheffield academics only.

We expect to support up to 15 students (‘Grantham Scholars’), fully funded at Home/EU or international rates for four years. Supported projects will receive an allowance for travel and consumables (RTSG) at a rate of £2,627 per annum, with an additional one-off allowance of £1,000 for a computer in the first year.

Scholars will be supported with an annual stipend of £17,336.  Further details of the eligibility and selection criteria for this call for proposals are available below.

The deadline for applications is midday on Thursday 16 November 2017. 


The Grantham Centre for Sustainable Futures is an ambitious and innovative collaboration between the University of Sheffield and the Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment ( Our sustainability research creates knowledge and connects it to policy debates on how to build a fairer world and save natural resources for future generations. We are building a global community of sustainability leaders through a PhD programme. The Grantham Scholars carry out excellent interdisciplinary research, learning the technical skills and political awareness needed to create a sustainable world.

The Grantham Scholars work with world experts across every faculty at the University of Sheffield, and follow a unique training programme. As well as being taught the latest tools and techniques in their fields, they learn to connect their research to the wider world. Our students organise events, blog about their work, and learn how to work with politicians and the media. They are trained to inform evidence-based discussions and policies on sustainability.

Projects funded by the centre in previous years can be found at: and information about our external engagement is here:



We welcome applications from researchers across all five academic faculties, addressing aspects of either or both of the centre’s strategic priorities: “Enough for Everyone” and “Reducing Global Consumption”. Projects should be interdisciplinary and may address social, political, cultural, scientific or technological issues. Particular preference will be given to those that tackle the ‘Global Challenges’ facing developing countries, especially if they involve partnership building with researchers and/or others such as NGOs, governments and business in developing countries.

We also welcome proposals which include collaboration with industry or other external organisations.  Any external support, either in money or in kind, should be explicitly stated and verified prior to award.  Please contact Deborah Beck ( before submitting a proposal.

Proposals should include details of a lead supervisor with normally a minimum of one co-supervisor from a different department, and we especially encourage cross-faculty collaborations.

Potential supervisors are invited to attend an information and networking event to clarify details of the call and facilitate new collaborations. This will be held on Tuesday 24th October from 11.30am to 12.30pm in Lecture Theatre 6 in the Diamond.

Please register your interest in this event by filling in the  form:

If you have any queries about the form please email Deborah Beck, Scholarship Programme Manager for the Grantham Centre (

All members of the supervisory team must be contracted to work at the University throughout the whole duration of the project (Oct 2018 to Sep 2022). Academic supervisors will be expected to engage with the work of the centre, and to contribute to the training of students through participation in workshops and seminars.


How to apply

Applicants should fill in a one page (max. 5000 characters including spaces) case for support by using the following link: by midday on ‘Thursday 16 November 2017.

Any additional text over 5000 characters (including spaces) will be disregarded.

If you have any queries about the form please email Deborah Beck, Scholarship Programme Manager for the Grantham Centre (

The case for support should be presented in a way that is understandable to a non-specialist.

Applications will be evaluated by a multidisciplinary panel against three criteria, the first of which is weighted double that of the second and third:

  1. Excellence and Novelty
  • The transformative nature of the proposed idea
  • The novelty of the disciplines coming together and what value they will add to the research area
  • Rigour of the proposed approach
  • Is it a clear and well-defined postgraduate student project?
  • Is it a good fit to the call?
  1. Quality of collaboration
  • The appropriateness of the supervisory team to answer the research questions posed
  • The extent to which students (and supervisors) will be exposed to, and benefit from, new methods, techniques and analytical tools
  • The level of thought into how disciplines will be integrated throughout the course of the project
  1. Strategic value
  • Could it be funded from other sources?
  • Is it in an area that addresses our strategic priorities and that we want to see funded?
  • Does the proposal demonstrate a new collaboration between Departments with new PIs?

Supervisory teams wishing to request RTSG in excess of £2,627 must provide a clear justification for those additional funds in the case for support.

Successful project teams will be informed by beginning of January.

Please note:  Questions about the process should be addressed to Professor Colin Osborne, Associate Director for the Grantham Centre at or 0114 222 0146.

Further information available at: