Grantham Scholars food waste

3 months additional funding for sustainability PhD projects: for PhDs starting Autumn 2023

We provide 3 months additional funding for PhDs (the Grantham Scholars) and we open submissions every year for new applicants. Please note that applications for 2023 are now closed.

On this page you’ll find everything you need to apply to become a Grantham Scholar or to help your PhD student become one. There is information for both supervisors and PhDs, as well as links to register for upcoming information events.

Join the Grantham Centre

The Grantham Centre runs a specialised training programme that equips PhD students from the University of Sheffield to become the sustainability leaders of the future.

We’ve been training students for over 9 years now and have more than 90 PhD students. As a result, we have an engaged, enthusiastic and friendly community of sustainability researchers from across all disciplines and faculties. And our students receive more than training, they also have the support of our dedicated team.

Here are some of the 90+ Grantham Scholars. They come from across disciplines and faculties to work on a range of sustainability projects.

Additional funding for sustainability PhDs

We have a diverse community of researchers at the Grantham Centre – and without such diversity we can’t hope to create a sustainable future. But we want to do better. As such, we would love to see applicants (both supervisors and students) from a range of academic and social backgrounds.

So, do you have a PhD student who may benefit from our programme? If so, keeping reading to find all the information you need to have your student become a Grantham Scholar.

Please note that this information is for PhD projects starting in Autumn 2023, and our training programme begins in January 2024.

The Grantham Scholars: what they get

Our PhD students – the Grantham Scholars – receive bespoke training on activism, policy engagement and industry collaboration.

Grantham Centre training provides many benefits in both soft and hard skills. And much of our training fits inside the DDP, through formal courses and also participation in research events, networking, presentations and study skills.

We also provide our Scholars with the valuable opportunity to attend the international COP Climate Change Conference as an official delegate and we cover the costs associated with this. The Scholars also have an option to apply for some extra funding from us to attend other conferences or events that they have difficulty getting other funding for. Further, we also have funds to support knowledge exchange and impact.

Alongside this, we have a dedicated team who work to support the Grantham Scholars. This involves everything from advice on pastoral matters, to support on policy engagement, to communicating their research to a wide audience.

What we do:

● Pay for specialist training for your PhD student.

● Provide your student with an additional 3 months of stipend and fees at the current UKRI rate. This is subject to you supporting your student to take part in the training programme and their satisfactory engagement with the training opportunities.

[Please note: PhDs can only be funded for a total of 4 years. If your studentship is already 4 years long then you are welcome to apply for your student to take part in the training but we cannot provide any additional funding].

● Our dedicated Communications Officer will publicise both your and your student’s research. They will work with your student to create content for our website and publicise it through our Twitter account (we have 7+k followers), other social media and newsletters (sign up to our external newsletter). Our Comms Officer can also advise on the creation of press releases and talking to the media.

● We will support your consortia building activity and grant applications and put you in touch with sustainability colleagues across the university.

● And we will support your research impact e.g. alert you to opportunities from policy makers to publicise your research and provide advice about this.

As a Grantham supervisor you would need to:

Speakers at our Annual Symposium 2022: Hita Unnikrishnan, Solomon Brown and Chair Ankit Kumar

● Attend the ‘Grantham Centre Introduction’ seminar.

● Support your PhD student to take part in the compulsory elements of the Grantham Centre training programme.

● Attend Grantham Centre events, such as our Annual Symposium.

● Support interdisciplinary training courses such as ‘Methods@Sheffield’.

● Undertake activities, for example running a journal club or giving a presentation to the Scholars about publishing papers.

Further information, application form and contact us

For further information please see our current training programme and website. There is more detailed information about our training programme in our handbook.

Here’s what information you will need to be able to fill out the form – make sure you have it all at hand before starting to fill out the form.

To apply for this funding please fill in this Google Form.

If you have any questions about the training programme or your obligations then you can contact Deborah Beck, Grantham Centre Manager:

Important information

Please note that the deadline to submit an application form from both the first year PhD student and supervisor is Wednesday 18th October at 1pm. Any applications submitted after this time cannot be considered. There are a limited number of places.

PhD students need to be first years starting their PhD in autumn 2023.

Please note that PhD students and supervisors both need to agree to apply for this opportunity. There is one link to the Google Form above which will direct you to different sections to fill in if you are a first year PhD student or a supervisor. Proposals will be judged on the information provided by both the student and the supervisor.

The judging panel are:
Rachael Rothman – Chemical and Biological Engineering
Tony Ryan – Chemistry
Aki Tsuchiya – Economics and School of Health and Related Research
Bhavani Shankar – Geography
Lenny Koh – Management School

Please note that if you are a supervisor you can submit more than 1 application if you have several first year PhD students on sustainability research projects.
You will be able to edit the form up until the deadline. You will receive a notification of your responses – please save this for future reference.

There will be opportunities to find out more information about the training programme before you submit an application.

PhD students

There will be an online information session on Wednesday 4th October, 10am to 11amlink here.

You are invited to attend our Annual Symposium on Wednesday 11th October 2023 to meet current Grantham Scholars who are on our training programme and there will be posters of current research projects for you to view. Please register here by midday on Friday 29th September if you want to attend the Symposium.


There will be an online information session on Monday 25th September, 1pm to 2pmlink here.

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