The Grantham Scholar training programme

The Grantham Scholar training programme is designed around seven core themes in order to help you become a sustainability leader. In order for you to have the time you need to develop skills in these core themes, we fund Grantham Scholars for three months more than most PhDs.

Do you have a PhD student at the University of Sheffield who could be a Grantham Scholar? Find out how to apply, what we offer, and what to expect.

Ambassadors for sustainability at the University of Sheffield

The Grantham Scholars
Here are some of of 70+ Grantham Scholars. They come from across disciplines and faculties to work on a range of sustainability projects.

Grantham Scholars are ambassadors for sustainability at the University of Sheffield. So you will play an active role both in the Grantham Centre and the outside world. You may also take public roles as activists in sustainability causes.

Throughout your PhD, you will meet experts from policy, industry and academic backgrounds. As a result, you will learn how sustainability ideas are created, developed and implemented by research institutions, businesses and governments.

Your supervisors will lead the subject-specific training that you need to complete your PhD project.

Here you can find out about the training we lead on, working closely with your supervisors. Please note that some training activities are required, where others are optional.

Overall, our goal is to offer you a unique PhD experience and a range of interesting opportunities. As a result, you will graduate with a valuable set of skills that you can use in your career.

Research Skills

Early on in your PhD, we’ll introduce you to life as a postgraduate research student. Through talks and activities you will gain strategies for critically assessing existing research and  developing good writing habits. And you will also learn about interacting with your supervisor and building a successful career in academia or elsewhere.

Example training: Getting The Most From Your PhD

Interdisciplinary Working

To put the challenges of sustainability in a meaningful context, you’ll get to know how different kinds of researchers work. Grantham Scholars meet weekly to discuss research papers from different branches of academia. You’ll also learn about the research methods your colleagues use, and be an active participant in interdisciplinary networking events, including our annual symposium.

Example training: Methods@Sheffield, Sustainable Futures Symposium

Policy Engagement

Working with policymakers is essential to putting sustainability research into practice. Experts from the University of Sheffield’s Department of Politics will teach you how law-making works, and how researchers can influence it. You will also meet with visitors from political organisations.

Example training: Parliamentary Impact and Engagement

Business, Industry and Enterprise

Businesses can be key drivers of sustainable innovations, and Grantham Scholars get lots of opportunities to interact with industry. Work experience and mentoring can help you learn how the business world works, and how you can shape it. We also run visits so you can see how companies put sustainability into practice.

Example training: Mentoring

Public Engagement

Sustainability affects everyone, and it is the duty of researchers to share their expertise so that challenges can be understood and met. As a result, all Grantham Scholars get involved in organising public talks and debates. And we’ll encourage you to host stalls at festivals and run sessions in schools. Plus we will support other opportunities to share the messages of sustainability with the world.

Example training: Seminar Series, Outreach

Media and Digital Engagement

The media can be a powerful tool for communicating research. Experienced University of Sheffield press officers teach Grantham Scholars how to work with journalists. And you can take the dissemination of ideas into your own hands by learning the fundamentals of video production. Further, you will become an all-round communicator through training that underpins this course.

Example training: Communicate with Confidence, Working With Journalists


A goal of the Grantham Scholar training programme is to empower PhD students to become sustainability leaders. So with this course you can build up core leadership skills. This could be by supervising student research, or by taking on representation roles in the Grantham Centre. Our student-led Grantham Leadership Project is a chance to create a campaign around a cause you believe in.

Example training: Sheffield Undergraduate Research Experience, Grantham Leadership Project