Essex awarded £2.2m grant to to fund environmental sustainability scholars

  • Date

    Wed 28 Feb 24

Essex Law School's Stephen Turner

The University of Essex has secured a £2.2million grant from the Leverhulme Trust to help train up the next generation of interdisciplinary environmental sustainability researchers within a programme known as the Sustainable Transitions in Governance, Ecological Management and Society – Leverhulme Doctoral Training Programme.

The grant will fund 18 interdisciplinary PhD scholarships that will focus on the pathways required to achieve environmental sustainability.

The students, who will be known as the Sustainable Transitions - Leverhulme Trust Doctoral Scholars, will be researching supervisor led projects involving collaborations between different academic disciplines across the University.

Essex Law School, the Department of Government, the School of Life Sciences, Essex Business School and the Department of Sociology will all be involved in the programme, with each scholar’s PhD required to cut across at least two of the departments.

Essex Law School’s Dr Stephen Turner, who is the Principal Investigator for the project, said: ‘We are delighted with this award as it enables us to further develop PhD training that blends sustainability related expertise from different disciplines in a way that is much needed across government, business and society.

"The award is recognition of the great work already conducted here at Essex in the field of environmental sustainability but also of the enormous potential and responsibility that we have to develop solutions that can have local, national and international application."

As part of the project, Essex will fund a further three scholarships, taking the overall total to 21.

Three of the scholarships aim to provide opportunities to underrepresented groups and people from low-income households, an area in which the University has developed an enviable reputation.

Professor Shane Martin, Dean of Postgraduate Research and Education, said: “Our PGR Students are at the heart of our commitment at the University of Essex to excellence in education and in research which benefits both individuals and communities. As researchers in training, our PGR students contribute to the world-changing research and outstanding teaching we do at Essex. We foster a culture where change happens, and in which PGR students can flourish.

"While at Essex we are rightly proud of having created a more inclusive and diverse PGR community, there is much more to do. PGR needs to grow in diversity and welcome more individuals with different lived experiences, and funded scholarships are one important factor in making this happen.”

The University looks forward to the first intake of students in October 2024.