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The University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) is located within one of the world’s leading universities, and our extensive reach into the business, policy and finance communities uniquely places us to channel research into business and policy solutions. 

Our goal is to deliver consistently high-quality independent research that strengthens the case for ​action to build a sustainable economy.

Our research draws on multidisciplinary thinking, grounded in ​the insights and ​experience of exceptional people from business, policy, civil society and academia. Through The Prince of Wales Global Sustainability Fellowship Programme we are building a cohort of world-class researchers targeting breakthrough solutions to meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).


Supporting innovation to address global problems

CISL is a pioneer in formulating research to support innovation in sustainable business and policy practice. Known as transdisciplinary research, or research that is co-designed by academics and research users, our work explores fundamental research questions arising from real-world problems faced by practitioners. The ‘problem-focus’ of our research requires us to draw on unique combinations of ​academic disciplines.


Our work

Our ten-year plan to rewire the economy to deliver the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) provides an umbrella and context for much of our research work. At present we publish a combination of academic working papers, practitioner-based reports and short articles. We expect The Prince of Wales Global Sustainability Fellowship Programme to contribute academic journal articles to this range of outputs.​

​CISL’s Centres for Business Transformation, Policy and Industrial Transformation, and Sustainable Finance aims to provide the information and collaborations required to develop high impact, systemic solutions for business, government and the finance sector.



The Prince of Wales Global Sustainability Fellowship Programme

The Prince of Wales Global Sustainability Fellowship Programme aims to attract academics from around the world to collaborate with peers, companies and policymakers to identify breakthrough solutions to meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The Fellowship Programme will help to mobilise global evidence on challenges such as inequality, nutrition and environmental protection, with a view to enabling companies and policymakers to play a catalytic role in building a sustainable economy.

Read more about The Prince of Wales Global Sustainability Fellowship Programme


Other Fellowship schemes

Our CISL Fellowship schemes enable us to utilise the skills and experience of exceptional people from business, policy, civil society and academia to support our work in building a sustainable economy.

CISL Fellows and Visiting Fellows are instrumental at a strategic level as ambassadors, expert contributors or high-level connectors. The title of Visiting Fellow is given to academics who may spend intermittent periods in Cambridge furthering the mission of CISL’s work through engaging with colleagues across the Institute and facilitating co-operation with academics across the University of Cambridge. 

Read more about our CISL Fellows.


Core research themes

Our research programme is characterised by a focus on real-world solutions, encompassing relevance, practicality and research impact. Our research framework is informed by our Rewiring the Economy plan and supports our Centres to develop innovative solutions critical to the delivery of the SDGs.


Research Oversight Committee

Professor Tim Minshall (Dr John C Taylor Professor of Innovation & Head of the Institute for Manufacturing)

Professor Carol Brayne CBE (Professor of Public Health Medicine in the Department of Public Health and Primary Care)

Professor Jennifer Howard-Grenville (Diageo Professor in Organisation Studies, Judge Business School)

Professor Bill Adams (Moran Professor of Conservation and Development and Fellow of Downing College)


Ethical Code for Research

CISL is a department in the School of Technology and as such follows the School’s process of ethics and integrity review for research. All processes and policies have been reviewed and approved by the University Research Ethics Committee (UREC). Our Ethical Code for Research and self-assessment checklist are applicable to all CISL-led grant or donation funded research.