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Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership

Research and Fellowships

New thinking for global problem solving

The University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) is a pioneer in the formulation of 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 provides the information and collaborations required to develop high-impact, systemic solutions for business, government and the finance sector.


Research at CISL

Laptop research

We welcome interest from companies, foundations and other visionary funders who are interested in supporting sustainability research at CISL.

Prince of Wales Fellowships

HRH Fellowships Dinner

We are building a cohort of leading academics from around the world to undertake research with the ambition to enable private sector action on sustainability.

Visiting research

Library interior

We welcome academic visitors from around the world whose stay will be of mutual research benefit to the individual, their host and CISL.

Publications and resources


Our research, undertaken by leading academics, is channelled into practical business and policy solutions. At present, we publish and contribute to a combination of academic working papers, journal publications, practitioner-based reports and short articles.

Information for funders

Information for funders

Many business leaders are seeking both specific and broad insights into their future pathways to resilience and sustainability. In working with us, research funders are addressing real-life challenges and are developing solutions.


Commissioned research


We help our clients respond to short-term business imperatives while supporting long-term transformation through the provision of advisory services.

Who we are

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).