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The Prince of Wales Global Sustainability Fellowship Programme

The Prince of Wales Global Sustainability Fellowship Programme aims to attract leading academics from around the world to undertake research ​in co-operation with the private sector to identify breakthrough solutions to meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).​


About The Prince of Wales Global Sustainability Fellowship Programme

The University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) has established The Prince of Wales Global Sustainability Fellowship Programme with an ambition to unlock the potential of the University to partner with business, government and finance institutions on real-world challenges and opportunities that must be addressed in order to build a sustainable economy.

The Programme aims to foster new cross-disciplinary thinking on sustainability, leading to practical insights, tools and recommendations for decision-makers to carry into their organisations alongside important advances in fundamental knowledge. From 2020 the Programme will be based at CISL’s new premises; a low carbon retrofitted building in the centre of Cambridge, which will serve as a vibrant, collaborative atmosphere for transdisciplinary research, education and industry and policy engagement.

Working in close association with academic departments and Cambridge colleges, the Programme will attract outstanding candidates to undertake transdisciplinary research into themes such as health, social inclusion, industrial transformation, natural capital, sustainable finance, future cities and leadership for sustainability. 

The Programme is currently funded to support research on the following themes:

  • Industrial transformationHow will industries, jobs and markets evolve in future decades in response to global challenges, and how should public policy act with business to smooth this path and ensure economic development is inclusive and sustainable?
  • Business transformation:  How can tomorrow’s successful companies align purpose, strategy, and ambition with long-term value creation for society in order to play their part in delivering a sustainable economy?
  • Sustainable financeHow should financial institutions navigate a widening set of sustainability risk factors while facilitating the flow of capital into solutions?

In the future we hope the Programme will expand to cover, amongst others:

  • Future cities – How can cities develop vibrant communities of healthy people, supported by clean, green energy, food, water and transportation systems?

HRH The Prince of Wales has agreed that the University can establish the Programme in his name to bring researchers together with influential corporate and policy practitioners across the globe. Launched in July 2018, it represents a public tribute to his leadership in the cause of protecting the environment, promoting healthy communities, and building sound economies around the world.  

Funding for the Fellowships has been secured through philanthropic donations from companies, foundations and individuals.


"Universities contribute to society through the creation of new knowledge and the development of new skills. It is our aspiration to do this in ways that are relevant and purposeful.

The Prince of Wales Global Sustainability Fellowship Programme, hosted by the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership, will help us to do just that by allowing academics to engage productively with business, government and financial institutions for society's benefit – both in the UK and globally."

Professor Stephen Toope, Vice-Chancellor, University of Cambridge


Current and future Fellowships

The following Prince of Wales Fellows have been appointed:



Summary description


Industrial transformation

Radical innovation and disruption

The implications of innovation and disruption associated with the transition to a sustainable economy.

Paul and Michelle Gilding

Transforming the pulp and paper industry

How trends of innovation and sustainability will reshape the future of the paper and pulp industry.


Pathways to a circular economy

Business risks and opportunities provided by ‘circular’ versus ‘linear’ models of production and consumption.


Infrastructure and sustainable communities

The effectiveness of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in delivering sustainable development at the local level.

The Equal Opportunities Foundation


The following Prince of Wales Fellows are still to be appointed: (Please consult our current vacancies above)




Summary description


Industrial transformation

Air quality and NCDs*

The impacts of air quality on respiratory, oncological and cardiovascular disease prevalence.


Business Transformation

Sustainability decision-making*

Evaluating investment decisions to ensure maximal social and natural value from the distribution of limited resources 

Anglian Water

Community wellbeing*

Contribution of community engagement by the retail sector to community wellbeing in the UK.


Luxury and social inclusion*

The potential role of the luxury sector in the transition towards more inclusive societies.


Connected communities*

The role of retailers in empowering consumers and connecting them to solutions that enable sustainable consumption


Nutrition in first 1,000 days of life **

 Micronutrient deficiency in Sub-Saharan Africa - factors underlying diet of children in first 1000 days.

Royal DSM

Sustainable Finance

Climate risk in aviation*

Scenarios for transition and physical risk for the aviation industry.



* The Fellow will be appointed at the level of Senior Research Associate

**The Fellow will be appointed at the level of Research Associate


Applying to become a Prince of Wales Global Sustainability Fellow

This exciting new Programme offers Fellows the opportunity to develop and lead independent research projects of relevance to one of the defined topics. Fellows may have the opportunity to enhance their impact by teaching on CISL’s executive and graduate programmes, and/or supervising students studying for the MSt in Sustainability Leadership and other CISL graduate programmes.

We are currently accepting applications for the following topic:

Senior Research Associate - Community wellbeing

We are seeking to appoint a Fellow in community wellbeing under The Prince of Wales Global Sustainability Fellowship Programme. Funding for the Fellowship has been secured through a philanthropic donation from Asda Stores Limited, but stewardship of the Programme lies with CISL.

Large retail stores have prominent local presences, which can be magnified by their community engagement and philanthropic activities, potentially causing them to become 'anchoring institutions' within communities. The Fellow will be appointed for a period of three years to conduct high-impact research into the effectiveness of community relationships/interventions by retail organisations in the UK. The findings will inform strategic recommendations for enhancing the contribution of the retail sector to community wellbeing in the UK.


How to apply: If you would like to submit an application in response to one of the advertised positions, please click on the position and follow the link to the University’s Web Recruitment System and upload the following documents:

  1. Cover letter
  2. Full CV
  3. Completed research proposal template 
  4. Proof of institutional support (only applicable if you are applying for a secondment)


Frequently asked questions

If you have any question regarding our Fellowship Programme or the recruitment process, please consult our FAQ sheet or contact


College affiliation

Cambridge colleges operate autonomously from the University and complement the work of academic departments by providing a stimulating environment for cross-disciplinary and social interaction, while also providing access to facilities and pastoral support. Should they wish, Fellows will be eligible to become members of Trinity College Post-Doctoral Society. Further information about the Trinity College Post-Doctoral Society can be found here and on their events page.


Please note:

If you wish to be notified when posts are advertised, then please register your interest. We will open applications for our future Fellowships over summer/autumn and encourage candidates to submit their applications via the University’s Web Recruitment System.

If you are able to access funding from other sources and wish to enquire about opportunities to contribute as a visiting researcher, then please register your interest.  We particularly welcome expressions of interest that align with the themes or topics for our Fellowships (see above). It would be helpful if you could indicate where you consider the alignment to be and the magnitude and duration of the funding that you have available.

CISL does not yet offer a PhD programme. The highest qualification we offer is our Master’s in Sustainability Leadership and Interdisciplinary Design for the Built Environment (IDBE). If you wish to study towards a PhD, please consider other Cambridge departments with sustainability interests, for example: Architecture, Engineering (including the Institute for Manufacturing), Geography, Land Economy, Judge Business School, and the Centre of Development Studies. We have close collaborations with these departments and are pleased to explore opportunities to interact with PhD students admitted by them.

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Theo Hacking

Jake Reynolds

For further inquiries regarding the Fellowship Programme or the application process, please contact