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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).​

Applications for the first round are now closed. 


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 transformation: How 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?
  • Social inclusion: How can companies support more equitable access to income, opportunity and livelihoods at a grassroots level?
  • Health: How can companies become agents of improved wellbeing in low-income countries through preventing the causes of ill-health?
  • Leadership: How can companies shape the economy to deliver positive sustainability outcomes, while at the same time ensuring successful and resilient organisations?

In the future we hope the Programme will expand to cover the following additional themes:

  • Sustainable finance: How can we create a finance system that incentivises and rewards long-term thinking?
  • Natural capital: How can companies sustain the natural world and the resources it provides through their strategies and operating practices?
  • 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


Applying to become a Prince of Wales Global Sustainability Fellow

This exciting new Programme offers Fellows the opportunity to develop and lead 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 Master's in Sustainability Leadership and other CISL graduate programmes.

Applications for the first round of Fellowships are now closed but we welcome registrations of interest for our next round of recruitment. To register, please follow the link at the bottom of the page. A second round of recruitment is planned for September 2019 and includes themes such as micro-nutritional deficiencies (Royal DSM), connected communities (Sainsbury’s), climate risk and disclosure (Heathrow), purpose and leadership (Anglian Water). Appointments are currently being made for the following themes and topics: 



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.


Social inclusion

Resilient communities

Building community resilience through community engagement and charitable endeavours by the retail sector.


Luxury and inclusion

The role of luxury brands in contributing to an inclusive economy and society.


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


Air quality and NCDs

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



Appointing the Fellows

The Prince of Wales Global Sustainability Fellows will be appointed via the following paths:

External applicants

The Programme invites applications from candidates around the world to join CISL as Senior Research Associates. This opportunity is open to highly regarded researchers with a strong academic record and interest in conducting research in business, policy or civil society contexts. Appointments will typically be full time; however, part-time applications will be considered at a minimum of 80 per cent FTE.  Individuals may also be appointed on alternative models such as secondment, subject to approval by CISL and the host institution.

University of Cambridge applicants

This opportunity is open to highly regarded researchers at any stage of their careers, and from any relevant discipline that are employed by the University of Cambridge. Consideration will be given to candidates who wish to take this opportunity up as a secondment (or related model) provided they hold a contract of employment with the University of Cambridge that is not due to end during the period of the Fellowship. The funding available per Fellowship may be used flexibly to cover the costs of a minimum 40 per cent secondment and associated additional research support employed by CISL. (Cambridge applicants are also free to apply to be appointed as SRAs via the route above.)  

Each recruitment path requires candidates to upload the following documents to the University’s Web Recruitment System:

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 can be found here and on their events page.

Please note:

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.  

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.

Applications are now closed.

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Theo Hacking

Jake Reynolds

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