Skip to main content

School of Social and Political Science: Graduate school


PhD Scholarship on Education for Sustainable Development

Application deadline:   Friday 26th January 2018 at 17:00 GMT

Promoting the Transformative Potential of Education for Sustainable Development

The School of Social and Political Science of the University of Edinburgh, in collaboration with the School of Geography and Sustainable Development of the University of St Andrews, invite applications for a funded PhD studentship, Promoting the Transformative Potential of Education for Sustainable Development, to begin in September 2018.

This PhD studentship, based at the University of Edinburgh, is an interdisciplinary initiative funded by the Scottish Alliance for Geosciences, Environment and Society (SAGES).

The aim of the studentship is to investigate how Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) can go beyond the necessary but insufficient goal of transmission of knowledge and offer truly transformative learning opportunities; enabling learners to make decisions that consider the long-term future of the economy, ecology and equity of all communities. Further details can be found in the project proposal, although the student will have discretion to develop the project according to their interests and in consultation with the supervisors.

Principal supervisor: Dr Rachel Howell 

Second supervisors: Professor Pete Higgins (Edinburgh) and Dr Rehema White (St Andrews)

The PhD student will be fully supported in their career and skills development.

Entry requirements
We welcome applications from candidates who have a good first degree, and a Masters (or who are studying towards one) in Sustainable Development, Education, Sociology, Geography, Psychology or other relevant subjects. Candidates must also meet the entry requirements for the PhD in Sociology, including the English language requirements.

The PhD Studentship covers tuition fees at UK/EU rates (currently £4,195 p.a.), additional costs such as conference fees and some research funding, and stipend at RCUK rate (currently £14,553 p.a.) for 3.5 years.

This studentship covers UK/EU tuition fees only (any eligible overseas candidates must fund the remainder of the overseas tuition fee themselves).

How to apply
Potential applicants are encouraged to make contact with Dr Rachel Howell ( in advance of submitting an application.

Applications should be emailed to Dr Rachel Howell by 17:00 hours GMT on Friday 26th January 2018, with the subject heading ‘SAGES studentship application’.

Please include:

  • CV (including names of two referees)
  • Covering letter explaining your interest in the studentship and what you think you will bring to the project

Interviews will be held in Edinburgh (or by videoconference/Skype) and are planned for 19th - 20th February 2018.

Edinburgh Students