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Anglia Ruskin University ARU Featured PhD Programmes
Anglia Ruskin University ARU Featured PhD Programmes

Leverhulme TRANSFORM PhD Studentship: Financing ‘Green’ and ‘Sustainable’ Transitions

Global Sustainable Development and Liberal Arts

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Dr N Bernards , Dr C Tan No more applications being accepted Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
Warwick United Kingdom Climate Science Politics & Government Social Work

About the Project

Location: Coventry

Hours: Full-time

Start date: 1st October 2021

Project start date: 1st October 2021

Duration: 4 years


This studentship is supported by the Leverhulme Doctoral Scholarship programme TRANSFORM: Transformations of Human-Environment Interactions to Sustainable Development. TRANSFORM provides a new doctoral research training pathway for sustainability science at Warwick, offering PhD scholarships to train a new generation of transdisciplinary leaders who are able to address current and future sustainability challenges.

You will be trained in transdisciplinary methods, enabling you to draw on skills from multiples disciplines and work effectively and equitably with non-academic partners to deliver impactful sustainable development research. Scholarship holders will also benefit from tailored skills training, masterclasses and a vibrant research community.


This project would critically interrogate the rise of ‘green’ or ‘sustainable’ financial instruments, with an emphasis on questions of climate justice and the intersections of ‘green’ investment and shifting patterns of development finance. Financing transitions to sustainable economies is a core objective of the Paris Agreement and will be a key focus of COP 26. This growing interest in ‘sustainable’ finance is driven by the need to deliver finance for climate-friendly/green economic transitions as well as the imperative to mainstream climate and sustainability concerns into the financial system. This has resulted in the creation of markets and investor interest in ‘green’ or ‘sustainable’ financial products.

This emerging area of activity is ripe for interdisciplinary inquiry. Efforts to make financial markets ‘green’ raise fundamental challenges around how to reduce complex human-environment relations to measures legible to distant investors. It is not clear that profitable returns for investors are always compatible with the interests of the communities most directly affected by climate change, predominantly in poorer communities in the global south. Given the multifaceted and historically-embedded nature of vulnerability to climate change and other ecological hazards for many communities in the global south, there is a danger that some of the activities enabled emerging forms of ‘green’ finance might in fact have unintended adverse effects.

The candidate will develop their own project that will build on these themes and explore these issues through one or more in-depth case studies. The project would draw on emerging interdisciplinary perspectives on financialisation, political ecology, the governance of climate change, and green finance.


The candidate must be familiar with social scientific theory and methods, possessing a good understanding of international political economy and global governance, and demonstrate knowledge of contemporary developments related to the operational and policy landscape of financing green and sustainable transitions. It is desirable that candidates demonstrate knowledge of international law/ regulatory regimes related to global finance, sustainable development, environmental law and governance and/or climate change law, governance and policy.

How to Apply

For full details and application form, please see here:

Funding Notes

Annual stipend will be £15,609pa, for 4 years rising each year in line with UKRI rate. Tuition fees will be paid at the home rate but a waiver for the difference between home and overseas fees may be awarded to an exceptional overseas candidate.

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