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The TRANSFORM application process

Thank you for your interest in applying to the TRANSFORM Doctoral Scholarships Programme. The 2023 application closes at 11.59 pm (GMT) on Monday 12th June 2023.

Please ensure you have read all of the application guidance prior to making an application.


1. Choose Your Supervisors and Develop Your Research Project

The first step is to develop a PhD project proposal in line with the objectives of the TRANSFORM programme and with the interests of supervisors in the programme. A list of potential supervisors can be found under each of the TRANSFORM Themes. You may also identify alternative/additional supervisors across Global Sustainable DevelopmentLink opens in a new window and other academic departments at the University of Warwick. All applicants should contact potential supervisors before making their application. It is unlikely that your application will be successful if you have not made contact with potential supervisors.

TRANSFORM PhD projects are expected to have the following key characteristics:

  1. A transformative focus on human-environment interactions;

  2. Collaboration between supervisors from different areas of expertise (ideally connecting environmental and socio-economic aspects of sustainability); and

  3. Mentorship by a relevant external organisation.

Research proposals should have a maximum length of 2,500 words and should include the following aspects:

  • A clear statement on how the rationale and context for the project topic fits to the TRANSFORM programme, clearly indicating one of the research clusters to which the project topic is aligned;
  • Potential theoretical and methodological intervention and impact on the field of inquiry;
  • Proposed research methods;
  • Details on field work to be carried out, or the proposed datasets to be studied;
  • Any ethical considerations and procedures to be employed, if applicable;
  • Details of an agreed external non-academic mentor, the organisation and its suitability; and
  • A list of references (excluded from the word limit).

Research proposals will be assessed in accordance with the Leverhulme Trust's overarching approach and ethos, which includes the criteria of originality, importance, significance and merit, which should be clearly incorporated into applications.

2. Apply to Study a MPhil/PhD in Global Sustainable Development at the University of Warwick

Apply to study a MPhil/PhD in Global Sustainable Development at the University of Warwick via this application portal, following the research course application steps, including contacting your potential supervisors and preparing your research proposal.

Deadline for application: Monday 12th June 2023.

3. Submit Your TRANSFORM Funding Application

Once you have submitted the PhD programme application, you may submit your TRANSFORM funding application. This includes:

  • A personal statement on why you are the right person for the right research project;
  • A research proposal; and
  • A two-page CV.

Your completed application and references must be received by 11.59 pm (GMT) on Monday 12th June 2023.

4. Review and Selection

A selection panel including TRANSFORM academic supervisors and mentors will review applications and create a shortlist of applicants to be invited to interview.

5. Interviews

The selection panel will invite shortlisted applicants to an interview in June/July 2023.

6. Awards

Notification of awards, reserves and unsuccessful applications will be issued by email by 31st July 2023. Successful candidates will have two weeks from notification of award to accept the award. Otherwise, the offer will be given to the reserved candidates.

7. Start Your PhD Journey at Warwick

Selected candidates will commence their MPhil/PhD in Global Sustainable Development in October 2023.


If you have any queries about the process for making an application, please email