Overview of Postgrad Program
The Institute for Sustainable Futures offers an award-winning postgraduate program for Masters and Doctoral research students
Our postgraduate students work at the leading edge of complex societal problems and sustainability challenges, across diverse sustainability topics. Our postgraduate research delivers real-world impact on sustainability challenges, contributes to the flow of knowledge, and provides transformative learning experiences for participants.
Download our guide to postgraduate research at ISF
We're tackling some of the most complex sustainability challenges facing our world, and this calls for innovative approaches. We take a holistic view that looks not just to technological solutions, but also the political, socio-cultural, organisational and individual factors that contribute to real change. Prospective research students must demonstrate their capacity to solve whole problems, integrating knowledge from several disciplines, drawing on experience from their past research, course work, employment or community activities.
ISF’s unique postgraduate program is an integral part of our path to a better future. We nurture and develop the brightest, most curious minds, giving them the skills to navigate this complex multidisciplinary environment. Our vibrant community of scholars brings fresh insight, inspiring new ways of seeing – and solving – wicked problems.
They are the change-makers of tomorrow.
Interested in studying with ISF?
Please note that all prospective students must be pre-approved by ISF before applying through UTS. Pre-approval applications from international students that wish to commence postgraduate study in Spring 2020 (from July 2020) are due to ISF by 6 December 2019. Pre-approval applications from domestic students will be due 10 April 2020.
When Professor Chris Riedy was working as an environmental consultant, he found he was often doing work that ended up justifying organisational and political decision making that was bad for the environment.
He had hit a wall.
Chris decided the only way he could make a real difference was by digging deeper into the problem, through joining ISF's postgraduate program.
When I was working as an environmental consultant, I found that a lot of the work I was doing was actually justifying organisational and political decisions that were bad for the environment.
I hit a wall. I became disillusioned.
As a graduate, I set out to save the environment, but I was contributing to the problem.
I took a year off to travel, and reflect. That’s when I realised the only way I could make a difference was by digging deeper into the problem. I had to learn how political and organisational decisions were made, and how those decisions could be influenced. The only place that I could find that was doing this essential work was the Institute for Sustainable Futures.
Do you want to change the world? Have you hit a wall, and you’ve tried to create that change?
Have you ever considered that research could help you deliver a better future?
At the Institute for Sustainable Futures, our mission is to tackle the sustainability challenges of the 21st century. One of the ways we do this is by developing the research leaders of the future.
I don’t think there’s any other university institute that brings together the same cross-disciplinary expertise for tackling these challenges.
It’s fantastic to work with such passionate people that support each other through the tough journey of leading change.
Our people come from hugely diverse backgrounds, but they’re united by their desire to make a difference.
Christiane Behrisch was working in the automotive industry, exploring how to use biofuels to address sustainability challenges. She came to ISF when she realised that wasn’t enough. Her research at ISF explored ways to achieve sustainable transport in entire cities, through improvements to public transport, walking and cycling infrastructure, transport integration and car sharing. She now works as an urban mobility consultant for Munich’s transport corporation.
Or take Paul Crawford. Working in humanitarian aid and development in countries like Rwanda, afflicted by poverty, war and genocide, Paul saw first hand the impact, and unsustainability of development programs.
Returning to Australia, Paul joined ISF’s PhD program to explore ideas of effective development, and how external change agents can improve people’s lives.
He now leads his own consultancy to improve the effectiveness of aid programs.
Our Graduate Research Program has three key characteristics.
First, we’re transdisciplinary. We integrate knowledge from diverse academic disciplines to create new perspectives on sustainability challenges. Here at ISF, engineers and ecologists work alongside social scientists, designers and planners to address environmental and social problems.
Second, we’re hands on. We’re not Ivory Tower academics. Our staff and students work closely with partners in government, business and civil society to realise change.
Third, we offer a supportive community of sustainability scholars. Doing a research degree is a tough individual challenge, and changing the world can be pretty hard work too. It’s easy to burn out. Here, you’ll work with others who share your goals. Through peer support groups, student meetings, learning workshops and annual retreats, you’ll stay connected to our vibrant community of sustainability scholars.
Looking back on my time at UTS, I’m amazed by the impact I’ve been able to have on climate change, social justice and democracy. I know I wouldn’t have achieved this impact without an amazing team around me.
Join us if you’d like to take the next step towards creating a sustainable future for us all.