Graduate opportunities in sustainability governance and urban transformations at the University of Waterloo

We are seeking one PhD student and one Master’s student, starting in September 2017 or January 2018, to join the Sustainability Policy Research on Urban Transformations (SPROUT) lab in the Department of Geography and Environmental Management.  These students will work on a funded international project that explores urban sustainability transitions and the transformative potential of small businesses.

The challenge of climate change is one of multi-level and multi-actor governance, and one that requires research to illuminate more effective strategies for building partnerships between the public and private sectors to accelerate the creation of sustainable, low carbon communities.  There are significant gaps, however, in our understanding of what motivates businesses to innovate, and the partnerships or governance approaches that might support these actions.

This ongoing research project explores the role of small businesses in triggering and accelerating sustainability transitions, with a particular focus on the potential for low-carbon technological and social innovations to scale up, influencing the behavior of other businesses, sectors, and communities.   There is considerable flexibility within this mandate: current students, for instance, explore local visioning processes, green infrastructure, and food systems.

For more information, please contact Dr. Sarah Burch (

Potential students are encouraged to send the following materials to Dr. Burch by Friday April 14th, 2017:

  • A letter of interest outlining your research interests and experience
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Transcript or unofficial list of grades from highest degree obtained

For more information:

Department of Geography and Environmental Management University of Waterloo EV1 103 –  200 University Ave. West, Waterloo, ON, Canada. N2L 3G1 Ph. +1 519 888 4567 ext 31932