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Applications Open for the Student Sustainability Research Conference 2024

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Applications for The University of Leeds annual Student Sustainability Research Conference are open to students across all levels and disciplines from the twelve member institutions of Yorkshire Universities. The conference presents the opportunity for students to be inspired, share their sustainability-related research, and learn from their peers from across the region in a professional conference setting.

We can't wait to hear your invaluable research. Apply now using the online application form by 23:59 on Sunday 10 December 2023.

We encourage students to present or perform their work in any format. This could include presentations, installations, workshops, posters, focus groups, or demonstrations. The focus is on inspiring, sharing and learning, and research does not need to be fully complete to be shared at the conference.

As we believe that collaboration is crucial when dealing with the climate crisis, the conference brings together students, staff, partners, collaborators, and members of the public to experience the diversity of undergraduate and postgraduate student sustainability research.

Frequently Asked Questions About the Application Process

Who can apply?

We welcome applications from students across all levels and disciplines. You must be available to attend the conference event on Wednesday 6 March between 9:00am – 5pm GMT. A detailed schedule will be sent out nearer the time. 

To apply you must be currently enrolled as a student (undergraduate, postgraduate taught or postgraduate research), or be within one year of graduating, at any of the following institutions: 

  • Leeds Arts University 
  • Leeds Beckett University 
  • Leeds Conservatoire 
  • Leeds Trinity University 
  • University of Bradford 
  • University of Huddersfield 
  • University of Hull 
  • University of Leeds 
  • University of Sheffield 
  • University of York 
  • Sheffield Hallam University 
  • York St John University 

What research (or projects) can I present?

Your session must relate to sustainability and have a positive sustainability impact. You will be asked which of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) your research / project relates to in the application form and we encourage you to use the SDGs in your presentation. Visit the UNDP webpage to find out a bit more about the Global Goals.

Presentations of complete and ‘in progress’ research projects and assignments are accepted. Your work does not have to be finished or in its final stages, however it should have clear aims. 

Work conducted in groups is welcome to be presented. Please be sure to note this in your application, name the researchers and only submit one application as a group. 

Research presentations with interactive elements or alternative formats are strongly encouraged. Please keep in mind all sessions will be given to a mixed discipline, non-specialist audience. 

What format can I present my research in?

You can submit applications to present your research in any format at the conference. 

  • Live presentations; You may apply to deliver a 5-minute overview (snap session) or a 15-minute presentation (including 5 minutes given for questions). 
  • Workshop / panel session / focus group / demonstration; You may apply to host a longer (45 mins), more interactive activity around your research which involves audience participation (e.g. group activities, live drawing, hackathon etc).  
  • Installation / performance / film / artwork; you may apply to have your artwork (e.g. photography, sculpture, illustrations etc) or installation displayed, a film shown or deliver a performance. 

As part of the application process all applicants are asked to produce an academic poster about their research. 

What are the conference themes?

Reflecting the interdisciplinary nature of sustainability, the conference addresses all aspects of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with a particular focus on the themes of Climate Resilience and Adaptation; Net Zero Carbon; Justice, Equality, and Inclusivity; Protection of Nature and Biodiversity; Education for Sustainable Development and Innovation, Industry and Infrastructure. 

These themes reflect the Yorkshire and Humberside Climate Commission’s Climate Action Plan. Regional collaboration is vital to the YHCC Climate Action Plan, and core to the Supporting a Net Zero City commitments of the University of Leeds Climate Plan.

What is the application process?

All applications must be submitted via the application form by 23:59 on Sunday 10 December 2023. This should take you no longer than ten minutes. 

Availability for sessions is limited so please give as much detail as possible in your application form and submit early. 

You will be asked for information about your research including your project title and description. These will be published in the conference schedule for delegates to decide which sessions to attend.  

Here are a few things we will be looking for in your project description: 

  • A catchy, creative title. It should be engaging and attractive to a non-specialist audience.  
  • A clear outline describing the originality of your project, its aims, any findings you have discovered, and the possible impacts it may have regarding future solutions for a sustainable society. 
  • Jargon-free text and technical terms explained where necessary. 
  • You can include results and conclusions in your submission if you wish, however this is not compulsory.  

Please provide information on your application form about any individual adjustments you may require, and a member of the UoL Sustainability Service will contact you for further information, if necessary.  

Following the deadline, all submissions will be reviewed by a steering group made up of representatives from the twelve HE institutions and Yorkshire Universities.  

Successful applicants will be contacted in January 2024 with further advice and guidance sent out as necessary. 

What is the academic poster exhibition?

All student speakers will have the opportunity to submit an academic poster in A1 dimension (594mm x 841mm, portrait or landscape) about their research to be displayed in the poster exhibition on the day. You do not need to include this as part of your application, all successful applicants will have the opportunity to send / update their posters at a later date before the event.

The poster will need to convey the project or research to a mixed-discipline, non-specialist audience. This is a fantastic opportunity to practice visual communication skills. Think about the structure and design of a poster including the layout, font, title, the research authors, sub-headings, colours etc. Remember to include relevant images, diagrams, tables, photographs and logos on the poster at an appropriate scale and with clear captions.

See guidance for using the SDG icons, look at past examples and download the following templates to get started. If you would like a poster checklist, email

You can visit the UoL library website for more tips on designing an academic poster and see some examples.

If you have any issues with accessing the above links, please email and we'd be happy to help you.

Further questions?

See our SSRC24 webpage for more information. If you have any queries about the application process or the conference in general, please e-mail 

If you require this form in a different format or would like to discuss reasonable adjustments to enable you to participate in the conference, please contact 

Please note, as we are actively reducing carbon emissions related to the conference, we do not allow presentations that have a negative sustainability impact or the use of single-use plastic items in any part of the day. 


SDG logo made up of a wheel with 17 different colours.We use the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a framework to guide our activity. The Student Sustainability Research Conference is linked to all of the SDGs.

Find out more about our impact on the SDGs.