Skip to main content

Application Guidance

Applications to present at the annual Student Sustainability Research Conference (SSRC) open in autumn each year. Please see the following information about the application process.


Who can apply to present

We welcome research, projects and assignments that relate to any aspect of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and applications are encouraged from all levels and disciplines.

The SSRC is delivered collaboratively with the twelve member institutions of Yorkshire Universities and therefore accepts applications from students studying at any of the following: 

  • 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 

The application process

All applications must be submitted via an online application form by the stated deadline. 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.   

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

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. 

What to include in your application

  • Use a catchy, creative title. It should be engaging and attractive to a non-specialist audience.   
  • Provide a clear outline describing the originality of your project, its aims, any findings you have discovered, the relevance to sustainability, and the positive impacts it may have regarding future solutions for a sustainable society. Think about which SDGs and conference theme your research relates to.  
  • Availability for sessions is limited so please give as much detail as possible in your application form and submit early.  
  • Keep in mind all sessions will be given to a mixed discipline, non-specialist audience. Use jargon-free text and explain technical terms where necessary.  
  • 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. You can include results and conclusions in your submission if you wish, however this is not compulsory. 
  • 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 / poster as a group. 
  • You do not need to include an academic poster as part of the application form, all successful applicants will have the opportunity to send their posters at a later date before the event. 

Research formats

We accept applications to present research in a wide range of formats. Research presentations with interactive elements or alternative formats are strongly encouraged. 

  • Live presentations: You may apply to deliver a five-minute or a ten-minute presentation. All presentations include five minutes 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 activities and audience participation. 
  • Installation / performance / film / artwork: you may apply to have your artwork or installation displayed, a film shown or deliver a performance. 

Application review and marking process

Following the deadline, all submissions will be anonymised and scored by a Sustainability Professional, a student and a representative from one of the twelve HE institutions and Yorkshire Universities 

Each submission will receive an average score out of five against these three criteria: 

  • Relevance (to sustainability): How closely does the project relate to the specified theme and to the SDGs? Does the research consider all aspects of environmental, political, economic and social sustainability? 
  • Novelty: Is there a clear outline describing the originality of the project? Is the approach innovative? Is this research exciting and new? 
  • Impact: Does the project have potential to create change or have significant advancement in the field? Does the approach to deliver the project consider any positive and negative sustainability impacts?  

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

Academic poster exhibition

All successful applicants 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. 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 (including the SDG icons), diagrams, tables, photographs and logos on the poster at an appropriate scale and with clear captions.  

All posters must be saved as a PDF and sent to by the deadline.  

Further questions?

See our SSRC webpages for more information about this year’s conference.  

If you have any queries about the application process or would like to discuss reasonable adjustments to enable you to participate in the conference, please contact