Prospective Fellows


The Environment and Sustainability Institute (ESI) is an interdisciplinary centre leading cutting-edge research into solutions to problems of environmental change. Based on the University's Penryn Campus, in Cornwall, our world class research and education is enhancing people's lives by improving their relationships with the environment. ESI provides insight and solutions, at local to global scales, to meet the challenges of securing a sustainable future in an era of unprecedented environmental and societal change.

Our highly successful and collaborative institute is the perfect location for independent research fellows. We have a reputation for effectively hosting fellowships funded through UK, European, and international schemes (including NERC, BBSRC, Leverhulme Trust, Marie Curie, and others) with support offered at all stages of the process. Some of our previous independent fellows have gone on to become permanent members of academic staff in the Institute and their respective Colleges.

To find out more about how the ESI helps to develop early career researchers through interdisciplinarity, please see our ECR webpage

Fellowship applicants interested in joining the ESI should contact Mark Plummer (ESI Senior Administrator) in the first instance to discuss their proposed project and proposed source of funding. We also welcome enquiries from existing fellowship holders interested in transferring to the ESI. Please include a full academic CV.

Support we can offer you: 


  • Advice on scheme suitability and proposal writing from our many successful fellows and research support staff.
  • Review of draft proposals.
  • Support in developing, costing and submitting your application
  • Assistance with interview preparation.

For fellows

  • 1:1 mentoring from senior colleagues from across multiple disciplines.
  • Peer support from our Early Career Researcher network.
  • Opportunities (but no obligation) to gain teaching experience and to supervise BSc, MSc, MRes, and PhD project students.
  • Training and personal development.
  • Support for grant proposal development from senior colleagues and research support staff.
  • Access to our network of stakeholders, policy makers, businesses and NGOs across Cornwall, the Isles of Scilly and beyond.
  • Links to over 200 academics at the University of Exeter studying environment and sustainability futures in our Institutes and Centres of Excellence.
  • Access to the University’s excellent Research Services and Innovation, Impact and Business directorates.

Career progression

  • Clear criteria for progression to permanent positions.
  • Opportunities for proleptic appointments.

Case Studies: