Applications Invited for PhD in Sustainability Science

Applications Invited for PhD in Sustainability Science

Institute Name: UNU-IAS

Apply By: 03 Mar 2024

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About the Organization

Based in Tokyo, Japan, UNU-IAS serves the international community by producing evidence-based knowledge and solutions to inform policymaking and address priority issues for the UN system. It applies innovative approaches and research methods to challenge conventional thinking and develop creative solutions to emerging issues of global concern.

Our research, education and training engage a global network of scholars and partner institutions, driving connections between policymakers and the science and academic communities to realize sustainable solutions. UNU-IAS integrates expertise across four thematic areas: governance for sustainable development, biodiversity & society, water & resource management and innovation & education. Through field-based research, including an operating unit in Kanazawa City (Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan), we are developing models for localizing the SDGs and other global agendas by building multi-stakeholder partnerships.

About the Programme

The Doctor of Philosophy in Sustainability Science Programme is a three-year programme that takes an innovative approach to sustainability, seeking to promote a better understanding of the issues by incorporating global change perspectives.

This programme will equip graduates with comprehensive, multidisciplinary knowledge of sustainability problems, and deepen their understanding of the role of environmental sustainability in addressing current issues related to global change, specifically those related to climate change and biodiversity. Students undertake problem-oriented research by playing an active role in UNU-IAS research projects, and acquire the quantitative and qualitative analytical skills necessary to understand the underlying principles of various systems involved in sustainability issues and debates.

Students can select courses from those offered by UNU-IAS, while also enjoying the opportunity to take courses at other leading universities in Japan such as the University of Tokyo, Sophia University, and International Christian University.

Programme Structure & Language

  • The programme is offered on a full-time basis only. The academic year starts in September. The standard period to complete the degree requirements is 36 months or six academic semesters, excluding time spent on study leave of absence from the university. By July of their third-year students are expected to complete all of the course requirements, obtaining at least 14 credits and completing a doctoral dissertation.
  • The language of instruction is English.


Applicants for the PhD in Sustainability Science are required to have met the following requirements by the application deadline in order to be considered:

  • A completed master’s degree (or equivalent) from a recognized university or institution of higher education in a field related to sustainability and a minimum of two years of professional field experience related to UNU-IAS research themes which was acquired after obtaining a university degree (full time equivalent);


  • Two completed master’s degrees, at least one of which must be in a discipline related to sustainability studies (those who expect to receive a second master’s degree before the entrance period of September 2024 may also apply);
  • A GPA of 2.8 or above on a 4.0 scale (equivalent to 70% on a 100 % scale) for at least one of the master’s degrees earned; and
  • English language proficiency.

The minimum score requirements for English language qualifications required by UNU-IAS are:

  • 600 on TOEFL – Paper-Based Testing (PBT) OR
  • 100 on TOEFL – Internet-Based Testing (IBT) OR
  • 7.0 on IELTS – Academic format


3 March 2024: Deadline for applications

For more information please check the Link

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