The Oxford SDG Impact Lab has been established to enable graduate students to work with business, engaging in research that will further the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Aimed particularly at students in the Social Sciences and Humanities, the Lab will support students to develop the leadership, project management, and practical skills required for collaborative and impactful research.
It has been launched in partnership with easyJet holidays, who will work with the Lab to identify challenges and opportunities for sustainable tourism in two of its Mediterranean destinations.The Lab’s launch follows Dame Bingham’s Romanes Lecture which highlighted the need for greater commercial awareness and skills in a new generation of leaders, as well as the recent ESRC Review of the PhD, which highlights the need for students to 'develop their wider core skills and build their understanding of applying research in practice'.
The Lab is offering 20 fellowships for graduate students, involving a 16-week training programme followed by a five-week field-based research placement. Its curriculum integrates the development of responsible leadership with a focus on the kinds of evidence and modes of engagement needed to achieve impact in commercial and other non-academic contexts.
Throughout the programme, easyJet holidays will support students, providing industry and business knowledge to help shape their proposals. Students will engage with stakeholders and undertake their own research before delivering recommendation reports to the company.
Adopted by the United Nations in 2015, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a universal call to action to 'end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure... peace and prosperity'.
The Oxford SDG Impact Lab seeks to connect that global vision to personal action and real-world impact.
Professor Alexander Betts, who is Co-Founder of the SDG Impact Lab and is Associate Head (Graduate and Research Training) in the Social Sciences Division at the University of Oxford, said: 'We are delighted to partner with easyJet holidays to launch the new SDG Impact Lab. It will offer graduate students a unique opportunity to acquire practical skills and apply their talents to advance the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The combination of a 16-weeks skills training programme with a field-based research internship makes this a pioneering step-forwards in how we deliver graduate education.'