British Council Scotland SGSAH EARTH Scholarships 2023

EARTH Scholarships, British Council Scotland Logo, SGSAH Logo

The British Council Scotland SGSAH EARTH Scholarships is a programme run by SGSAH with funding from the British Council to enable international research collaborations between PhD and Early Career Researchers and Scottish HEIs and Scotland-based academic mentors, and external organisations, thematically focused on environmental arts and humanities and their interdisciplinary connections. The overall aim of the programme is to promote the role and interventions of the environmental arts and humanities, and the arts and cultural sector, in addressing the climate emergency, and their capacity for interdisciplinary research within STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Mathematics) contexts. The programme will create research opportunities and international mobility which will develop and support new approaches to address the global challenge of climate crisis, and support sustainable research and cultural interchanges within and beyond the arts and, humanities and cultural sectors.

The principles of this programme build on SGSAH’s Internationalisation ambitions and actions, align with SGSAH’s GREEN/GRADUATE Strategy and Operational Plan, and with the British Council’s Climate Connections legacy programme. The programme will be structured around two of SGSAH’s strategic themes and priority areas; the Environmental Humanities and Creative Industries/Economies, with a focus on climate emergency themes, the interventions of the arts and cultural sector, and the legacy of COP26, held in Glasgow in 2021. The programme will enrich collaborations between Scottish and international HEIs, building on SGSAH’s Global Connects programmes, and the SFC Saltire Emerging Researcher scheme.

The programme will provide scholarships for PhD and Early Career Researchers based outside the UK to come to Scotland to undertake in-person and hybrid exchanges for up to 3 months in 2023, in the area of environmental arts and humanities. The research placements will include an in-person 2-week cohort-building core leadership programme where all recipients will come together alongside Scotland-based scholars to network and collaborate in April 2023, supported by a set of thematically and geographically oriented Clusters.

Download the Guidelines:
British Council Scotland SGSAH EARTH Scholarships 2023 Guidelines V3 
(Version 3 | PDF document - 490 KB)

Find directly below a recording of a short information session which took place during the SGSAH International Summer School. Further below is a recording of the EARTH Scholarships launch event which took place in a hybrid format on 23 August 2022.


The Programme is for PhD and early career researchers (ECRs) registered at or graduated from any non-UK university who are working within the environmental arts and humanities to come to Scotland to work with an academic mentor and access networks and resources of a host HEI (Higher Education Institute) in 2023.

All applicants must be currently registered for a PhD, or graduated with a PhD, which broadly falls under Arts & Humanities subject areas. These subject areas are detailed by the AHRC. Research proposals must also fall into Arts & Humanities subject areas. For any interdisciplinary PhDs, at least 50% of the project must fall within Arts & Humanities disciplines. The programme strongly encourages research project proposals that have interdisciplinarity approaches beyond the Arts & Humanities.

For the purposes of the Programme, ECRs must be within 1 year of notification of award of their PhD (under exceptional circumstances this can be extended to 2 years – see the scheme Guidelines for full detail).

The SGSAH HEIs are:

Abertay University
Edinburgh Napier University
The Glasgow School of Art
Glasgow Caledonian University
Heriot-Watt University
Queen Margaret University
Robert Gordon University
Royal Conservatoire of Scotland
University of Aberdeen
University of Dundee
University of Edinburgh
University of Glasgow
University of St Andrews
University of Stirling
University of Strathclyde
University of the Highlands & Islands
University of the West of Scotland


The EARTH Scholarships will take advantage of and be located within three geographically and thematically structured Clusters, which will offer research placements, training and development opportunities for researchers, and contribute to cohort training in April 2023. The Clusters will enable:

  • Wider awareness and study of environmental arts and humanities disciplines in the Scottish context
  • Interdisciplinary working within and beyond the arts and humanities (STEAM)
  • Field trips and engagement with other scholars, practitioners and professionals
  • Access to arts and cultural sector organisations, resources, expertise and experience in different geographical contexts, including urban and rural areas. 

The three Clusters are:

Cluster 1: Place, Time and Action

HEIs: University of Aberdeen, Abertay University, University of Dundee, University of the Highlands and Islands, University of Glasgow, Robert Gordon University, University of St Andrews

Academic Leads: Professor Ingrid Mainland (UHI, Cluster Lead), Professor Mel Woods (Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design, University of Dundee, Deputy Lead) 

We are a consortium of universities located mainly in the east and north of Scotland but also including researchers in archaeology and palaeoecology at the University of Glasgow. Our expertise stretches across the arts and humanities, from historical and political ecology, to modern policy making, to the psychology of behaviour change, and ecocritical approaches to literature, design, art and architecture. Within this, we have a focus on the historical and futures dimensions of environmental change and the potential offered therein by deep-time perspectives and indigenous oral histories, and on climate action research through creative practice, place-based research and other forms of engagement and participation. Our researchers are engaging with climate emergency themes through training, KE and within a research context. Running through all our activities is a strong commitment to interdisciplinary research. We would welcome applications that sit anywhere within these broad themes but also encourage applicants to explore linkages with existing research projects at one of our participating centres or research groups. 

Cluster 2: 3Ms: Making, Method and Multispecies

HEIs: University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh Napier University & Heriot Watt University

Academic Leads: Professor David Farrier, Professor Andrew Patrizio, Dr Lucy Steeds (Edinburgh, Co-Leads); Dr Demelza Kooij (Edinburgh Napier; Deputy Lead) 

Cluster 2 will prioritise applications of high quality and originality that address the strength of Edinburgh research in three broad areas: Making, Method and Multispecies.  

Making captures our long tradition of creative practice (from art, film, writing, performance, curating, gaming and beyond). Method foregrounds methodological diversity within the arts and humanities and also looks to learn from wider approaches in the social and environmental sciences, as well as considering issues of fieldwork, globalism/localism, communication, data, representation and exchange across the academic-public-political boundaries. Multispecies questions boundaries of animal-plant-fungal life, tackles issues of equality and justice, multisensorialism, extractivism, posthumanism, deep time, archaeology and heritage beyond the human alone. 

The cluster delivers training through key existing research projects and centres including (but not limited to) The Edinburgh Environmental Humanities Network, The Institute of Advanced Studies in the Humanities, Humanimal Kind, The CRITIQUE Reading Group, British Animal Studies Network, The Edinburgh Futures Institute, Fossil-Fuel.ed  

The wide range of Scottish sector partners and potential sites for research placements include Creative Scotland, Creative Carbon Scotland, Little Sparta, Fife Contemporary, Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop, The Barn, The Scottish Poetry Library  

The cluster also commits to providing cross-cluster training where possible, and to hosting a cohort-wide networking or programme event hosted by Hospitalfield, Cove Park, Talbot Rice Gallery, etc.  

Cluster 3: ‘Triple E’ – Economy, Ethics and Environment

HEIs: University of Glasgow, Glasgow Caledonian University, University of Stirling, University of Strathclyde, University of the West of Scotland 

Academic Leads: Professor Mark Banks (University of Glasgow, Cluster Lead); Professor Erica Fudge (University of Strathclyde, Deputy Lead) 

This cluster draws together a range of interdisciplinary arts and humanities expertise around three broad and inclusive themes; firstly, the cultural and creative economy and theories of its sustainable and socially-just future; secondly, issues of ethics, politics and political ecology as they play out in human and non-human contexts, and in different historical periods; and, thirdly, theories of environment, including creative approaches to researching species, energy, ecology and the geohumanities. The cluster will take an inclusive approach to these themes, and seek to deliver training through its range of key existing research projects and centres including (but not limited to) Centre for Cultural Policy Research, The Dear Green Bothy, Creative Geohumanities, A + E Collective (Glasgow), Centre for Environment Heritage and Policy (Stirling), British Animal Studies Network, One Ocean Hub (Strathclyde), Centre for Climate Justice (GCU), and the Protracted Crisis Research Centre  (UWS) as well as other relevant academic groupings and affiliates. The wide range of Scottish sector partners and potential sites for research placements might include BBC Scotland, The Hunterian Museum, Creative Scotland, Creative Carbon Scotland, Fife Contemporary, the Scottish Council on Global Affairs, and Zero Waste Scotland inter alia – plus our members have an extensive range of international and institutional networks on which to draw in order to support student recruitment and training.  The cluster also commits to providing cross-cluster training where possible, and to hosting a cohort-wide networking or programme event hosted by The Dear Green Bothy at the new University of Glasgow Advanced Research Centre (ARC). 

Full details of each of the Clusters can be accessed via their individual webpages, hyperlinked above.

Application Process

Read the Guidelines for the scheme (available to download above) thoroughly before applying. You should then contact your chosen institution as soon as possible to discuss their process for supporting your application. 

The application is made through SGSAH’s online system. The Guidelines include details of the information you will be required to complete online, as well as the assessment criteria for the scheme.

For this deadline, you must submit:

  • A full research proposal; and details of how you will benefit from Cluster membership, cohort-building, training and development activities
  • A budget and justification of resources
  • A CV (up to 4pp)
  • A letter of support from your PhD supervisor (up to 2pp)
  • A letter of support from the proposed Host Institution (Head of Department or equivalent) (up to 2pp)

Late applications will only be considered where there is evidenced breakdown in SGSAH's operational systems and where such system failures have made submission by the deadline impossible. Please note that SGSAH will not accept late applications where there has been a systems failure at the applicant's end (e.g failure of internet connection). For this reason, we strongly advise applicants to complete the application process at least 48 hours in advance of the deadline.

**The application deadline has now passed**

Scotland-Based PhD Researchers

SGSAH is now inviting PhD researchers from SGSAH member HEIs in arts & humanities to apply for a place on the April 2023 2-week, in-person cohort-building programme. The programme will be based in different locations around Scotland, with travel, subsistence and accommodation costs funded by SGSAH. Reasonable travel costs within Scotland will also be covered for successful recipients to travel to and from the beginning and end of the programme.

It is anticipated that successful applicants’ research is focused on aspects relating to the environmental arts and humanities, although PhD researchers whose research doesn’t fit into this definition can make a case for how attending the programme will contribute to their academic and/or career development.

We are planning for an equivalent number of Scotland-based PhD researchers participating in the cohort-building programme to incoming researchers, ie. c10. Successful Scotland-based PhD researchers will be asked to act as informal ‘buddies’ and points of contact to incoming researchers in advance of their arrival in Scotland.

Please note you must be available during the whole training programme (17-28 April). Accommodation will be provided throughout, although weekend activities (22/23 April) are optional for Scotland-based researchers. Please note that a place on the cohort-building programme will be funded in terms of travel, subsistence and accommodation, but will not include any additional stipend costs. A place on the 2-week programme will not affect the PhD end date or registration.

**The application deadline has now passed**

For any enquiries about the programme, please contact

Key dates

Programme launch and call for applications
In person (University of Glasgow) and online
Tuesday 23 August 2022 

 Pre-application information sessions to be held on Zoom, recorded for subsequent reference:


Introduction to the Programme
Click here to watch the recording (Passcode:8B6z&?bF) 

Thursday 8 September 2022, 2 - 3pm BST (ie GMT+1) 


Completing your Application
Click here to watch the recording (Passcode:&tgk2RNC)

Monday 3 October 2022, 12 - 1pm BST (ie GMT+1))
Application deadline  Monday 7 November 2022, 12pm GMT 
Application deadline for Scotland-based scholars  Monday 21 November 2022
Notification of application outcomes  by Monday 12 December 2022 
Acceptance of award deadline  Monday 19 December 2022 
Online induction and scholarship preparation session  TBC: January 2023 
Research placements (6 weeks-3 months) March-July 2023
In-person cohort development programme 17-28 April 2023
SGSAH Summer School w/c 19 June 2023
Global Connects 2023 programme TBC: Summer 2023