Integrating sustainability into research, 5 credits

Integrering av hållbarhet i forskning


Language of instruction: English
Course period: Spring 2024, Period 4
Course structure: Campus


Applicants should be admitted to a doctoral programme.
Applicants from the Faculty of Science and Technology, Uppsala University, Sweden will be prioritized.
Those who are closer to the middle stages of their doctoral projects stand to benefit the most but we welcome all active PhD students.
Applicants should demonstrate an interest in sustainability.


  • Be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of different approaches to integrating sustainability concerns into research design, such as design thinking, systems thinking, and futures thinking.
  • Be able to reflect upon how the topic of sustainability can be considered in research projects and integrated in research design.
  • Be able to critically reason and reflect on the potential societal and environmental effects of research in the domains of science and technology.
  • Be able to discuss the role of researchers in developing a sustainable society.
  • Be able to reason about sustainability and social responsibility in relation to recent research advances in science and technology.
  • Be able to formulate a research proposal that integrates sustainability considerations in the research aims and methodology.


The course content and assignment relate directly to the development of the students’ judgement and approach in relation to assessing research ethics, considering the possibilities and limitations of research as well as reflecting about its role in society.

By completing the assignment of writing a research proposal the students will also improve their competence and skills with respect to demonstrating the ability to identify the need for further knowledge, formulate research projects in an independent, critical, creative, and methodologically appropriate manner.

The course will allow the students to improve their ability to contribute to social development by integrating sustainability in their research.
The course will give the students experience supporting the learning of others by peer-reviewing the assignments of other course participants. 


  • Theoretical concepts for technology and sustainability.
  • Research approaches for integrating aspects of sustainability in research design.
  • Case studies in technology and sustainability, including, IT in everyday life, thermal comfort in the built environment, cyber-physical systems, and smart grids.
  • The role of the researcher and academia in society


The course follows a pedagogical strategy to support the students’ learning by providing an overview of the thematic and theoretical material, with room for discussions. To integrate their learning into their research and future career plans, the students will receive a course assignment to write a research proposal and apply the course content in the development of this proposed future research project. Students will receive feedback on their writing from teachers and participating PhD students.

Hence, the course days follow a structure with each day containing different modes of teaching to help deep and active learning:

  • teacher led sessions, such as lectures, are offered to the participants as a way of presenting the content;
  • sessions with more active learning such as seminars and workshops,
    • in which the participants are divided into smaller groups together with a teacher
    • ‚Äčin which the previous lectures and respective readings are further contextualized to the student’s own research topics.

Finally, three sessions will be devoted to professional development and sustainability, with two panels, one focused on experiences from industry and one from academia, as well as a workshop session focused on what it means to have impactful research.

The teaching sessions will be on campus to facilitate community building, but also scheduled together in time blocks to make participation easier for PhD students from Campus Gotland.


Submission of a research proposal in which the students demonstrate a capability to incorporate sustainability in their research aims and design. The submission takes the form of a funding application for a postdoc or early career grant of their choosing which the students can then develop further after their respective doctoral defense.
The submission will be peer-reviewed by fellow students, and by teaching staff. For each course day, the students will be asked to write a short reflexion essay regarding that day’s content (4 in total), reflecting on their learning.


Mike Hazas,


Department of Information Technology


Martin Stojanov,
Cristina Ghita,
Didem Gurdur Broo,


Submit the application for admission to: Martin Stojanov, 
and Cristina Ghita,
Submit the application not later than: February 9th, 2024, 23:59

The application should take the form of a letter of intent of approx. 300 words, in which the applicant shortly describes their research project (background, aim or research question, research design), what year they are currently enrolled in, their interest in sustainability, and a short motivation for joining the course.

Last modified: 2023-11-13