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STEPS Centre Summer School

Our fifth annual Summer School takes place on 16-27 May 2016 at the Institute of Development Studies in Brighton, UK.

The Summer School brings together highly-motivated doctoral and postdoctoral researchers, working in fields around development studies, science and technology studies, innovation and policy studies, and across agricultural, health, water or energy issues.

The deadline for applications is 27 January 2016.

Complete the online application form (external website)

Download the brochure (pdf)

About the Summer School

The STEPS Centre Summer School aims to bring together an exceptional group of people who are exploring ideas and research methodologies for pathways to sustainability. Through a mix of lectures, walks, discussions and public events, participants will challenge the STEPS team and each other on questions of science, society and development.

The summer school has run since 2012 with the generous support of the ESRC, IDRC and UKIERI.


“Wonderful opportunity. A fantastic group of participants, and the very knowledgable faculty treated us as colleagues on this journey towards sustainable pathways together.” 2014 participant

Beautiful to have 24 nations in the same room thinking and discussing global to local issues!” 2013 participant

“Academically it enhanced my methodological thinking, professionally, it enhanced my perspectives of career aspirations. Personally, it was very humbling to learn from the multiple talents of the participants.” 2013 participant

“It was challenging, stimulating and also fun, exciting and very engaging. I never expected to have so much time to speak with STEPS staff.” 2013 participant

“I liked the fact that it really was an open space in which everyone’s (teachers AND students) ideas and experiences could be shared and critically engaged with. I really valued how much everyone respected each other’s thoughts and ideas”  2012 participant

How it works

The Institute of Development Studies (IDS) is the main venue. IDS is on the edge of the Sussex University campus, set in the middle of rolling countryside but with good transport links to Brighton.

The programme includes lectures and discussions, ‘walkshops’ – longer discussions held on walks through the surrounding area – social events, and a chance to play the African Farmer game. The Summer School also includes some time in smaller groups, where participants get to reflect and discuss their own work, led and mentored by members of the STEPS Centre.

The discussion in these groups goes towards a mini-conference, planned and run by participants themselves, with support from the STEPS team.

Materials from past summer schools

Public lectures

Each year, the Summer School includes a public lecture open to a wider audience.

Video: Prof Mike Hulme on climate change arguments and culture (2015)

Video/audio/slides: Prof Mariana Mazzucato: The Green Entrepreneurial State (2014)

Video: Prof Michael Jacobs: capitalism, carbon and climate change | Slides (2013)

Video: Public debate on fuel poverty, climate change and social justice (2013)

Video: Prof Tim Jackson: the future of the green economy (2012)

Audio: Public debate on Rio+20 & collective action (2012)

Other materials

Summer School 2015

Summer School 2014

Summer School 2013

Summer School 2012

Video clips

Below are some extracts from lectures given in May 2012 by Melissa Leach, Andy Stirling and Ian Scoones.