Piers Sellers Prizes

Nominations for the 2020 PhD prize are now open. Deadline for nominations is 12:00 on Monday 27 January 2020.

Download the nomination form and further information about criteria



In 2016, the Priestley International Centre for Climate established two annual prizes in the name of the renowned climate scientist, astronaut and Leeds alumnus, Piers Sellers, to recognise exceptional research that furthers our understanding of climate change and how to address it.

The most recent prizes were presented at an awards ceremony on 24 June 2019. Watch the awards and prizewinner presentations. The inaugural prizes were awarded at the Priestley Centre launch event on 14 June 2016. Past winners are listed below.

Exceptional PhD research

This prize is designed to reward and encourage current PhD students from the University of Leeds1 for undertaking excellent research to better understand and/or address climate change. The award provides £1500 to attend an international conference of their choice.

Nominations should be made by University of Leeds staff (supervisors and group leaders). Please note self-nominations are no longer accepted.

Nominations will be assessed by the judging panel made up of the Priestley Centre Management Committee on the basis of one or more high quality publications (not limited to peer-reviewed journal publications, and including those accepted but yet to be published), research outputs and/or impact resulting from the nominee’s PhD research.

1 Current PhD students can include those who have passed their viva but are yet to attend their graduation ceremony.


An up-and-coming researcher’s contribution to climate solutions

The Piers Seller prize for an up-and-coming researcher’s contribution to climate solutions will be awarded to an up-and-coming researcher or research team (not limited to the University of Leeds) on the basis of their contribution to solution-focused climate research. A shortlist of nominees will be drawn-up by the judging panel based on recent high impact journal publications, research outputs or impact.

The recipient(s) will be invited to the Priestley Centre annual event to provide a keynote speech and receive the award of £1000.

Nominations are restricted to the judging panel for this award.


Past winners


World leading contribution: Professor Petra Tschakert

PhD prize: Tom Slater

Read more


World leading contribution: Professor Mark New – read more

PhD prize:  Kate Palmer and Jesus Vergara Temprado – read more


World leading contribution:  Professor Felix Creutzig

PhD prize: Ross Gillard

Read more


World leading contribution: Dr Joeri Rogelj

PhD prize: Kate Scott

Read more