Piers Sellers Prizes

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.

Exceptional PhD research

This prize is designed to reward and encourage current PhD students from the University of Leeds for undertaking excellent research to better understand and/or address climate change. The award of £1500 enables the winner to further develop their research career by supporting activities such as attendance at a conference, access to field work, or relevant training. 

Rewarding contribution to climate solutions

The Piers Sellers prize for contribution to climate solutions is awarded to a researcher or research team (not limited to the University of Leeds) on the basis of their contribution to solution-focused climate research.

Past winners


The 2020 Piers Sellers Prize for world leading contribution to solution-focused climate research was awarded to Dr Katharine Mach. The Piers Sellers Prize for exceptional PhD research was awarded to both Oliver Grasham and Harriet Thew. Read more about the winners.

You can watch the recording of the virtual awards event below.


World leading contribution: Professor Petra Tschakert

PhD prize: Tom Slater

Read more about the 2019 prize winners. Watch the 2019 awards and prizewinner presentations.


World leading contribution: Professor Mark New – read more about Professor Mark New

PhD prize: Kate Palmer and Jesus Vergara Temprado – read more about the 2018 PhD prize winners


World leading contribution:  Professor Felix Creutzig

PhD prize: Ross Gillard

Read more about the 2017 prize winners


World leading contribution: Dr Joeri Rogelj

PhD prize: Kate Scott

Read more about the 2016 prize winners