Researchers invited to focus on UN’s Sustainable Development Goals

A conference focused on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals will bring researchers together working across the University to showcase and discuss the ways in which their research is engaging with the UN’s international framework for Sustainable Development.

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were established in 2015 by the United Nations. Intended as a “blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all” They form the roadmap for the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The SDGs represent a globally recognised framework and common language for international collaboration between researchers, funders, business and government. Moreover, they guide that collaboration towards the global common good and the governance of our shared planetary future.

Dr Dave Richards, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Enterprise, said: “The UN Sustainable Development Goals represent a global agenda for impactful research which resolves global challenges. The research we produce here at the University of Hull is contributing to those solutions, and this conference will draw that work to the fore.”

The University of Hull is uniquely positioned to engage with the challenge of sustainable development. In a city at the heart of the UK’s industrial ‘Energy Estuary’, and highly vulnerable to flooding, the world’s changing climate is at Hull not an academic question but an existential threat and a commercial reality. In a region with high levels of economic inequality and social deprivation, sustainable development is a local ambition as well as global challenge.

Sustainable development goals

This conference shines a light on the international projects through which researchers at Hull are taking up that challenge. Hull’s academics are developing and applying new, clean energy technologies with partners in China, are working in Nigeria at the interface between demographics and health, and are advancing circular economies of consumption with collaborators across the European Union and beyond.

These projects, and the others which the conference will highlight, are inherently interdisciplinary. Each of the 17 SDGs contains a dialogue between disciplines, and responding to the SDG framework as a whole requires collaboration between colleagues working in different fields. The case-studies presented will give insight into the big ideas underpinning, as well as the practicalities of conducting, challenge-led and impactful research on the global stage.

The University of Hull was recently named in the world’s top 100 in the Times Higher Education (THE) Impact Rankings, based on institutional commitment to the SDGs. This conference provides a celebration of the international research which contributed to that achievement. It will also catalyse conversations between academics and disciplinary fields, and bring together the insight and experience of external speakers immersed in sustainable development policy and research. Finally, it will initiate an institutional dialogue about how the University’s long-standing commitment to sustainability and social justice relate to the UN’s Global SDG framework.

The 2022 SDG Conference will take place on Wednesday 6 and Thursday 7 of July. Registration, and more details on the conference programme, are forthcoming. The conference will provide a friendly and interactive platform for discussion, and participation from colleagues across the University, and beyond, is welcomed. For more information, please contact

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