If you're interested in doing a research PhD with us, please contact iflas@cumbria.ac.uk.
For more information about postgraduate research at the University of Cumbria, visit our research pages.

Leading transition

We research how professionals can better lead their organisations, sectors or communities towards sustainability and social justice, and how such leadership can be enabled.

Our focus is on the attributes and competencies that enable someone to participate in social transformation. This includes the study of how organisational and societal transformations occur, as well as how to encourage personal transformations and wellbeing through learning experiences.

Our research draws upon the empowering educational approach of Charlotte Mason, who established our campus in 1892, and the opportunity of our beautiful landscape for learning both in and from nature. Our first Occasional Paper, "Searching for Sustainability Leadership" by Professor Jem Bendell and Richard Little (of Impact International), is available as a pdf.

Resourcing transition

We research how professionals, including entrepreneurs and community leaders, can employ novel ways to resource their activities to enable the transition to sustainability, social justice and prosperity, as well as the implications for governments, foundations and other stakeholders.

The last few years have seen an explosion in the use of alternative means of sharing, giving, swapping, exchanging and financing, with the terms “sharing economy”, “collaborative consumption” and “complementary currency” becoming popular. We research these developments as aspects of “sustainable exchange.” Our research resonates with the local legacy of John Ruskin on contrarian economics.

Scaling transition

We research how professionals develop, deploy or assess strategies for transforming difficult public problems. This includes a study of the scaling up of social innovations, the use of transformative cross-sectoral alliances, transformative philanthropy, innovations in public policies, and business innovations that are disruptive to existing markets and industries.

Our research on philanthropic leadership resonates with the local legacy of Beatrix Potter, whose active purchase and gifting of land made possible the Lake District National Park and the extent of the National Trust.

Graduate School

All research degree candidates are members of the Graduate School. Professor Diane Cox is the Director of Research and Head of the Graduate School, and Sonia Mason (who is your point of contact with the University of Cumbria administration) runs the Graduate School Office, which is on the ground floor of the Gressingham Building on the Lancaster Campus.

As a research student, you will be registered for a research degree with Lancaster University which will be covered by their regulations and procedures. Your primary registration is with the University of Cumbria and you will be required to engage with the registration procedures which are required of all of our students. Registration is comprised of a number of elements according to whether you are a new or continuing student. For more details see our research pages.

Research into Currencies

Why use alternative currencies?

One of our biggest projects has been looking into the usage of alternative currencies, including Bitcoin and the Bristol Pound. Click here to find out more.


IFLAS contribute to many publications - please see some links below.

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