PhD Programme in Conservation Science and Sustainability Studies

The ATREE doctoral programme in Conservation Science and Sustainability Studies is designed to impart training to research scholars, to develop and use integrated approaches in sustainable development and biodiversity conservation. The programme promotes interdisciplinary research and frameworks to integrate tools and approaches from the disciplines of ecology, economics, sociology, and climate science.

ATREE is a recognised centre of the doctoral programme of Manipal Academy for Higher Education (MAHE)—the institution that awards the PhD degree. 

In accordance with the requirements of ATREE and MAHE, students seeking admission should have:

  • a background in natural or social sciences
  • exhibit academic excellence

Typically ATREE accepts new PhD students in odd-numbered years and provides research contingencies and stipend support. In addition students who have (i) qualified for a Junior Research Fellowship under the UGC or the CSIR schemes or (ii) are working on a research project at ATREE can enroll in the doctoral programme. Students are encouraged to check the ‘Research’ tab of the ATREE Jobs webpage to check for project-funded PhD opportunities at ATREE.  

Students admitted to the programme will work under the personal mentorship of an ATREE faculty member and will also be guided by a doctoral committee of 3-5 members. The committee will consist of ATREE faculty members and external scientists and will include representation of expertise from different disciplines

Doctoral training begins with rigorous coursework that is expected to take a year to complete. This will include a set of mandatory courses and a choice of electives. We have designed foundation courses in the natural and social sciences to introduce students to main concepts in both these disciplines, since students will have a background in one of these. 

  • Foundations in Natural Sciences - Ecology
  • Foundations in Natural Sciences - Environmental Science 
  • Foundations in Social Sciences - Economics
  • Foundations in Social  Sciences - Sociology

The foundational coursework in the natural sciences covers ecological concepts, ecosystem processes and species interactions, environmental processes and challenges, sustainability science and biodiversity conservation. The foundational coursework in the social sciences covers the basic principles of economics and sociology and focuses on classical and contemporary economic and sociological theory, and expanding into ecological economics and environmental sociology. 

The foundational coursework is supplemented by a novel course that introduces and encourages students to inculcate an integrated, interdisciplinary approach to address the persistent challenges of biodiversity decline, climate change, land degradation and natural resource governance. Beginning with a multidisciplinary approach, this novel course moves on to discussing integrated approaches that draws upon theoretical ideas and comparative analyses of case studies from across the world. Mandatory coursework concludes with the tools of conducting research in the natural and social sciences and the ethics and practice of disseminating science, through a series of research methods courses.

  • Practising Interdisciplinary Research on the Environment
  • Research Design and Methods ‐ Social Sciences
  • Research Design and Methods ‐ Natural Sciences
  • Quantitative Methods
  • Scientific Writing
  • Research and Publication Ethics