Dr Vasiliki Kioupi

Dr Vasiliki Kioupi


I am Lecturer in Sustainable Curriculum at the Sustainability Research Institute of the University of Leeds, member of the Sustainable Curriculum leadership team and module leader for the Introduction to Creating Sustainable Futures module. I am leading focus area 2 of the Sustainable Curriculum programme, which includes student led activity, and I am also member of the Discovery Electives delivery group focusing on embedding sustainability in the new Discover and Explore offer of the University as part of Curriculum Redefined. Before my appointment, I was Lecturer at the Institute of Education (IOE) of University College London (UCL) and module leader for the Principles of Teaching and Learning module of the STEP programme, academic tutor for the MA Education (Science) and Science leader for the Teach First Programme. In this role, I developed my experiential learning initiatives especially in terms of teaching sustainability. I hold the position of Honorary Research Associate at the Centre for Environmental Policy (CEP) of Imperial College London (ICL), where I obtained my PhD in the field of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD). I received a prestigious and highly competitive President’s PhD Scholarship to fund my doctoral research. Through my studies, I have worked with universities, primary and secondary schools in the UK and abroad towards the integration of sustainability and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into curricula, implementation of project-based pedagogies, and the development and assessment of sustainability competences in students.  
I also hold a Diploma in Biology (4yr degree) and an MSc in Science and Environmental Education (2yr degree) from the University of Athens.  I am an experienced science teacher, environmental educator and was ESD coordinator and teacher trainer in a large school district in Athens Greece (supervising the ESD projects of more than 150 schools, ~30,000 students, ~5,000 teachers), where I contributed to positive community change. I have also served in the Directorate of Secondary Education of Piraeus part of the Greek Ministry of Education and have experience in developing educational policy.   
I have worked as Senior Social Scientist at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) (through a secondment from ICL) and was involved in environmental policy evaluation and behavioural change projects. I worked as Teaching Fellow at the Department of Life Sciences of Imperial College London and was co-convening the Evolution and Diversity and Ecology and Evolution modules for first year undergraduates as well as contributing to Ecology field skills for second year undergraduates. In this role I contributed to the integration of climate change education and the UN SDGs into the module content and active learning as pedagogy. As doctoral researcher at CEP, I also contributed to teaching for the MSc in Environmental Technology, an interdisciplinary programme aimed to develop highly skilled sustainability professionals. Through tutorials, problem-solving groups and small seminar groups, I was involved in project based learning and helped redesign the assessment framework to include students sustainability competences.
I was visiting teacher at the European Learning Laboratory for the Life Sciences (ELLS) of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Germany and organised teacher-training activities for high school teachers in Molecular Biology, Bioinformatics and cutting edge biology techniques. I am member of Advance HE, the Impact of Materials on Society (IMOS) and Focus on Sustainability (FoS) Subcommittees of the Materials Research Society (MRS). I organised the first LearningLab in Molecular Biology for Greek teachers in 2015 and the first workshop on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for university educators as part of the MRS conference series, titled “agents for sustainable community change” in 2019 with participation from the US, Europe and Africa. Both initiatives became established since. I am active in publishing my research in Scientific and Educational Journals, I am reviewer of publications for conferences and Journals in the fields of Sustainability and Education and review editor for Frontiers in Environmental Science.  
I have worked as consultant in the field of science education for TWIG Education, an edtech company based in the UK that develops standard aligned educational resources and tech teaching tools and in the field of ESD for Common Seas, a social enterprise based in the UK, but working internationally, that aims to educate teachers on how to provide systemic solutions to the plastic waste crisis and integrate ocean literary into curricula. 
I am Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and Fellow of the Schumacher Institute. I am chair of the London Regional Centre of Expertise on ESD, a UN mandated network aimed at advancing regional sustainability as well as member of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) UK. I am co-director of Vision Nexus a community interest company that aims to engage the public with sustainability through virtual reality. Our work was featured at the UNCOP26 in Glasgow.


  • Sustainable Curriculum Leadership team member
  • Module Leader Introduction to Creating Sustainable Futures
  • Discovery electives delivery group member

Research interests

My research interests revolve around Education for Sustainable Development, Environmental Education, Climate Change Education, Climate Anxiety and Climate Action. I have also led research projects on Inclusive Education through collaborations with Global South Universities, the use of Serious Games as decision-making tools in decarbonisation with UK Universities, the use of Virtual Reality as a means to increase awareness and engagement in solving sustainability challenges and have participated in research projects on the use of structured decision-making in tackling air-pollution and enabling sustainable urban transitions, the use of edtech tools to advance sustainability in Higher Education and the development of indicators to quantify the Food, Energy, Water nexus. I welcome communication from prospective PhD students in the above areas of interest.

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://environment.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • PhD Education for Sustainable Development, Imperial College London
  • MSc Science and Environmental Education, University of Athens
  • Diploma Biology, University of Athens

Student education

I am module leader for Introduction to Creating Sustainable Futures for the academic year 2023-24.

Research groups and institutes

  • Business Organisations for Sustainable Societies
  • Sustainability Research Institute
<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>
    <li><a href="//phd.leeds.ac.uk/project/1942-development-of-student-sustainability-competencies-through-curricular,-co-curricular-and-extra-curricular-learning-activities-">Development of student sustainability competencies through curricular, co-curricular and extra-curricular learning activities </a></li>