Apply for PhD Programme in Integrated Management of Water, Soil, and Waste

News
  • 2018/08/10     Dresden, Germany

    Design: Claudia Matthias/UNU-FLORES

    UNU-FLORES and Technische Universität Dresden are now accepting applications from graduates in engineering, social sciences, and natural sciences for their Joint PhD Programme in Integrated Management of Water, Soil, and Waste. The tuition-free programme aims at creating a new generation of environmental scientists, engineers, and managers, to conduct, promote, and provide guidance on the sustainable management of water, soil, and waste. The window for the current application period is 15 August to 30 September 2018.

    Interested? Check the admissions criteria for eligibility!

    The current call for applications targets candidates interested in conducting research within the clustersWastewater Use as an Application of the Water-Soil-Waste Nexus” and “Integrated Water-Soil Management as an Adaptation Mechanism to Climate Change in Water-Scarce Areas” outlined in detail below.

    Candidates should develop a short research proposal related to one or more of the research questions listed under each research cluster, specifying their specific interests in the topic, the regional focus of their research, indication of data availability, and so on.

    To learn how to apply and what documents are required, check out the application procedure.

    We will also look at well-worked out alternative research topics proposed by applicants outside these clusters if they fall into the scope of our research programme as reflected in our recent publications.

    If you have any questions related to the programme, you can reach us at pginfo_flores@unu.edu.

    Research Clusters for the 2018 Call for Applications

    Cluster 1: Wastewater Use as an Application of the Water-Soil-Waste Nexus

    Research in this cluster builds, for example, on finished and ongoing projects related to the monitoring of wastewater use, its safe use in agriculture, environmental impacts of wastewater irrigation, sustainability assessment of wastewater treatment systems, nature-based solutions for wastewater treatment, and research on soil-related ecosystem services. New PhD projects in this cluster might address any of the following or further, thematically related, questions:

    1. How does wastewater irrigation change soil structure? How can such changes be considered in water flow and solute transport modelling?
    2. How does wastewater irrigation affect soil quality? When are saturation limits reached? What is the carrying capacity for which types of soils?
    3. How does wastewater irrigation affect groundwater quantity and quality, and how can irrigation management mitigate adverse effects?
    4. How does wastewater use affect surface water quantity and quality? How can it best be monitored?
    5. How can wastewater use contribute to enhancing water productivity?
    6. What effect does wastewater use have on crops, in terms of yield quantity and quality, and how do benefits balance to costs and threats (e.g., environmental and human health)?
    7. How can nature-based solutions of wastewater treatment support fit-for-purpose wastewater use? How do design parameters need to be adapted?
    8. What are the current institutional conditions for wastewater use in terms of legal frameworks? What role does hard vs. soft law play in implementing wastewater use?
    9. What role does participation play in adopting wastewater irrigation practices? Which level of participation is the “right” one, and why?
    10. What boundaries and drivers exist in the implementation of wastewater use as a business model? How can barriers be overcome, and drivers be enhanced?
    11. How can the feedback between wastewater production, wastewater treatment, wastewater use in agriculture, changes in soil structure and quality, changes in surface and subsurface water quality, and quantity, socioeconomic, and institutional changes be portrayed? How can these be evaluated?

    Cluster 2: Integrated Water-Soil Management as an Adaptation Mechanism to Climate Change in Water-Scarce Areas

    Research in this cluster builds, for example, on finished and ongoing projects related to assessing climate trends and impacts, monitoring of water stress, impacts of land-use changes vs. climate change on water yield, impact of soil and crop management on soil water, and research on soil-related ecosystem services. New PhD projects in this cluster might address any of the following or further, thematically related, questions:

    1. How can the water availability for farmers in water-scarce regions be increased through adapted soil and water conservation management?
    2. How can wastewater use contribute to enhancing water productivity under water-scarce conditions?
    3. What are suitable strategies for enhancing the application of organic waste for soil management, and how will it affect the water cycle?
    4. How can downscaled climate projections inform the food and water sectors to ensure water and food security?
    5. How does soil water deficiency affect soil-related ecosystems and their services and how can this be monitored?
    6. How can nature-based solutions help compensate reduced water availability, while addressing energy and food security?
    7. How does current legislation support integrated water-soil management? In which way do customary practices play a role in ensuring long term water and food security?
    8. Which roles do NGOs and CSOs play in promoting integrated water-soil management practices? Which goal are they trying to pursue? And how do they differ from one-another over space and time?
    9. How do National Adaptation Plans reflect integrated water-soil management practices to address water, energy, and food security?
    10. How can different feedbacks between adaptation practices be portrayed? How can these be evaluated?

    Please visit the PhD Programme page for further details on the scope of the programme, application procedure, and admission criteria.