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S.P.R.I.N.G Award Winners June 2021


We are delighted to announce our SPRING award winners for June 2021.

The SPRING competition is a funding award which is part of water@leeds' Mission 4: Next Generation - a commitment to train new innovative, excellent and interdisciplinary water experts to work at the cutting edge of water research, management and policy. The award is open to all postgraduate research students whose research involves some aspect related to water.

In this, the June round of the biannual award, our funding support goes to four postgraduate researchers for their excellent applications which also reflect the wide ranging international and interdisciplinary research taking place at water@leeds with impacts across the world.

Manal Al Balushi, School of Geography

PhD: Flood processes in ephemeral catchments, Dhofar Governorate, The Sultanate of Oman

Supervisors: Dr Mark Trigg, Prof Joseph Holden

'My research is studying the processes of flooding in a dryland area with ephemeral catchments. The field data is vital to enhance the reliability of modelling and predicting the scale of future events and how modifications to the landscape may impact flood risk in the future. The SPRING fund will help me undertake fieldwork to validate the channel pathways and measure some soil hydrological properties under different land classes in my study area. This support will improve the work, so it enables me to publish my first journal paper and participate in international and national conferences in near future. In addition, giving my research a voice to be heard through different channels and improving the quality of my research.'


Harrison Laurent

School of Physics and Astronomy  - Molecular and Nanoscale Physics

PhD: The Biological Role of Water in Extreme Conditions

Supervisor: Prof Lorna Dougan

'The fundamental and highly interdisciplinary nature of my research means that reaching the desired audience is often difficult. We will be using the £500 generously awarded by water@leeds to collaborate with a professional animator to produce a mini-movie clearly explaining the complex techniques and key results of our work. We hope to display this movie on the ISIS neutron and muon source website, social media, and through the University of Leeds, to reach a wider audience than our publications have done and increase the impact of both our research and the water-based research at Leeds as a whole.'


Mariam Zaqout, School of Engineering

PhD: The Political Economy of Sanitation; driving incentives for more sustainable sanitation services in low and middle-income countries

Supervisors:  Prof Barbara Evans, Dr Dani Barrington, Prof Anna Mdee

'I am really grateful to receive the SPRING Award, it will help me cover my field work expense related to my PhD research. This, of course, will assist me to deliver quality and context-relevant research through spending time talking to people (hopefully in person) in my case study location (Cape Town, South Africa). If the COVID-19 travel restrictions eased, I will use the funds toward accommodation and transport in Cape Town, if not, I will use it to cover the fees of local consultant to conduct some of my research activities (e.g, interviews, participatory analysis workshop).'


Dewa Ayu Putu Eva Wishanti

School of Politics and International Studies

PhD: The Impact of Foreign Aid on Water Governance in Indonesia: A Case Study of Fragmented Water Service Reform

Supervisor Prof. Anna Mdee, Dr Adam Tyson

'Water governance comprises of countless types of networks at play. My fieldwork converges on the network of development aid and how it will affect water governance reform in Indonesia. During these uncertain times, I will put my best efforts to work on remote fieldwork while partnering with a local researcher and to cover more grounds myself when it is permitted. Further outreach in local domains will provide a closer comprehension on how foreign development assistance is interpreted in a decentralised and fragmented subnational water governance. I believe this support from water@leeds will help me discover additional valuable findings.'

SPRING (Supporting Postgraduate Research to Inspire the Next Generation) is a postgraduate research funding competition developed by water@leeds through its Doctoral Research and Training Centre which is open to all postgraduate research students whose research involves some aspect related to water.

Look out for our next round of this award!

The deadline is Friday 12 November 2021.