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EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training: Water-WISER

EPSRC CDT in Water and Waste Infrastructure Systems Engineered for Resilience (Water-WISER)

A Water-WISER PhD offers a unique opportunity to contribute to the generation of new knowledge to improve water, waste & sanitation infrastructure and services for the poorest and most marginalised members of our global community.

Up to 20 Funded PhD studentships are available over the next 2 years for UK and international students (note: international places are fully-funded but limited to 2-3 per year).

The CDT is hosted by three world leading water, sanitation and waste management research centres, each with a pedigree of more than 40 years of relevant research and teaching experience, namely:

To read more about Water-WISER including updates on application deadlines, staff profiles news and events so far, visit this dedicated website.  If you are interested in applying for the CDT read on:

What are the unique features and benefits of a Water-WISER studentship?

  • A carefully crafted 4 year MSc and PhD programme of trans-disciplinary training will develop the requisite skills to solve complex problems and engineer solutions to infrastructure and service delivery challenges in the global south;
  • Studentship funding includes a minimum 6 month industry placement or in country field work opportunity;
  • Whilst hosted at a specific centre, you will also engage in a programme of stimulating technical and professional training with cohort peers in partner institutions;
  • Research will be co-designed with and supported by industry partners and implementing agencies to ensure relevance and impact;
  • Coordination and management provided by water@leeds, one of the biggest inter-disciplinary water research initiatives in the world

Entry requirements

Applications are invited from candidates with a minimum of a UK upper second class honours degree (2:1), or equivalent, and/or a Masters degree in a relevant subject. We also recognise relevant industrial and academic experience.


A full standard studentship consists of academic fees (£4,600), together with a maintenance grant (£15,285) paid at standard Research Council rates. The CDT also provides funding for 6 month industry placement or in country field work opportunity, subject to approval by supervisors. UK applicants will be eligible for a full award paying tuition fees and maintenance. European Union applicants will be eligible for an award paying tuition fees only, except in exceptional circumstances, or where residency has been established for more than 3 years prior to the start of the course.

How to apply

You can apply for your research degree online. Make sure you complete the application form as fully as you can. You’re required to provide the following information:

  • your proposed research area
  • a brief one-paragraph summary of your research interests
  • grade(s) or degree classification(s) for your degree-level qualifications.
  • Specify host institution

Important information: please add the title of the funded research project/Centre for Doctoral Training in both the ‘funding’ and ‘research area/title’ section of the application form.

Applicants who are offered a place will have to re-apply via the host institution.

If English is not your first language, you must provide evidence that you meet the University’s minimum English Language requirements.

Entry requirements

Applicants to research degree programmes should normally have at least a first class or an upper second class British Bachelors Honours degree (or equivalent) in an appropriate discipline.

English language requirements

The minimum English language entry requirement for research postgraduate research study is an IELTS of 6.0 overall with at least 5.5 in each component (reading, writing, listening and speaking) or equivalent. The test must be dated within two years of the start date of the course in order to be valid.

Contact details

For further information please contact the Doctoral College Admissions:
e:, t: +44 (0)113 343 35057.

We welcome scholarship applications from all suitably-qualified candidates, but UK black and minority ethnic (BME) researchers are currently under-represented in our Postgraduate Research community, and we would therefore particularly encourage applications from UK BME candidates.  All scholarships will be awarded on the basis of merit.