SPRING Award – how to apply

Supporting Postgraduate Research to Inspire the Next Generation  (SPRING)

SPRING is a postgraduate research funding competition developed by water@leeds which is open to all postgraduate research students whose research involves some aspect related to water.

Maybe you work with water sustainability or sanitation?

One of our winners, Mariam Zaqout, School of Engineering used her award to support her research on the Political Economy of Sanitation; driving incentives for more sustainable sanitation services in low and middle-income countries.

Perhaps your research helps implement water policy?

Dewa Ayu Putu Eva Wishanti, from the School of Politics and International Studies used her award researching The Impact of Foreign Aid on Water Governance in Indonesia: A Case Study of Fragmented Water Service Reform.

Or maybe you look at water in the physical environment?

Liam Taylor, School of Geography, used his award for working on Using a new generation of remote sensing techniques to monitor Peru’s mountain glaciers.

If it involves water, SPRING could help support a research idea! The award aims to provide additional research funds to research postgraduates to extend the scale and scope of their research projects.  Up to £500 is awarded and winners also receive an invitation to present at water@leeds annual Confluence.

The competition is open to PGRs from any school or faculty of the University of Leeds: there are no disciplinary boundaries. Water does not have to be the central theme of your PhD but must feature in the project you’re proposing for SPRING support.

See details of all our previous award winners here.

Award Criteria

The award is given on the following criteria:

  • Awards are aimed to support PhD students who require extra resources of funding for research activities.
  • Preference will be given to new research work and professional development activities.

What is not funded:

  • conferences
  • travel (unless for field work that would not otherwise take place)
  • publication costs

How to apply

We assume that you will have discussed your application with your supervisor, and have their approval.

Access and submit the form via this MS Forms link.

Applicants must describe how this award will contribute to their work, emphasising aspects of innovation, potential impact and career development. A breakdown of how the funds will be spent must also be provided, plus details of your existing funding.


Applications opened on 1st June 2022. This round is now closed and winners announced.

If you are successful, you will…

  • be awarded up to £500 for your research project
  • feature in our water@leeds newsletter and website
  • present at Confluence, the water@leeds annual event, and
  • provide a two-page activity report within six months of the award, describing the work you undertook and providing photos and any preliminary data.

Applicants please note: The maximum amount that can be applied for is £500. A maximum of three awards will be made each round, and only one application is permitted per round per student. Unsuccessful applicants may resubmit but must ensure subsequent submissions respond to any feedback received or are significantly different from earlier submissions.