a photo of a green landscape featuring water

Assessing and modelling the quality of groundwater in the Pokhara Valley and its effects on public health

Eligibility: UK/International (including EU) graduates with the required entry requirements

Funding details: Bursary plus tuition fees (UK/EU/International) and fieldwork costs.

Duration: Full-Time – between three and three and a half years fixed term

Application deadline: 27 May 2023

Interview date: Will be confirmed to shortlisted candidates

Start date: September 2023

For further details contact: Dr James Hart


Coventry University (CU) is inviting applications from suitably-qualified graduates for a fully-funded PhD studentship.

Project details

Water quality in low-income countries is a critical issue that can have serious negative effects on public health. Water quality problems in surface waters are often visible, but pollution of groundwater can easily go unnoticed, despite it being a common source of drinking water.

The Pokhara Valley in Nepal is an area where, anecdotally, many sources of groundwater contamination are suspected, which is likely to have a negative impact on local communities. However, there is a lack of rigorous academic research on this problem.

This PhD will form part of a larger project, consisting of an already established, inter-disciplinary, international team addressing the following questions for The Pokhara Valley:

1)         What pollutants are in the groundwater?

2)         Where are they going and at what concentration?

3)         What effect is this having on public health?

The successful candidate will focus on Question 2), but will also work closely with the wider team on all three inter-disciplinary questions.

The PhD will primarily involve working with numerical models to predict the fate of contaminants in Pokhara’s groundwater. However, this will be supplemented by field-data collected by the student in Nepal (the project has budgeted for up to two trips for data collection).


Tuition fees, bursary and additional allowances. 


The successful candidate will receive comprehensive research training including technical, personal and professional skills.

All researchers at Coventry University (from PhD to Professor) are part of the Doctoral College and Centre for Research Capability and Development, which provides support with high-quality training and career development activities. 

Candidate specification 

  • A bachelor’s (honours) degree in a relevant discipline/subject area with a minimum classification of 2:1 and a minimum mark of 60% in the project element (or equivalent), or an equivalent award from an overseas institution.
  • the potential to engage in innovative research and to complete the PhD within 3.5 years
  • An adequate proficiency in English must be demonstrated by applicants whose first language is not English. The general requirement is a minimum overall IELTS Academic score of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each of the four sections, or the TOEFL iBT test with a minimum overall score of 95 with a minimum of 21 in each of the four sections.

For further details please visit:  https://www.coventry.ac.uk/research/research-opportunities/research-students/making-an-application/research-entry-criteria/

Additional requirements

In addition to the academic qualifications listed above, skills in numerical modelling/ computational fluid dynamics (CFD), laboratory/field data collection and data analysis are desirable. The candidate will need to be competent at handling large data sets, and may be required to use programming software such as MATLAB, R, or Python.

The candidate will be required to work in a foreign country for several weeks at a time, and will need to work largely independently for this period. It is desirable that the candidate has an interest in water and environmental engineering and water resources for low-income countries. 

How to apply

To find out more about the project please contact Dr James Hart.

All applications require full supporting documentation, a covering letter, and an up-to 2000-word supporting statement is required showing how the applicant’s expertise and interests are relevant to the project. 

Apply to Coventry University
 Queen’s Award for Enterprise Logo
University of the year shortlisted
QS Five Star Rating 2020