Investigating and designing low-cost vegetated drainage systems for storm water management in Nepal

Investigating and designing low-cost vegetated drainage systems for storm water management in Nepal

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

Funding details: Bursary plus tuition fees (UK/EU/International) plus associated field work costs

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

Application deadline:14th May 2021

Interview dates: Will be confirmed to shortlisted candidates

Start date: September 2021

For queries contact James Hart

GCRF PhD Studentships

This is a GCRF fully-funded PhD studentship.

See the full list of available studentships


The team involved in this project and Coventry University are inviting applications from suitably-qualified graduates for a fully-funded PhD studentship at the Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience.

Project Details

Stormwater management is a critical issue in Nepal, where flooding and polluted run-off have major impacts on quality of life. Climate change, rapid urbanization and the monsoon season magnify these issues. The attitudes of local land-owners to storm-water management and government policy/legislation is also critical to ensure clean water for these low-income communities.

Vegetated drainage systems have become standard practice in Europe, providing a sustainable solution for flooding and the treatment of polluted run-off. This project will work with communities to assess the viability of low-cost versions of these technologies for low-income countries. Case study sites in Nepal will be assessed for the effectiveness of the current drainage systems. Theoretical and experimental work will investigate if low cost adaptations can improve outcomes. This data will be used to generate a rainfall-drainage model that will be open access to the region for storm water management and drainage design to better address the challenges of climate change and improve agricultural efficiently.

This multi-disciplinary project will also investigate the engagement of communities and land-owners with waste-water management policy and legislation, and if the current legislation is sufficient to safeguard water resources.


This is a fully-funded studentship including full tuition fees (UK/EU/International) plus stipend (based upon the applicable UKRI rate at the point of the award) 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.

The student will have access to training courses run by the Doctoral College, such as:

  • Getting the most out of conferences: attendance and participation – Sciences, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics
  • Planning and Designing an Effective Poster Presentation
  • Preparing for your viva
  • Preparing for your Progress Review Panel (PRP)

In addition specialist courses run by CAWR and CTPSR.

Entry Requirements

  • A minimum of a 2:1 first degree in a relevant discipline/subject area with a minimum 60% mark in the project element or equivalent with a minimum 60% overall module average.
    the potential to engage in innovative research and to complete the PhD within 3.5 years
  • a minimum of English language proficiency (IELTS overall minimum score of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each component)

In addition

In addition to the academic qualifications listed above, skills in laboratory/field data collection, data analysis and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) are desirable. The candidate will need to be competent at handling large data sets, and will be required to use software such as MATLAB and advanced features in MS excel. In addition the student will be required to collect and analyse qualitative information.

The candidate will be required to work in a foreign country for up to a month per year throughout the duration of the project, and will need to work largely independently for this period.

It is desirable that the candidate has an interest in water and environmental engineering, community engagement and social policy for low-income countries.

How to apply

All applications require full supporting documentation, and a covering letter – plus a 2000-word supporting statement is required showing how the applicant’s expertise and interests are relevant to the project. For enquiries contact James Hart.

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