Water Engineering and Development Centre

Water, Sanitation and Hygiene


Student eligibilityEntry requirements | Funding | Deadline | Implementing partners | Further information


Are you looking for an exciting and rewarding PhD opportunity?

WEDC is delighted to be working with Leeds and Cranfield Universities on WATER-WISER, the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Water and Waste Infrastructure Systems Engineered for Resilience.

50 funded studentships are available over the next 5 years for UK and EU students.


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


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


  • A carefully crafted 4 year PhD programme of trans-disciplinary training with integrated studies, 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 provision for up to 6 months in country fieldwork or placement 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.



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

Water, Public Health and Environmental Engineering group at the University of Leeds

Water Engineering and Development Centre (WEDC) at Loughborough University

Water Science Institute at Cranfield University (CWSI)



Student eligibility

  1. UK citizens, and EU citizens who have been resident for education or employment purposes in the UK for 3 years prior to taking up the award, are eligible to receive the full funding package (including fees, maintenance and research funding support).
  2. EU citizens who have not been resident for education or employment purposes in the UK for 3 years prior to taking up the award may apply to the centre and if successful, will automatically be eligible to receive funding which covers fees and research support. In such cases a maintenance grant will NOT be paid and candidates would have to explore alternative sources of funding. You are advised to contact the CDT team to discuss this option prior to applying.

  3. In exceptional cases and at the discretion of the participating Universities non-resident EU and international candidates may be considered for the award of full UK/EU fees, maintenance and research funding support. There is a cap on such awards and candidates are advised that they should make a strong case in their application for their inclusion in the grant on the basis of their potential to make a significant contribution to the cohort. In successful cases the University will be responsible for covering any difference between UK/EU and International fees which MAY NOT be paid by the student.


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, consisting of academic fees and a £15,009 maintenance grant for 2019/2020. Additional funding for 6 month industry placement or in country field work opportunity, subject to approval by supervisors. See website for details.



Application deadline: 15 April 2019, to be made through the University of Leeds website here: engineering.leeds.ac.uk/CDT.

Invitations to interviews and assessment will be made by 28 April 2019.

Shortlisted candidates will be invited for interview In Loughborough on 13 or 14 May 2019.


Further information

Visit our website: engineering.leeds.ac.uk/CDT

Here is a link to a webinar recording held on 14th March 2019

The webinar gives an introduction to Water WISER for interested potential applicants.


Industry partners and implementing agencies

We are keen to establish effective relationships with relevant industrial and practice partners. This is to ensure that research corresponds to in-country needs and demand (for optimum impact), to help employers to be in contact with potential future staff and involved in their development (or indeed existing staff), and to develop competitive edge through helping to co-create and shape the research.

If you are interested to work with us then please contact Martin Tillotson. M.R.Tillotson@leeds.ac.uk