Postgraduate opportunities within the Centre for Water, Communities and Resilience (CWCR)

PhD topics

The Centre for Water, Communities and Resilience (CWCR) welcomes applications from students wanting to gain a PhD in any of the topics below. For further information about these research areas, please email Professor Lindsey McEwen (Lindsey.McEwen@uwe.ac.uk).

Visit our postgraduate research study information to apply for a research opportunity or view more opportunities.

Infrastructural resilience

  • Energy infrastructure and risk management
  • Sustainable energy demand modelling systems
  • Ocean and coastal climate variability and impact on coastal flood and erosion risk
  • Coastal Numerical Modelling applications under extreme weather events

Contact: Dr Antonia Chatzirodou (Antonia.Chatzirodou@uwe.ac.uk)

Water efficiency

  • Intersectionalities of water, energy and housing poverty in Bristol (in collaboration with Resource West, a consortium of West of England Utilities)
  • Using the Household Water Insecurity Experiences (HWISE) Scale for assessing progress towards Sustainable Development Goal 6: Clean water and sanitation

Contact: Professor Chad Staddon (Chad.Staddon@uwe.ac.uk)

Water, wastewater and energy sustainability

  • Resilience-based asset management strategies for water and wastewater treatment infrastructures in the UK
  • Microplastics: Characterisation, environmental fate and treatment
  • Modelling carbon footprint in water and wastewater Treatment facilities
  • Development and characterisations of super adsorbents for oil/water separation
  • Sustainable decentralised wastewater treatment for rural communities in the Global South

Contact Dr Augustine Ifelebuegu (Augustine.Ifelebuegu@uwe.ac.uk)

Critical infrastructure and extreme weather events

  • ‘Hidden wisdom’ behind climate resilient infrastructure: Professional narratives on coping and adapting to risks, uncertainty and climate change

Contacts: Dr Deepak Gopinath (Deepak.Gopinath@uwe.ac.uk) and Dr Andrew Holmes (Andrew4.Holmes@uwe.ac.uk)

Young people’s learning, environment and climate

  • Ways in which young people experience their environments, and how this influences their understandings’, values and actions
  • Ways of addressing the growing concern about young people’s climate anxiety and the importance of hope in climate futures
  • Environmental and climate education and its role in both formal and informal learning
  • Young people’s learning for sustainability and for resilience
  • The role of empathy in young people’s response and action to a changing climate 

Contact: Dr Sara Williams (Sara3.Williams@uwe.ac.uk)

Community resilience to water and compound risk

  • Community resilience to flooding and compound risks
  • Community water risk education
  • Narratives of the flood- drought continuum: implications for community resilience

 Contact: Professor Lindsey McEwen (Lindsey.McEwen@uwe.ac.uk)

Citizenship and resilient leadership

  • Citizenship, (social/spatial) mobility and justice in global cities
  • (Re-)framing youth-led master plans for transformative urban development projects
  • Urban leadership and communication of risk for disaster-prone communities

Contact: Dr Deepak Gopinath (Deepak.Gopinath@uwe.ac.uk)

Equity and environmental justice

  • Environmental justice – international comparisons
  • Just Transition – international solidarity and worker participation
  • Transitions to sustainability – equity issues
  • Deliberative democracy and climate policy

Contact: Dr Karen Bell (Karen.Bell@uwe.ac.uk)

Drought impacts: Linked to DRY (Drought Risk and You project)

  • Rethinking allotments, water use and community resilience to climate change

Contact: Professor Lindsey McEwen (Lindsey.McEwen@uwe.ac.uk)

  • Impact of drought and water scarcity of mycorrhizal colonisation of pasture grasses

Contact: Dr Sarah Ayling (Sarah.Ayling@uwe.ac.uk) or Dr Jackie Rogers (Jackie.Rogers@uwe.ac.uk)

PhD research

PhD funding options

If you are a UK student, there are different funding options:

If you are an international student, you may also be able to apply for funding through external organisations (country-specific and general) to do your PhD.  These include:

For further advice on how and where to secure a PhD Scholarship, see PhDportal.com's article '7 ways to get a PhD scholarship in the UK'.

Postgraduate courses

Internships

The Centre has offered funded and unfunded internships to Masters students from the MSc Environmental Management, MSc Sustainable Development in Practice and MSc Science Communication. These internships have had either a research or community engagement focus – where the student has worked for a period of time on a project with Centre staff. 

These internships have sometimes been linked to externally funded research projects or a Faculty internship scheme. Students were asked if they would like to write a few words about their experience and learning. Some of these reflections are shared below. 

If you are interested in gaining work experience through the Centre, please check our list of members for expertise aligned to your interests. We also circulate information about internship opportunities as they become available.

Hannah Barnikel (MSc Environmental Management)

I carried out an internship with the Centre for Water, Communities and Resilience and Tewkesbury Nature Reserve from March-August 2021. This involved collaborating with professionals, volunteers, and trustees to create 20 x A5 educational panels, including information surrounding local flora, fauna, and environmental management techniques to engage the local community with the nature found at the reserve. This internship was perfect for me, as I want to pursue a career in environmental education. I feel as though I have developed and improved many skills including communication, presentation skills, graphic design and research skills, and have also improved my understanding of wildlife and environmental management. I received a lot of support throughout my internship from my supervisor, who responded quickly to emails and regularly checked in on me. As well as the personal benefits, this internship has contributed to my degree, providing me with a sound project for my work-based learning module.

Gemma Kerr (MSc Environmental Management)

I have just started an internship with the VIP-CLEAR team – researching the impact of the pandemic on children. Despite being only a short way into the experience, I am already gaining value from it.  In the first week of my internship I have created an infographic and two short videos helping to explain the research process. With one of these videos already being used in schools, this internship is showing me that I can produce useful work on short deadlines. Moving forward, I am going to be more involved with the data handling side of the project – something that I am really looking forward to as it links heavily with my course.  It is encouraging and satisfying to use the skills from my course on a project that is so current and important. My internship with VIP-CLEAR is developing the skills I already had; and providing hands-on experience that will give me a head start as I build my career.

Caroline Wilson (MSc Sustainable Development in Practice)

As an MSc Sustainable Development in Practice student, I was delighted to undertake my work placement with the Challenging the Climate Crisis: Children’s Agency to Tackle Policy Underpinned by Learning for Transformation project (CCC-CATAPULT). I wished to gain experience of working in research and it was a privilege to be able to see ‘behind the scenes’ of an international research project, and to witness how the approaches of the four universities intersected in the creation of the research. My own contribution to the project involved exploring the co-production research approach that was to be used. I undertook a review of literature on co-production which also formed the backbone of the article I wrote for the CCC-CATAPULT website. However, it was through discussions with my supervisors, Professor Lindsey McEwen and Dr Rosamund Portus, that I learnt the most. As they shared valuable insights into working in research, this helped me to begin developing better ways of working.

Centre for Water, Communities and Resilience (CWCR)

The Centre brings together established inter-disciplinary teams working on different national and international water security initiatives at UWE Bristol.

Research centres and groups

Browse UWE Bristol's portfolio of research areas, expertise, staff and publications.