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 (

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 (

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 (

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 (

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 ( and Dr Andrew Holmes (

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 (

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 (

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 (

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 (

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

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

Contact: Professor Lindsey McEwen (

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

Contact: Dr Sarah Ayling ( or Dr Jackie Rogers (

Current PhD research

Find out more about our current PhD research student members, which include their short biographies and research abstracts.

Completed PhD research

Title Name of researcher

Permeable pavement systems with low carbon and recycled materials for Caribbean Small Island Developing States

John Monrose

Application of environmental process engineering for pollutants reduction and energy savings in crude oil production processes

Stanley Ngene

Development of design criteria for novel 3D-printed quadric-surfaced sludge digesters within wastewater infrastructure for Small Island Developing States (SIDS)

Navin Rakesh Ramroop

Excavating the post-political: mining, water and public participation in Arizona, USA

Owen King

A participatory modelling approach to developing a numerical sediment dynamics model

Nicholas Jones

Participatory water governance in Nigeria: Towards the development of an effective legal framework for rural communities

Evelyn Aluta

Enhancing homeownership opportunities amongst middle income earners in Nigeria

Adekunle Ogunnaike

Motivations of owner-occupiers to perform ‘energy efficient refurbishment’ in the housing stock

Samantha Organ

A reconstruction of recent coastal lowland and coastal landform evolution from the Holocene sediments of the Somerset Levels

Elizabeth Elliott

There isn’t plenty more fish in the sea: A study of the legal drivers for a sustainable UK fishery

Thomas Appleby

Postgraduate courses

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's article '7 ways to get a PhD scholarship in the UK'.