Hydro Nation Scholars Programme (9 PhD Scholarships)

Various Universities in Scotland, United Kingdom 🇬🇧

The Hydro Nation Scholars Programme is part of the Scottish Government’s Hydro Nation strategy. The objective of the strategy is to develop the economic, environmental and social value of Scotland’s water resources. The Hydro Nation Scholars play an important role in supporting this by:

  • developing understanding of how and where best to develop the value of Scotland’s water resources
  • focusing on enhancing Scottish capacity in areas of existing research excellence
  • providing new research and insights where there are gaps related to water resources in Scotland.

The Programme and the associated graduate school will be managed on behalf of the Scottish Government by the Hydro Nation Scholars Executive Group (HNSEG), drawing on its Scotland-wide water policy, industry, and academic network.

The Hydro Nation Scholars Programme is an open competition for project topics and then for PhD Scholars to undertake approved projects, hosted within Scottish Universities and Research Institutes.

Full funding is available from the Scottish Government (to host institutions via the Scottish Funding Council) for up to 7 PhD scholarships. Two of these may be awarded to “overseas” Scholars. Home and overseas Scholars are defined according to a Scholar’s status for University admissions. The funding available will be in line with the Research Councils UK doctoral stipend levels and indicative fees. Currently these are:

  • National Minimum Doctoral Stipend for 2017/18 is £14,553
  • Research Councils UK Indicative Fee Level for 2016/17 is £4,195
  • Overseas Indicative Fee Level is £18,400

Supervisors will be allocated £2,500 per annum for Travel and Subsistence and all fees and stipend will be covered. Scholars will be funded for 4 years.

Scholars will benefit from specialised programmes provided under the auspices of the Hydro Nation Graduate School.


The following projects are now available for applications:

  • The Role of Scotland’s Inland Waters in Promoting the Blue-Health of Rural CommunitiesDr David Oliver, University of Stirling and Prof. Nick Hanley, University of Glasgow
  • Determining the Effect of Urbanisation on the Prevalence of Antimicrobial Resistance in Aquatic EnvironmentsDr Charles Knapp, University of Strathclyde and Dr Lisa Avery, The James Hutton Institute
  • The Scottish Water Landscape and its Resilience to Change: An Assessment to Support Future PolicyDr. Rachel Helliwell, the James Hutton Institute and Dr Marc J Metzger
  • The Multiple Benefits of Low-Cost, Decentralized Solutions for Water Treatment and Supply in Rural IndiaDr Laurence Carvalho, University of Edinburgh and Dr Rowan Ellis, The James Hutton Institute
  • Nutrient and Precious Metal Recovery from Wastewater SystemsDr Christine Switzer, University of Strathclyde and Prof. Vernon Phoenix, University of Strathclyde
  • Optimising Microbial Communities for Removal of Priority Chemicals from WaterDr Andrew Free, University of Edinburgh and Dr Eulyn Pagaling, The James Hutton Institute
  • Using Ragworms and Chitosan to Bioremediate Aquaculture and Freshwater Treatment Waste for the Recovery of Clean Water and Biomass Fishfeed and FishmealDr A Semiao, University of Edinburgh and Dr A Hughes, Scottish Association for Marine Science
  • Development of Inexpensive, Fast and Manifold Assays for the Quantification of Micro- PollutantsDr Caroline Gauchotte-Lindsay, University of Glasgow and Dr Zulin Zhang, the James Hutton Institute
  • Water Purification in Rural India Using Sunlight and LowCost MaterialsProf. Neil Robertson – University of Edinburgh and Dr Efthalia Chatzisymeon

    Summary Timetable for Recruitment for 2018

    Deadline for Scholar Applications

    5th January 2018

    PhD Scholar Interviews

    6th / 7th February 2018

    Final Decisions on PhD Scholars

    End February 2018

    To apply for any of these projects, please download the application form here.