Hydro Nation Scholar Programme

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 Scotland’s Centre of Expertise for Waters (CREW), drawing on its Scotland-wide water policy, industry, and academic network.
Topics of interest for 2017 are:

  1. Epidemiology of private water supplies
  2. Social dimensions of water and health
  3. Innovative sensor technology
  4. Economics of supply resilience
  5. Economics of private supply provision
  6. Sustainable development goals in the domestic and international agenda


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. The areas of interest are set out below.
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 2016/17 is £14,296
  • Research Councils UK Indicative Fee Level for 2016/17 is £4,121
  • Overseas Indicative Fee Level is £12,950

Supervisors will be allocated £2,500 per annum for Travel and Subsistence and all fees and stipend will be covered. Exceptional costs, for example, additional research costs, travel costs and placement costs during the scholarship will be negotiated with CREW.

Scholars will be funded for 4 years. The scholarship will involve periods of research at a water related institution, such as Scottish Water, the Scottish Government, SEPA, or industry. CREW will liaise between the applicant and the water organisation to develop this link, following appointment of the Scholar. Please do not contact a placement partner before application.

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


Call for Project Proposals

  • The call for project proposals, based on advertised topics is made at the beginning of July 2016
  • There is a strict limit of one application per academic as a primary supervisor and one as a second supervisor
  • Projects proposals must be submitted to Laura Logie and on the project proposal form below
  • The deadline for submission of project proposals is the 31st August 2016
  • Prospective PhD Scholars are encouraged to submit project proposals (Scholar-led proposals), which will be reviewed alongside academic-led proposals
  • The proposal must show that the project is rational, feasible, innovative and relevant to the Hydro Nation strategy
  • Project proposals will be reviewed and selected by a panel chaired by the CREW Director and including policy stakeholders from Scottish Government, Scottish Water, SEPA, WICS and SNH.  Proposers will be notified of the outcome
  • Approved projects will be advertised to Scholars in October 2016.

Summary Timetable for Recruitment for 2017



Postgraduate Project Proposal Call

Early July 2016

Deadline for Project Proposal Submission

31st August 2016

Review of Project Proposals by Hydro Nation Stakeholder Panel

September 2016

Advertisement of Approved Projects

October 2016

Deadline for Scholar Applications

31st December 2016

PhD Scholar Interviews

Early February 2017

Final Decisions on PhD Scholars

Early March 2017

The project application form is available for download here.