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Award details

Monitoring the stormwater overflow performance of decentralised stormwater management interventions. CEMPS Phd Engineering Studentship. Ref: 4459

About the award


Dr Peter Melville-Shreeve, University of Exeter, College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences


Engineering, Streatham Campus, Exeter

The University of Exeter’s College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences, in partnership with Southern Water, is inviting applications for a fully-funded PhD studentship to commence in July 2022 or as soon as possible thereafter.  For eligible students the studentship will cover Home tuition fees plus an annual tax-free stipend of at least £20,000pa for 4 years full-time, or pro rata for part-time study.  The student would be based in Engineering in the College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences at the Streatham Campus in Exeter.

Project Description:

Do you want to do research alongside Southern Water in a ground breaking project to dramatically reduce the use of storm overflows? Are you interested in helping to understand and embed collaborative, smart, catchment and nature based solutions at scale? University of Exeter is seeking one PhD student focusing on analysis of these sustainable solutions at scale. You will undertake this work with supervisors from The Centre for Water Systems’ Stormwater Intelligence Group. The work will be sponsored and largely be co-located alongside Southern Water’s “storm overflow taskforce”. The initial project will start at University of Exeter’s Streatham campus, but the field work will be based in South East of England (mainly the Isle of Wight and parts of Kent on occasion) to enable daily site visits / community engagement as part of the research phase.

This interdisciplinary research project aims to investigate different scenarios for sustainable stormwater management at scale in real life wastewater catchments. You will deploy your critical thinking skills to identify; test; analyse and evaluate novel technologies, and work to develop one or more method / approach / product that fills gaps in the current ecosystem.

Your project supervisors will introduce you to innovators and engineers within water companies, local authorities, regulators and product development houses. You will focus your skills (e.g. hardware, software, product design, community engagement) to assess existing solutions and work to set out new methodologies and approaches that can support a shift towards more sustainable storm water management.

The position advertised is subject to a final contract being agreed and the studentship cannot be offered to the preferred candidate until such time as the contract is in place.

The project will begin with baselining of catchments and the initial pilot design and implementation of solutions (year one), evaluation of performance and further roll out of solutions (year two); evaluation of performance and recommendations for large scale regional deployment (year three). Engagement and mentorship from entrepreneurs in residence; business and product development experts; and industry mentors will be provided that supports your chosen project pathway alongside Southern Water’s leading engineers and innovation teams

To find out more, and to explore how you might fit this project, please contact to discuss you background.

This award provides annual funding to cover Home tuition fees and a tax-free stipend.  For students who pay Home tuition fees the award will cover the tuition fees in full, plus £20,000pa in Yrs 1-2 and £21,000pa in Yrs 3-4 tax-free stipend.

Students who pay international tuition fees are eligible to apply, but should note that the award will only provide payment for part of the international tuition fee and no stipend. 

The studentship is subject to contract with Southern Water.  Please note full details of the project partner’s contribution and involvement with the project is still to be confirmed and may change during the course of contract negotiations.  The studentship cannot be offered to the preferred candidate until such time as the contract is in place. Full details will be confirmed at offer stage.

International applicants need to be aware that you will have to cover the cost of your student visa, healthcare surcharge and other costs of moving to the UK to do a PhD.

The conditions for eligibility of home fees status are complex and you will need to seek advice if you have moved to or from the UK (or Republic of Ireland) within the past 3 years or have applied for settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme.

Entry requirements

Applicants for this studentship must have obtained, or be about to obtain, a First or Upper Second Class UK Honours degree, or the equivalent qualifications gained outside the UK, in an appropriate area of science or technology. 

If English is not your first language you will need to meet the required level (Profile A) as per our guidance at

How to apply

In the application process you will be asked to upload several documents. 

• CV

• Letter of application (outlining your academic interests, prior research experience and reasons for wishing to undertake the project).

• Transcript(s) giving full details of subjects studied and grades/marks obtained (this should be an interim transcript if you are still studying)

• Names of two referees familiar with your academic work. You are not required to obtain references yourself. We will request references directly from your referees if you are shortlisted.

• If you are not a national of a majority English-speaking country you will need to submit evidence of your proficiency in English.

The closing date for applications is midnight on 1st June 2022

Interviews will be held virtually / on the University of Exeter Streatham Campus in the week commencing 6th June.

If you have any general enquiries about the application process please email or phone 0300 555 60 60 (UK callers) +44 (0) 1392 723044 (EU/International callers) 

Project-specific queries should be directed to the main supervisor.


Application deadline:1st June 2022
Number of awards:1
Value:For eligible students the studentship will cover Home tuition fees plus an annual tax-free stipend of at least £20,000pa for 4 years full-time, or pro rata for part-time study.
Duration of award:per year
Contact: PGR Admissions Team