LIN2717 Waterways_LU_UC_COLOUR







PhD scholarship opportunity - Water Governance

Waterways Centre for Freshwater Management, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand:  


An opportunity is available to undertake a PhD in Water Resource Management, on a 3 year scholarship ($21,000/yr + tuition fees). The research will be in the field of urban and/or rural water governance, and supervised by Dr Ed Challies at the University of Canterbury (New Zealand).


Topic area

The research will focus on collaborative or community-based management of water resources in the Canterbury Region or in Christchurch, and possibly more widely in comparison with other regions or cities in New Zealand or beyond. Possible areas of research include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Collaborative decision-making and water resource management planning under national and regional policy and its social and environmental implications (e.g. in Canterbury under the Canterbury Water Management Strategy, or in other regions under relevant resource management plans and strategies).
  • Community engagement and community-based approaches to fostering urban waterway health and addressing urban stormwater contamination or other environmental issues in the urban water-environment (e.g. community initiatives and engagement to address a number of urban water issues affecting stormwater, drinking water or wastewater systems, or urban waterways in Christchurch City or other cities in New Zealand or beyond).
  • Politics and discourses of water security in rural and/or urban New Zealand and beyond potentially in relation to drought risk, irrigation, water storage and distribution infrastructure, drinking water supply, flood risk management, and/or climate change adaptation (e.g. exploration of chlorination of drinking water supply in Christchurch and NZ more widely, or irrigation and water storage projects across various regions).


Candidate attributes

Candidates should have:

  • A relevant research-based Masters degree (or equivalent) in human geography, environmental studies, or a related discipline, and excellent coursework and thesis grades
  • Excellent spoken and written English
  • An interest in, and motivation to explore questions of water policy and governance from a political ecology, socio-hydrology, environmental politics or resource geographies perspective
  • Familiarity with environmental issues and policy in Aotearoa/New Zealand, and ideally with water resource management issues, policy and planning.
  • Experience with field research and familiarity with relevant research methods (e.g. key informant interviews, focus groups, surveys etc.) would be beneficial, but is not essential.
  • A willingness to commit to full-time PhD research, and to commence study in Christchurch in 2019.


The Waterways Centre for Freshwater Management and University of Canterbury

The Waterways Centre for Freshwater Management is a multi-disciplinary research and teaching centre, and a joint partnership between Canterbury and Lincoln Universities, located in Christchurch, New Zealand. The Centre coordinates teaching and research in freshwater issues and management, and offers undergraduate courses and postgraduate qualifications, including the PhD in Water Resource Management. It maintains strong links to key organisations and stakeholders in the water sector, and aims to improve skills, knowledge, and awareness in the sector, and to train the next generation of water resource managers. The Waterways Centre is made up a small group of core staff, and a wider multi-disciplinary group of approx. 50 academic staff members with expertise in freshwater issues, drawn from both Universities. Postgraduate students working with the Waterways Centre members make up a large and diverse freshwater research group. More information on the Waterways Centre is available here: . More information on the University of Canterbury is available here: . More information on Christchurch can be found here:


Resourcing and remuneration

The successful candidate will receive a fees scholarship and full 3-year stipend, as well as a research and conference budget. Workspace and standard resources will be provided at the Waterways Centre, University of Canterbury.

To Apply:

Please send a letter of motivation, a one-page outline of a PhD research idea (this need not be a fully formed research proposal), your CV and academic transcript, and a sample of your academic writing to by 20 December 2019. Non-native English speakers please include evidence of English competence as per the University of Canterbury entrance requirements:


For more information about this position, please contact Dr Edward Challies: 





Dr Edward Challies

Senior Lecturer

Waterways Centre for Freshwater Management

University of Canterbury & Lincoln University

Private Bag 4800

Christchurch 8140



ph: +64-3-3692545


This email has been scanned by the Symantec Email service.
For more information please visit

This email has been scanned by the Symantec Email service.
For more information please visit