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ICIMOD SustaIndus PhD Fellowship

Organization: ICIMOD (International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD)


The SustaIndus PhD Fellowship is part of SustaIndus – a project targeting a specific climate change hotspot: the Indus River basin. The project contributes to science that supports Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and sustainable water management in the transboundary basin. The fellow will be enrolled at Utrecht University, the Netherlands, and based in the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), Kathmandu, Nepal.
Ph.D. project description 
The PhD fellow will assess the basin-scale water and energy nexus in the Indus basin using a modelling toolkit to be developed for the basin (based on the SPHY and LPJmL distributed hydrological models). The fellow’s first task will be to prepare an inventory and conduct modelling of the existing, planned, and potential (both technically and economically) hydropower generation capacity in the upper Indus. The second task will be to assess how this capacity will be influenced by future climate change, which leads to shifts in flows available to generate hydropower. This assessment will consider socioeconomic factors and restraints to determine potential hydropower revenues and fulfilment of downstream energy demands in terms of generation capacity and timing. This analysis will specifically focus on the interlinkages of hydropower with irrigation, geopolitical tensions, grid access, and energy market. Outcomes of the assessment will be used by the project’s other researchers and vice versa.


Terms and Condition

  • The position will be executed in a “sandwich” fashion, in partnership between ICIMOD and Utrecht University:
  1. The PhD researcher  will enter a contract agreement with and based at ICIMOD
  2. The fellow will be registered at Utrecht University
  3. The fellow will obtain a PhD degree from Utrecht University upon successful completion of the project and successful defence of the PhD thesis
  • A scientist from each organization will officially serve as co-advisors for the fellow.
  • The fellow will be primarily based at ICIMOD’s headquarters in Kathmandu, Nepal, throughout the duration of fellowship.
  • The PhD fellow will spend periods of time at Utrecht University and attend conferences and research team meetings elsewhere outside of Nepal.
  • The fellowship period is four years. The fellowship agreement will be on an annual basis, to be renewed every year subject to the fellow’s performance.
  • Data and knowledge products generated under this fellowship programme are subject to ICIMOD’s data policy.


Financial Support

  • An allowance of USD 1,000 per month will be provided
  • Expat PhD Fellows will receive additional USD 200 per month for accommodation and travel cost at the time of joining and repatriation will be reimbursed.
  • The PhD fellow will be reimbursed for international travel costs incurred on trips required by the fellowship.


Selection Process

During the first round, applicants are invited to apply via the HUC Online Portal [link insert here] with the following documents:
• A motivation letter
• A curriculum vitae, including contact details of two referees
• Two letters of recommendation
During the second round, shortlisted candidates will be invited for a Skype interview. For the interview, the candidates will be asked to present a short research proposal related to SustaIndus based on the overall proposal that will be provided.


Minimum Qualifications

ICIMOD aims to accept one PhD fellow, who should meet the following mandatory requirements:
  • Postgraduate degree in hydrology, physical geography, civil engineering, or another relevant science, to be completed before 1 May 2019
  • Quantitative research skills, including hydrological modelling, remote sensing, and GIS
  • Demonstrable programming skills, preferably in R or Python programming language
  • Knowledge of the local energy sector, with particular focus on hydropower
  • Strong interest in the topics to be investigated under the SustaIndus project, preferably demonstrated by previous work on similar topics
  • Strong command of both written and spoken English
  • Excellent analytical, technical, and communication skills
  • Motivated, communicative, and proactive
  • Independent work attitude and positive team spirit


Starting Date

The awarded PhD fellow is expected to commence the fellowship no later than 25 June 2019.


Gender and Equity Policy

Qualified and eligible women candidates and those from disadvantaged backgrounds are highly encouraged to apply. ICIMOD implements a gender fair policy and is supportive of working women. It operates a Day-Care Centre at the campus and is committed to gender mainstreaming at the organisational and programmatic levels.


Method of application

Applicants are requested to apply online before 25 Apr 2019 through .

Only shortlisted candidates will be notified.

For more information, please send an email to .

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