Student Opportunities

One of the critical focus areas for the Water Center is to provide opportunities for Penn students to engage with water academically, professionally, and communally.

Internship with Okavango Research Institute

Deadline: January 15, 2020

Location: Maun, Botswana (on-site housing)

Duration: 8-12 weeks starting late May

 

Learn more about this opportunity

How to apply: Submit a resume & a cover letter to Erica De Palma at edepalma@sas.upenn.edu Placement: The Okavango Research Institute (ORI) of the University of Botswana is dedicated to the study of wetlands and adjacent drylands. The need for scientific information on the Okavango Delta ecosystem resulted in the Botswana Government establishing the ORI under the auspices of the University of Botswana in 1994. The vision of ORI is to be a leading wetlands and adjacent drylands research institute in Africa and the world by 2023 and beyond. The mission of ORI is to undertake engaged research and provide training and service on wetland and adjacent dryland eco-systems.

ORI’s Water Resource Management Program, intends to be at the forefront of water dynamics research aimed at the protection of the Okavango delta for present and future generations. The program is uniquely positioned with expertise in; Hydrology, Water Resources Management, Water Chemistry and Natural Resources Governance. Therefore, this collaboration between The Water Center at Penn (WCP) and Botswana UPenn Partnership (BUP) will provide Penn students with the opportunity to tackle pressing global water challenges while investigating under local Botswana water and political experts. Additionally, this opportunity will allow Penn students to immerse themselves within a rich, southern African culture and engage with their peers from across the world.

 

Description: In this position the intern/research assistant(s) will…

  • Support ORI faculty and students on various water science (engineering, technology, innovation) research projects such as:
    • Occurrence of Disinfection by-products in drinking water, Botswana
      • Other water quality related challenges in reference to storage facilities (i.e. lagoons) – investigation of potential innovative technology to address contamination sources
    • Integrated Water Resource Management and Ethics Action Group, Africa-EU Innovation Alliance (AfriAlliance) for Water and Climate
    • Channel failure in the Okavango Delta: understanding channel change and floodplain evolution in ‘wetlands in drylands.
    • Water Infrastructure challenges related to system leakages
  • Support ORI faculty and students on various water governance research projects such as:
    • Issues of power and inequality yielding conflicts around water resources. Investigation into land and water planning, policy and governance.
    • Investigation into settlement challenges with regards to governance of sharing water resources in light of migration.
    • Intersection of water and health
    • Human wildlife interactions as a result of increasing regional drought
  • Support the UB undergrad research methodology course
    • Knowledge exchange
    • Mentoring UB undergraduates in research methodology and research proposal writing

Candidates must have/ be:

  • Matriculating graduate program focused on areas such as hydrology, hydrogeology, environmental studies, climate science, planning and policy, or closely related
  • Experience and ability to conduct field research
  • Interest in investigating water quality/quantity challenges
  • Experience working in cross-cultural situations
  • Flexible to work in different cultures and environments with different systems and protocols
  • Comfortable with basic accommodations
  • Willing to learn and adapt skills to given societal context
  • Motivated, people oriented
  • Self-starter and initiator

Preferred candidates will also have/be:

  • Competent in GIS
  • Experience or interest conducting field research wetlands abroad
  • Experience or interest in mentoring undergraduate students

Is Funding Available?

As a part of Penn Abroad’s Global Research & Internship Program (GRIP), accepted candidates can apply for funding. Details about funding awards can be found here. These awards are intended to help offset the cost of round-trip travel, living expenses, visa costs, etc., but are not meant to cover the entire internship experience. Funding awards will be determined based on a variety of factors, including your financial need, your relevant qualifications, and the estimated cost of your program.

Past Opportunities

The Water Center at Penn Research Support Program for MES/MSAG Students

Call for Proposals

Application deadline: November 1st, 2019
Forward completed proposals to watercenter@sas.upenn.edu

Learn more about this opportunity

Program summary: The Water Center at Penn encourages students in the Masters of Environmental Studies and Master of Science in Applied Geosciences programs to apply for this competitive student grant program to promote research in water science, policy and sustainability. The grant also aims to recognize academic excellence and prepare students for leadership roles by encouraging applied research and community engagement.

About the Water Center: The Water Center at Penn (WCP) connects researchers, the water industry, public utilities, environmental organizations and communities by providing guidance, promoting creative thinking, and fostering thoughtful and impactful research needed to solve our shared urban water problems.

Our vision is to be the preeminent center that provides integrated real-world solutions to critical urban water problems. WCP’s mission is to support the resiliency, sustainability and equity of urban water systems, and the watersheds upon which they rely, through guidance, assistance and directing applied collaborative research.

Students are encouraged to apply for this grant if their project includes a meaningful nexus with at least one of the following areas:

  • Water-focused climate resilience
  • Source water protection, watershed planning, and governance
  • Contaminants of emerging concern
  • Drinking water, wastewater and associated public health issues
  • Green infrastructure design, finance and planning
  • Water and sanitation access, equity, and affordability around the world
  • Water reuse, water scarcity, and flooding
  • Governance, finance, decision making, and modeling for water issues
  • Development of predictive tools for water management
  • Aquatic ecology and associated life sciences

Grant guidelines:

  • This grant is open to students enrolled in the MES or MSAG programs
  • Student must have identified a faculty mentor for their research
  • The student should submit a 2-page synopsis of their proposed research including a detailed budget, background of the topic and its nexus with the WCP research agenda, methodology to be used, and expected outcomes.
  • Selection committee will consist of WCP Staff and Fellows as well as select members of the MES/MSAG faculty.
  • The grants will be in the amounts up to $2,500 each, and awarded to up to 3 students
  • Grant Period is up to 12 months, starting in November
  • Deliverables include a technical report to WCP and a short whitepaper suitable for communicating the research to a general audience
  • Grantees are strongly encouraged to present their findings in a poster or paper presentation at a suitable conference or event, which WCP can facilitate.

The Water Center at Penn Research Support Program for Graduate Students

Call for Proposals

Application deadline: October 1st, 2019
Forward completed proposals to watercenter@sas.upenn.edu

Learn more about this opportunity

Program summary: The Water Center at Penn encourages Penn graduate students to apply for this competitive student grant program to promote research in water science, policy and sustainability. The grant also aims to recognize academic excellence and prepare students towards leadership by encouraging applied research and community engagement.

About the Water Center: The Water Center at Penn connects researchers, the water industry, public utilities, environmental organizations and communities by providing guidance, promoting creative thinking, and fostering thoughtful and impactful research needed to solve our shared urban water problems.

Our vision is to be the preeminent center that provides integrated real-world solutions to critical urban water problems. WCP’s mission is to support the resiliency, sustainability and equity of urban water systems, and the watersheds upon which they rely, through guidance, assistance and by directing applied collaborative research.

Students from across the University are encouraged to apply for this grant if they can demonstrate a meaningful nexus between their work and the following areas:

  • Water-focused climate resilience
  • Source water protection
  • Watershed planning and governance
  • Contaminants of emerging concern
  • Drinking water and wastewater issues
  • Green infrastructure design, finance and planning
  • Community engagement around water access, equity, and affordability
  • Governance, decision making, and modeling for water issues
  • Development of predictive tools for water management
  • Aquatic ecology and associated life sciences

Grant guidelines:

    • This grant is open to graduate students across all Penn schools
    • Student must have identified a faculty mentor for their research
    • The student should submit 2-page synopsis of their proposed research specifying the budget, background of the topic and its nexus with the WCP research agenda, methodology to be used and expected outcomes.
    • Selection committee will consist of WCP Staff and Fellows as well as select members of the WCP Faculty Advisory Board
    • The grants will be in the amount of up to $2500 and awarded to up to 5 students
    • Grant Period is up to 12 months, starting October
    • Deliverables include submitting a technical report to the Water Center at Penn and submit a short whitepaper suitable for communicating their research to a general audience
    • Grantees are strongly encouraged to participate in a poster or paper presentation at a suitable conference or event, which WCP can facilitate.

Funding Opportunities at The Water Center

Undergraduates

The Water Center at Penn Student Research Support Program
Application deadline: October 1st, 2019

Learn more about this opportunity

Program summary: The Water Center at Penn encourages Penn undergraduate and graduate students to apply for this competitive student grant program to promote research in water science, policy and sustainability. The grant also aims to recognize academic excellence and prepare students towards leadership by encouraging applied research and community engagement.

About the Water Center: The Water Center at Penn connects researchers, the water industry, public utilities, environmental organizations and communities by providing guidance, promoting creative thinking, and fostering thoughtful and impactful research needed to solve our shared urban water problems

Our vision is to be the preeminent center that provides integrative real-world solutions to critical urban water problems. WCP’s mission is to support the resiliency, sustainability and equity of urban water systems, and the watersheds upon which they rely, through guidance, assistance and by directing applied collaborative research.

As a guide, students from across the University are encouraged to apply for this grant if they can demonstrate a meaningful nexus between their work and the following areas:

  • Water-focused climate resilience
  • Source water protection
  • Watershed planning and governance
  • Contaminants of Emerging Concern
  • Drinking water and wastewater issues
  • Green infrastructure design, finance and planning
  • Community engagement around water access, equity, and affordability
  • Risk governance, decision making, and modeling for water issues
  • Development of predictive tools for water management
  • Aquatic ecology and associated life sciences

 

Undergraduate research grant:

  • The grant opportunity will be publicized twice a year through CURF, the EES Department and the Water Center
  • Students applying for this grant must work in coordination with a faculty advisor, which CURF can facilitate
  • The student should submit 2-page synopsis of their proposed research specifying a budget, the background of the project, methodology to be used, expected outcomes, and nexus with the Water Center at Penn topics listed above
  • Selection committee will consist of WCP Staff and Fellows.
  • The grants will be awarded to up to 5 undergraduates in amounts of up to $1000 each
  • Grant Period is up to 12 months, starting October and April.
  • Upon the completion of the work, the deliverables include submitting a technical report to WCP
  • Grantees are strongly encouraged to participate in a poster or paper presentation at a suitable conference or event, which WCP can facilitate.

To apply visit: https://www.curf.upenn.edu/content/water-center-penn-student-research-support-program

7th Annual Delaware River Watershed Forum

October 16-17, 2019 – Allentown , PA

Learn more about this opportunity

To register: http://bit.ly/delrivforum

The Delaware River Watershed Forum brings together organizations and individuals spanning PA, NY, NJ, and DE. The Forum allows for collaboration among those working on environmental conservation and policy; and provides professional development opportunities. Workshops and speakers will focus on topics such as water quality, agriculture, community engagement, and environmental policy. Field trips include a bike ride along the Lehigh River, a tour of Blue Mountain superfund restoration, a Delaware River Film Festival, and a Musconetcong River restoration tour.

For more information: 2019 Student Forum Poster

 

The Water Research Foundation

Request for Proposals: Current RFPs
RFPs Open for 12 New Water Research Projects

Learn more about this opportunity

You are encouraged to submit your proposal for any of the 12 new projects funded through our Research Priority Program. This is WRF’s strategic research program, which enables us to address broadly relevant subscriber issues, challenges, and opportunities with targeted research.

For more information: http://www.waterrf.org/funding/rfps/Pages/current.aspx

AWWA Scholarships

Applications are reopening for students in August for the 2020-2021 academic year.

For more information: awwa.org/scholarships 

Penn’s Green Fund

Maximum Grant Amount: $30,000

Learn more about this opportunity

Penn’s Green Fund welcomes ideas from students, faculty, and staff about ways to improve the University’s environmental performance. Proposed projects must support goals and objectives outlined in Penn’s Climate Action Plan, a long-range strategy launched in 2009 and updated in 2014 to reduce the University’s carbon footprint.

There is no minimum amount required to submit a Green Fund application. However, the maximum grant amount is $30,000. It is also strongly recommended that all prospective applicants read the program FAQs before submitting an application. Grant applications are accepted on a rolling basis throughout the year and are reviewed by the Green Fund Review Board at their monthly meetings.

Feel free to email sustainability@upenn.edu with any questions. 

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