Current opportunities

MSDI is recruiting PhD students for the following programs


PhD Scholarships available


Comparative analysis of interventions for sanitation-based health improvements in urban informal settlements

(Revitalising Informal Settlements and their Environments (RISE) Program)

The aim of this PhD project is to develop a rigorous understanding of the benefits and limitations of a range of interventions for urban informal settlements and the factors that influence efficacy, longevity and system change in the context of advancement of the Sustainable Development Goals. The project will involve developing and applying a multidimensional analytical framework to evaluate and quantify exemplars of interventions (e.g. WASH, WASH+, WASH Benefits, RISE, SHINE, others) using published data and new data and insights from the RISE program.

The PhD project will make a significant and novel contribution to understanding the factors that influence that influence efficacy, longevity, implementability and system change for such interventions, which will help inform international development aid policy and support innovation in urban informal settlement upgrading.

Closing date: Open

Find out more and apply here


Adaptation, localisation and performance of nature-based wastewater treatment systems in urban informal settlements

(Revitalising Informal Settlements and their Environments (RISE) Program)

The aim of this PhD project is to study the performance of the RISE sanitation interventions and the local adaptations required for application of a water-sensitive cities approach in urban informal settlements. The PhD project will make a significant and novel contribution to understanding the factors that affect the performance of nature-based wastewater treatment systems in a global context, with particular emphasis on the application and implementation of such approaches in urban informal settlements, in which a billion of the world’s poorest people currently reside.

The PhD student will work alongside other RISE academics and practitioners as the program designs and builds these interventions in communities in Indonesia and Fiji. The student will be supervised by a team comprised of water-sensitive cities, water quality, implementation and transdisciplinary specialists.

Closing date: Open

Find out more and apply here


Factors affecting longitudinal health and wellbeing outcomes in informal settlements in Fiji and Indonesia

(Revitalising Informal Settlements and their Environments (RISE) Program)

RISE is trialling a new water sensitive approach to water and sanitation management (the “intervention”) in 24 informal settlements across Makassar, Indonesia and Suva, Fiji. Underpinned by the emerging discipline of ‘planetary health’, RISE is a randomised controlled trial (RCT) which will measure the health and well-being of residents and the ecological diversity of the surrounding environment following introduction of location-specific green infrastructure that is co-designed with communities (see https://www.rise-program.org/ for information about the RISE program). RISE data collection commenced in 2018.

This PhD project will focus on analysis on longitudinal data capture within the RISE RCT. Specific foci of work will be on the following: - population movement into, out of and within the RISE settlements - changes in health and wellbeing over time, including COVID impacts - differential changes in health, wellbeing and attrition between RISE communities allocated to receive the intervention early versus later.

Closing date: Open

Find out more and apply here


MSDI collaborators are recruiting PhD students for the following programs

Citarum Program

This program has proposed to recruit a PhD student in 2022. Please contact Jane Holden for further information and find out how to apply here.


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