PhD student wins South Asia scholarship

Francesco Gimelli receives his award from the Minister for International Education, Senator Richard Colbeck, at the Endeavour Awards in Canberra.

Francesco Gimelli receives his award from the Minister for International Education, Senator Richard Colbeck, at the Endeavour Awards in Canberra.

PhD candidate Francesco Gimelli has won an Endeavour Postgraduate Scholarship to go towards six months’ fieldwork in India and Bangladesh. 

Mr Gimelli, who is a student with the joint Monash and CRC for Water Sensitive Cities’ Graduate Research Interdisciplinary Program (GRIP), will work with disadvantaged communities on improving women’s access to water.

One of only 32 recipients in Australia to receive the scholarship, and the only recipient from Monash, Mr Gimelli will be mentored by a lead researcher from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences in Mumbai, in partnership with WaterAid and WorldVision.

The focus of his placement is on how organisations can deliver urban water development programs that empower the marginalised and provide them with avenues to get out of poverty.

“Thanks to this very generous scholarship from the Australian Government, I’m going to be able to conduct research that I hope will have a positive impact on the lives of some of the poorest urban populations in the world,” Mr Gimelli said.

“The scholarship also provides financial support to undertake an internship after my fieldwork, which is an incredible opportunity to gain professional experience with a relevant organisation and expand my networks.”

His main goal at the end of the placement is to create a diagnostic tool, a Water Capabilities Framework, that will support governments, international development agencies, and community-based organisations to deliver transformative urban water development programs.

Mr Gimelli was also the winner of a $1000 travel prize at the 2nd Water Sensitive Cities Conference last year for his poster presentation on problems facing women in developing countries in collecting water. He will present a paper at the International Sustainable Development Research Society’s 22nd annual conference in July in Lisbon, Portugal.

The Federal Department of Education and Training’s Endeavour Postgraduate Scholarship provides up to two years’ financial support for long-term study or research towards an Australian Masters or PhD.