Sustaining the World’s freshwater ecosystems, while meeting the water demands of a growing population, will require a new brand of intellectually mobile and agile problem solvers. Our vision is to train future leaders with the skills necessary to address the challenges facing freshwater sustainability.

Our research themes

This new community of GW4 FRESH academics and partners will tackle four key challenges in managing freshwater resources sustainably:

  • Emerging global change risks to freshwater ecosystems
  • New technologies for freshwater ecosystems and ecosystem services
  • Reducing extinction and impairment in freshwater ecosystems
  • Integrated solutions to multiple pressures on freshwater ecosystems

More guidance on these themes in the FAQs

Why is GW4 FRESH unique?

The GW4 FRESH CDT draws on a critical mass of internationally recognised scientists, including empiricists, experimentalists, modellers, and theoreticians in the field of freshwater bioscience and sustainability across levels of organisation from genes to ecosystems, and from microcosm to continental scales.

Our Common ethos is to provide a world-class research and training environment for these formative years of a career.

What distinguishes the GW4 FRESH journey?

GW4 FRESH is about:

  1. Real life problems – that students will tackle with their academic supervisors but also with a stakeholder partner.
  2. An integrated approach to freshwater training – including training in freshwater skills (first 6 months) but also training across multiple disciplines, throughout the PhD, so that each student has both in depth expertise and a breadth of experience across the key challenges identified by GW4 FRESH.
  3. Access to a unique pool of experts– so that the student will have flexibility in project progression after 6 months.
  4. Employability – our doctoral academies are now all coordinated and aligned to Vitae under the GW4 agreements.
  5. Tackling complex challenges as a community –  by building on the inherently multidisciplinary Water Security Alliance community of academics and the practitioners who face these challenges.
‘The FRESH CDT offers an opportunity to markedly strengthen integration between the research and end-user communities, recognising the environmental benefits that this will realise.’
Dr Rob Collins, Head of Policy and Science at the Rivers Trust

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