UDOM Call for PhD Candidates for Hydro-Geology Scholarships

UDOM Call for PhD Candidates for Hydro-Geology Scholarships



Project Background

This PhD position frames in the context of the project entitled ‘Optimizing the valorization of water and rock resources for improved livelihoods in the Arusha volcanic region’ funded by the Flemish Interuniversity Council (VLIR UOS). This project is a collaboration between the University of Dodoma and the Vrije University Brussel (Belgium), in partnership with Nelson Mandela African Institute of Science and Technology and Ghent University (Belgium).

The project aims at developing academic research on groundwater storage and rock resources provided by Mt Meru volcano, considering the environmental risks such as fluorine contamination and the opportunities for sustainable valorization of these resources. The general objective of the project is to contribute to the

improvement of the livelihood of the local communities by diversifying and maximizing key livelihood

activities, through the development of safer, sustainable and more profitable quarrying and water utilization, based on a good qualitative and quantitative characterization of rocks and sub-surface water reserves. Extension activities will be developed to ensure the relevance of the research for the local stakeholders and to take into account the indigenous knowledge and local practices.

PhD Research Topic

This PhD research will focus on producing new knowledge on water reservoirs in shallow volcanic aquifers and their potential exploitation and using it to inform environmental policies in Arusha region. Meru’s Western and Northern flanks are affected by significant issues of poor water quality and water scarcity despite the fact that the volcanic rocks have high potential for water storage. The characteristic of these water reservoirs and their dynamics relative to the rainfall regime and extraction practices have not been studied This study will therefore address short-term environmental and economical issues, while collecting essential information for long term climate change adaptations. Extension activities will ensure that project results are used to inform environmental and natural resource management by stakeholders.

Historical, current and projected climatic parameters will be assessed for climate change signals and interpreted for what these changes mean for water resources availability and governance. Water balance including recharge, pumpage, and environmental flow will be established by calculating aquifer recharge by rainfall. Pumpage will be estimated based on fieldwork. It will be evaluated which groundwater quantities can safely be pumped. Water samples from surface water, shallow groundwater and deep groundwater will be collected and analyzed for their chemical compositions. The origin of dissolved species in groundwater will be deduced from integration of water quality from laboratory analyses and geological data. From the physico-chemical water composition in combination with the underlying geochemistry and land uses, specific groundwater suitability indices and maps will be developed. Water type classification maps based on their suitability for irrigation, domestic, industrial and livestock uses will be integrated in the overall groundwater supply and development potentials. Geophysical survey and pumping tests will be performed to uncover current aquifer potentials and capacity. Groundwater potential maps based on specific spatial aquifer parameters will be produced. Hydrogeological maps will be produced to portray current water governance and conditions. Groundwater flow models will be developed to act

as decision making/support tools. Groundwater evolution trends will be established and add value to the overall groundwater governance.

Your Profile

You hold a MSc degree in Earth Sciences (hydro-geology, hydrology, engineering geology, or similar degrees);

You obtained your master with upper second classification;

You have experience in hydro-geological field and/or hydrogeochemical analyses;

You are highly motivated to undertake academic research in an international context;

You are hard-working and able to manage a project independently, taking initiatives and meeting deadlines;

You develop a detailed concept note (pre-proposal) and demonstrate that you have the ability to finish it and produce a fully researchable and competitive proposal;

You are ready to bring creativity, uncovering hidden issues that will benefit the project, science and local livelihood in general;

You are frank and willing to respect agreements; you believe in project confidentiality and proper data handling and processing;

You are willing to contribute to the administrative management of the project;

You demonstrate leadership and are willing to supervise MSc students;

You demonstrate good interpersonal skills to interact with other project partners and stakeholders;

Preference will be given to candidates already part of U Dodoma staff. Candidates who are not yet part of U Dodoma should mention their willingness to carry out research activities at U Dodoma;

Female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.

We offer

The selected PhD candidate will benefit from a fully funded PhD scholarship for 4 years, including funding for research activities and field work, starting in March 2017. S/he will be part of an interdisciplinary and international research project and will contribute to address development-relevant issues in collaboration with Tanzanian stakeholders. The PhD candidate will spend a total of 24 months in Ghent spread over 4 visits, and the remaining 24 months at U Dodoma or in the field. The scholarship funding will be compliant with the official scholarship schemes of VLIR UOS and U Dodoma for time spent in Belgium and Tanzania, respectively. The PhD candidate will register as PhD student and defend her/his PhD thesis at Ghent University. Supervision will be provided by Prof. K. Walraevens (UGent) and C. Shemsanga (U Dodoma).

Application Procedure

To apply, you are required to submit a complete application file per email to both Ceven Shemsanga (7ceven@gmail.com) and Prof. Matthieu Kervyn (makervyn@vub.ac.be). The application file contains at least:

An application letter stating your motivation, your relevant experience and your vision of the research project;

A detailed CV including a list of scientific publications;

A concept note for the applied research project;

A copy of all your degrees, diploma’s and relevant certificates;

A transcript of record for you master degree;

Two reference letters from persons able to assess your academic capacities.

Deadline for application: November 7, 2016

Pre-selected candidates will be contacted for a Skype interview in the second half of November 2016.

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