EMPOWER is a doctoral programme co-funded by the European Commission through a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action (MSCA) (Co-funding of regional, national and international programmes (COFUND). The objective of EMPOWER is to create a highly demanded type of professional in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), with the skillset to operate between academic chairs, established knowledge-intensive companies, start-ups, public authorities and the general public, to develop and realise solutions for the challenges of the 21st century in the field of water. The EMPOWER programme is offering 14 PhD positions integrated with business oriented training, which is fundamental to prepare the selected Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) for their future entrepreneurship-research career.

  • Applicant must hold an MSc degree in the discipline associated with the research topic.
  • The candidate’s full-time equivalent research experience must be less than four years, measured from the date when the candidate obtained the degree entitling them to start a PhD study.
  • The candidate may not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the Netherlands for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately before the deadline of the call.
  • The candidate must not hold a previous PhD degree.
  • During their academic path, the candidates have shown research excellence either through high grades and/or an outstanding thesis.
  • Applicant must have excellent English communication skills, both verbally and in scientific writing.


Apply online and attach the following documents:

  • A motivation letter, which can be submitted either in a writing format with max word count of 350 words or a video format of the duration of max 2 min.
  • An up-to-date curriculum vitae (CV), including the following information: complete name, date of birth, current location, education, list internships and thesis (subject, name supervisor, grade, etc.), publications (if applicable), work experience (if applicable), scientific interests, complementary qualifications, achievements and other relevant information.
  • A copy of MSc diploma(s) (or a letter from university stating the expected graduation date) and grades (with explanation of the grading system).
  • At least one/two signed recommendation letters, with contact information of the referee(s).

Available positions:

PhD project 1: Optimisation of manure processing: towards more sustainable application of manure-based fertilizers.

PhD project 2: Stable polyelectrolyte multilayer-based membranes for water treatment under harsh conditions Stable polyelectrolyte multilayer based membranes for water treatment under harsh conditions

PhD project 3: Enhancing the local water cycle via evaporation for a sustainable water supply

PhD project 4: Sensing strategies for real-time, early warning monitoring of biofilm formation parameters in drinking water distribution systems

PhD project 5: Beyond chlorine: alternative sustainable compounds to remove biofilms in drinking water environments

PhD project 6: High recovery and chemical-free desalination using advanced electrodialysis schemes

PhD project 7: Energy-efficient electrochemical phosphate recovery (EPR) – optimisation and upscaling

PhD project 8: Towards a circular sulphur economy

PhD project 9: Production of PHA from municipal primary sludge VFAs in support of upscaling of PHA production from municipal surplus activated sludge

PhD project 10: Steering protein functionality by smart dehydration

PhD project 11: Untapping the energetic potential of grey water: microbiological safety and downstream re-utilization routes

PhD project 12: Optics-based distributed sensing for the management of groundwater quality

PhD project 13: Inline electronic leak detection in water distribution systems

PhD project 14: EPS-based solutions to increase soil structure and resilience to drought

—————–Quick Overview————-
Organization Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action (MSCA)
Country Netherlands
Fellowship Level Doctoral
Subject areas STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics)
Fellowship amount As per MSCA
Eligibility Open to all nationalities
Deadline 29th of October 2021

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