MEDRC Backs 35 New Research Projects in Palestine and Jordan

MEDRC Fellowships For Water Science, Policy & Security


35 researchers from Palestine and Jordan working in areas of water science and security joined MEDRC’s Water Research Fellowship Program last month.

The newly awarded MSc Fellows will be focusing on topics such as the use of geothermal energy in deep aquifers of Jordan; pharmaceutical residue in wastewater and reclaimed water in the West Bank in Palestine; and an assessment of the water crisis in the Gaza Strip from a water policy and diplomacy perspective.

Through the Water Research Fellowship Program, MEDRC supports research projects that address an immediate need or specific problem as identified in conjunction with the water authorities in Jordan and Palestine. To better align academic research with the national priorities for the water sector in both countries, MEDRC and the water authorities jointly define the research themes for the program prior to the start of the academic year.

This year, the scope of the program has broadened with the inclusion of Diplomacy & Cooperation as a new research theme. With the addition of this theme, MEDRC wants to encourage young researchers to explore different forms of cross-border water cooperation, as well as civil society initiatives in the field of joint water management. In addition to technical research, such as in chemical engineering, water and environmental sciences and civil engineering, the program will also support research in areas such as law, international relations and public administration -reaching a larger group of researchers.

The MSc Fellowships were initiated by MEDRC in Palestine in 2011, with cooperation of the Palestinian Water Authority and universities in Gaza and the West Bank. In 2014, the program was extended to Jordan, in collaboration with the Ministry of Water and Irrigation and its two authorities, the Water Authority of Jordan and the Jordan Valley Authority. Currently, the Center supports students from 10 universities in both countries and this number is expected to increase in the coming years as the program becomes more widely known among researchers, engineers, administrators and other professionals in the water sector.

In addition to the MSc Fellowships, MEDRC’s Water Research Program consists of the Innovation Initiatives, a scheme that provides annual funding for researchers to continue or expand their research from a laboratory setting to the field for practical applications. MEDRC also supports 10 PhD projects, as part of pilot project that was initiated in 2018. Three PhD researchers from the West Bank in Palestine have recently graduated with dissertations on the advanced application of nano-materials for the removal of nitrate, heavy trace metals and pesticides (respectively).

To date, MEDRC has supported 350 research projects in Palestine and Jordan. The 2021-2023 Water Research Fellowship Program is funded by the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Federal Republic of Germany.