Joint Master Programme in Groundwater and Global Change - Impacts and Adaptation 2020,

Publish Date: Dec 23, 2019

Deadline: Jan 15, 2020

As the largest liquid freshwater reservoir on earth, groundwater has both a huge environmental and economic value, and will be an essential resource for adaptation to climate change and reduction of socio-economic vulnerability, particularly in regions where freshwater availability is highly variable and frequently limited.
Several factors foster the need for a more comprehensive and multidisciplinary educational groundwater programme.

First, groundwater is a component of the water cycle interacting with all other components at various temporal and spatial scales.

Second, groundwater systems are largely interdependent with socio-economic development. The presence of important and productive aquifers can boost socio-economic development and alleviate poverty in low-income countries by providing water for public supply and sustainable irrigation, increasing (environmental-friendly) land use efficiency.

On the other hand, the continuous growth of the world population and the socio-economic development of many countries has already caused, and will continue to cause, large impacts on freshwater (including groundwater) systems through uncontrolled exploitation, causing depletion, seawater intrusion, reduction in baseflows in rivers and ecological flows sustaining freshwater ecosystems, or land subsidence. 

Third, climate change is foreseen to affect freshwater availability globally, with several hotspots, among which many areas that currently already suffer periods of severe droughts and freshwater scarcity, such as the Mediterranean area of southern Europe and Northern Africa, northeast China, northern and south-western Latin America, large parts of Australia and the western United States, among others. Fourth, important feedback mechanisms exist between groundwater (and its use), climate and global change, which vary in time and space.

The existence of groundwater at shallow depths for instance has a large influence on processes occurring in the atmospheric boundary layer, whereas lateral groundwater flow towards rivers and wetlands sustains surface moisture levels that feed back into the regional climate. Groundwater-supported evapotranspiration can significantly contribute to the overall water balance, whereas groundwater-fed irrigation increases evapotranspiration rates overall, possibly affect the precipitation regime.

GroundwatCH seeks to offer a distinctive curriculum built on the cornerstones of hydro(geo)logy, climatology, impacts and adaptation, within a framework of human pressures, global change and feedbacks, around the following academic focal areas:

  • Hydrogeology;

  • Groundwater data collection, interpretation and modelling;

  • Climate processes and modelling;

  • Groundwater-surface water-climate interactions;

  • Integrated river basin and water resources management;

  • Groundwater and environmental impacts;

  • Groundwater, society and policies;

  • Groundwater in adaptation to global change.

With this curriculum GroundwatCH aims to address the current gaps in higher education with regard to the understanding of the interactions between groundwater, surface water, climate and global change, and how we need to consider and can benefit from these interactions when dealing with adaptation.

About 20 Erasmus Mundus Joint Master’s Degree scholarships per year are available on a competitive basis. The scholarships will be available for 4 intakes over a period of four years (in total about 80 scholarships). There are two types of scholarships, depending on whether your country of residence is a partner or programme country.


Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Ireland, Greece, Spain, France, Croatia, Italy, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Hungary, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Serbia, Slovakia, Finland, Sweden, United Kingdom, North Macedonia, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Turkey.


All other countries


  • Students whose citizenship is one of the Erasmus+ Partner Countries count as Partner Country students.

  • Partner Country students who are not residents nor have carried out their main activity (studies, training or work) for more than a total of 12 months over the last five years in any Programme Country are considered as Partner Country students. The five-year reference period for this 12-months rule is calculated backwards as from the submission deadline (defined by the consortia) of applying for an EMJMD student scholarship.

  • Students whose citizenship is one of the Erasmus+ Programme Countries count as Programme Country students. Students with a Partner Country citizenship who do not fulfil the Partner Country criteria defined above (12-months rule) count as Programme Country students.

  • Students with a double nationality (of a Partner and of a Programme Country) must specify the nationality under which they submit their scholarship application.

  • The 12-months residency rule does not apply to the Partner Country candidates who for various reasons and under various circumstances have sought refuge and received a refugee status in a Programme Country.

When you complete the online application form for admission, choose at question “How do you intend to pay the costs of your study and other expenses”: "partner country scholarship" or "programme country scholarship", depending on the category you belong to according to the criteria above.

Submission deadline is 15 January preceding to the start year of the programme for partner country scholarships and 15 February preceding to the start year of the programme for programme country scholarships. Applications received after these deadlines will not be taken in to consideration for a scholarship, but will be taken into consideration for academic admission. If you can arrange funding via other sources before the deadline, you may still attend the programme. In total 30 places are available. Once this number has been reached, no further students can be admitted.

Ultimate submission deadline of application and financial confirmation, for self- paying or other fellowship applicants is 31st May preceding to the start year of the programme if you need a visa for the EU and 30th June if you do not need a visa for the EU.


* You are advised not to wait till the last moment to submit your application in order to avoid last minute unforeseen problems with submitting your online application.

For more information click "LINK TO ORIGINAL" below.

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