Friday, August 16, 2013

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill – Water Institute – Undergraduate Research Position – NC

Introduction and Description
With the approaching expiration of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), attention is shifting to the assembly of the post-2015 development agenda. An aim of the agenda is to create a framework of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that build on the MDGs. For drinking-water, sanitation, and hygiene (WaSH), settings beyond the household, such as schools, health facilities, workplaces, and markets are being considered in addition to households, which were the only setting monitored for the drinking-water and sanitation target of the MDGs1. Indeed, the recent proposal by the High Level Panel of eminent persons on the post-2015 agenda have recommended that three of the four targets for WaSH include monitoring access in schools, health facilities, workplaces, and refugee camps2. Recent studies, however, have shown that WaSH coverage in these settings is often poor and there is limited evidence for monitoring, policy, and practice.
Project Duties and Responsibilities
  •  Conduct desk-based research for situational assessments on WaSH in extra-household settings in: India, Rwanda, Uganda, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Mali, and other countries of interest 
  • Conduct research and literature reviews on extra-household institutions, policy documents, NGO stakeholders, implementers, etc. 
  • Identify sources of monitoring data, identify barriers to extra-household WaSH implementation, and bottlenecks 
  • At the request of the lead researchers, independently perform literature searches on special topics, summarize findings, and draft short reviews 
  • Manage research and literature documents in Mendeley or other publication management software 
  • Assist in the design of interview and survey questions for field research 
  • As necessary, comply with UNC standards for research conduct, including obtaining and maintaining required certifications (e.g. Institutional Review Board approval) and managing IRB requirements 
  • Contribute to writing undergraduate student funding proposals and searching for opportunities to find funding to conduct future field-based research (e.g. EPA P3) 
  • Assist in the preparation of presentations, posters, briefing notes, reports, and manuscripts as necessary 
  • Review, edit, provide feedback, and quality control for manuscripts, reports, and deliverables 
Position time frame
 This position is for the fall semester 2013 and may be renewed for Spring 2014, Summer 2014, and the 2015 school year pending approval. Pending a successful evaluation of work and level of effort by the undergraduate student researcher in Fall 2013, the student may be provided opportunities to participate in the following: 
  •  Additional semesters of research credit hours with Dr. Jamie Bartram and the Water Institute 
  • Conduct summer field research in collaboration with ongoing Water Institute projects in developing countries 
  • Conduct original research for an honors thesis and journal publications 
  • Complete paid internships with WI partners including World Vision and Plan International 

Desired characteristics of candidate
  • UNC junior in fall 2013 
  • Highly motivated to complete demanding deliverables in a timely fashion 
  • Demonstrated interest in water, health, and development 
  • Ability to work independently without significant oversight from lead researchers  Strong writing and editing skills 
  • Coursework, background, and/or field experience in WaSH 
  • Completed coursework, or interest in taking coursework on qualitative research methods, data management, advanced statistical analysis, and/or GIS 

For more information about the Water Institute at UNC, please visit: If interested, please submit a resume/CV to Ryan Cronk ( and state which research position you are most interested in (candidates will be considered for both). Please include a list of relevant coursework (e.g. water related courses, GIS, statistics, data management) on your CV/resume, in the email, or as a separate attached document. A cover letter is not required but a statement of interest in your email is desired. Competitive applicants will be contacted for an interview.