ICIMOD Atmosphere Initiative PhD Fellowships

The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) established the Atmosphere Initiative in January 2013 as part of its Regional Programme on Cryosphere and Atmosphere. The initiative aims to bring about effective measures and policies for reducing air pollution and its impacts within the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH) by improving knowledge and enhancing the capacity of partners in its regional member countries. 

Since its establishment, the Atmosphere Initiative has attracted high caliber scientists to work in-house at ICIMOD. ICIMOD is working with regional partners to establish numerous air quality stations/climate observatories. These facilities will not only aid air quality planners and policy makers in regional member countries but also provide world class scientific data for new knowledge generation and improve understanding of atmospheric processes across the HKH. ICIMOD also has state of the art computing facilities for regional air quality modelling. In addition, ICIMOD has been organizing several field campaigns to study, in detail, atmospheric phenomena of regional concern. These include processes responsible for persistent winter fog over the Indo Gangetic plains and experimental characterization of emission sources.  

As a regional organization, ICIMOD strives to bring regional scientists/students to work together on areas of mutual interest with the eventual goal of fostering transboundary collaboration in the region. 

In 2015 the Atmosphere Initiative set up a PhD fellowship programme that brings high caliber PhD students to work with ICIMOD scientists. Since ICIMOD is not a degree granting institute, the fellowship has been set up for students who are already enrolled in PhD programmes. Fellows are chosen through a competitive selection process and are invited to join ICIMOD scientists for one year (extendable) to conduct research that improves knowledge about emissions sources, atmospheric processes, atmospheric change, or impacts in the Hindu Kush Himalaya.

Research topics

Past PhD fellowship calls invited fellows to apply to ICIMOD to work on specific research questions within the following broad categories:

  • Trace gases measurement/modelling
  • Aerosol measurement/modelling
  • Aerosol – cloud/monsoon interactions
  • Regional and urban air quality modelling
  • Persistent winter fog over the Indo-Gangetic Plain
  • Emission characterization and inventory development
  • Air pollution impacts on health, cryosphere, agriculture, and ecosystem
  • Remote sensing technology for atmospheric science research
  • Social, economic, or policy aspects of air pollution mitigation

Based on the experience of the first round of Atmosphere Initiative PhD fellowships, ICIMOD formalized a PhD fellowship policy under the Himalayan University Consortium (HUC) in 2016 and HUC helps manage the recruitment process.

Details about the fellowship are available HERE.  

First batch of Atmosphere Initiative’s PhD Fellows.
Photos: Jitendra Bajracharya/ICIMOD