© UDE/Beate Krok

Water Science Alliance under New Leadership

Supporting Early Career Researchers in Water Research

  • von Juliana Fischer
  • 26.02.2024

In the past year, the Water Science Alliance successfully relocated its headquarters to the Center for Water and Environmental Research at the University of Duisburg-Essen, having previously been based at the Dresden University of Technology. Under the leadership of the newly elected co-chairs, Prof. Dr. Martina Flörke from Ruhr-University Bochum and Prof. Dr. Florian Leese from the University of Duisburg-Essen, the German Water Research Alliance has secured a funding of 100,000 euros for the support of young researchers from the Bernhard and Ursula Plettner-Foundation.

Since 2010, the Water Science Alliance (WSA) has been strengthening interdisciplinary water research in Germany and internationally by visibly positioning it, actively promoting synergies, and connecting it with adjacent fields. This creates a central platform for collaboration on overarching themes. "Additionally, the WSA places special emphasis on supporting early career researchers," emphasizes Prof. Dr. Martina Flörke, an expert in engineering hydrology and water management at Ruhr-University Bochum. "Young scientists contribute to creating a dynamic and sustainable water research landscape that is capable of addressing current and future challenges in science and education."

"With the funds raised from the Bernhard and Ursula Plettner-Foundation, we aim to establish a 'WSA Career Navigator' for young researchers in the complex water research landscape," explains Prof. Dr. Florian Leese from the University of Duisburg-Essen. "Through the navigator, researchers can broaden their horizons by participating in conferences, organizing or attending workshops, or receiving individual mentoring from renowned members of the WSA," adds the expert in aquatic ecosystem research at UDE.

The "WSA Career Navigator" will support young scientists over a period of five years in the following three key areas:

  1. Vocational Education & Training: Financial support for travel expenses and/or fees related to relevant conferences, workshops, and internships to expand vocational training and gain new insights for professional development.
  2. Communication & Networking Activities: Organization of brainstorming sessions on interdisciplinary water research topics, publication or proposal ideas. Additionally, participation in WSA events, including free attendance at the annual Water Research Horizon Conference and/or "WSA Lectures," will be promoted.
  3. Career Planning: Support for individual career planning in water research through counseling and/or mentoring by renowned and experienced members of the WSA and/or their network

More information


Prof. Dr. Florian Leese, Faculty of Biology, Aquatic Ecosystem Research (UDE), Tel. 0201 183-4053, florian.leese@uni-due.de

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Martina Flörke, Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Chair of Engineering Hydrology and Water Management (RUB), Tel. 0234 32 – 24693, Martina.floerke@hydrology.ruhr-uni-bochum.de

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