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We are recruiting an excited and exceptional graduate student pursuing a PhD to join the laboratory and the EPSCoR ʻIkewai team starting Fall 2017 through the Division of Biological Oceanography. This project will apply comparative microbial phylogenetic analysis as an innovative method to determine genetic connectivity between different reservoirs of water in the subsurface environment, to infer the directions of subsurface flow and to map potential sources of anthropogenic contamination. The student on this project will be responsible for participating in field sampling within the Hawai‘i water systems of interest, processing samples for molecular (i.e., extracting DNA, amplifying DNA via PCR, prepping a library for sequencing, etc.…) and geochemical analysis and analyzing genetic and genomic data in the context of geographical and geochemical data. The student will be expected to publish articles on their work and disseminate the work to members of the team as well as outside academics, agencies and officials and the local Hawai‘i community. The student will be required to process and make the data available and fed into the larger ‘Ike Wai data repositories. Please inquire with the PI to begin conversations.

***Important deadlines: Jan 15, 2017 - Application Due for Fall 2017 admissions to Dept. of Oceanography

: Feb 1, 2017 - ʻIke wai graduate fellowship application due

‘Ike Wai Graduate Scholarship

(due 1st February 2017)

‘Ike Wai (lit., knowledge of water) aims to ensure Hawai‘i’s future water security through the integration of research, education, and the engagement of community to develop an Integrated Knowledge Environment, and effective decision support tools, that improve water policy, planning, and stewardship for the State. ‘Ike Wai will achieve this by:

  • Performing and integrating cutting edge hydrological research to assess the current status, and predict future scenarios, for groundwater availability in Hawai‘i; leverage historical and traditional knowledge about water in Hawai‘i to inform research, policy, and resource management;

  • Developing an educational ‘auwai (lit., irrigation system) of next generation groundwater resource professionals from Hawai‘i, for Hawai‘i;

  • Partnering with community to inform research; develop and communicate integrated models that forecast groundwater availability and quality and the economic impacts of aquifer utilization in Hawai‘i; create a decision support system and process for decision-makers Statewide where UH serves the stakeholders as a participant, convener, and facilitator.

The ‘Ike Wai Graduate Scholarship Program was created to develop a diverse workforce to ensure a sustainable future for Hawai‘i’s water supply. The program will create the next generation of leaders to address Hawai‘i’s water challenges by supporting outstanding graduate students. So that we can build a diverse workforce, we welcome applications from all qualified individuals. Hawai‘i residents, women, under-represented minorities, veterans and people with disabilities are particularly encouraged to apply.


  • Full-time graduate student at UH Manoa at the time of appointment;

  • Pursuing research-based master or doctoral degree in an ‘Ike Wai research focus area (geoscience, data science, engineering, social science, or Hawaiian language); and

  • Research project directly relates to ‘Ike Wai, and is supervised by an ‘Ike Wai faculty member. For a list of research projects that are accepting graduate applications, please click here.

Remuneration & Benefits

‘Ike Wai Scholars will be hired as graduate research assistants at an annual salary of $29,148 (Step 15). Scholarships will be awarded for two years, with the second year contingent on satisfactory performance during the first year. All appointments are 11 month/year and come with a full tuition waiver (does not include waiver of student fees).

With a primary faculty advisor in one ‘Ike Wai research focus area, Scholars will participate in activities across disciplines in order to develop a comprehensive understanding of the project as a whole. Scholars will be eligible to attend science team meetings and apply for internal funds to fund their research and professional development activities (such as attending professional meetings).

Program Requirements

All ‘Ike Wai Scholars will be expected to work 20 hours per week. Approximately 80% of this time will be spent in an ‘Ike Wai research laboratory. The remaining 20% will be devoted to educational and training activities to ensure the student emerges from the program as a well-rounded professional. All Scholars are required to:

  • Disseminate research results to both the scientific community and lay audiences

  • Participate in ‘Ike Wai Mentoring Cascade both as Mentor (e.g., to an undergraduate student) and Mentee

  • Attend all ‘Ike Wai professional development activities to ensure a basic level of mastery of key skill sets, such as leadership, communication, pedagogy, and mentoring

  • Create an Individual Development Plan to guide your research and career development within 60 days of appointment.

  • Apply for a minimum of two graduate fellowships (must include NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, if eligible)

How to apply

A complete application package includes:

  • Application to a relevant graduate program at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa

  • Brief statement of proposed research, including how the proposed research aligns with ‘Ike Wai research goals (maximum: 250 words)

  • One confidential letter of support from an ‘Ike Wai faculty member who is willing to serve as your interim advisor

All materials (except graduate application) should be emailed to Dr. Barbara Bruno,‘Ike Wai Director of Education ( by the deadline date. Letter of support must be submitted directly by the referee.

Schedule: Applications are due on 1st February 2017 for Fall 2017 admission. Awards will be announced in April 2017, and funding will be available 1st August 2017.

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