Modelling global floods

About the project or challenge area

Floods are the costliest and most deadly class of natural disaster, affecting 78.1 million people and causing $59 billion in damages in 2016 alone. Mapping areas at risk from flooding is critical to reducing these losses but is only well advanced in a handful of countries globally. For most of the world, and overwhelmingly in developing countries, flood hazard and risk are almost entirely unmapped. This project seeks to address urgent challenges in global flood risk modelling using the latest satellite and socio-economic data to improve our ability to address this important issue.

Why choose this opportunity?

You will have the opportunity to work with a tech start-up, Fathom Global, that provides flood risk data to insurers, multi-national companies and NGOs such as the World Bank and Red Cross/Crescent.

About you

You will be a numerate graduate with good computer programming skills (or at least have the potential to develop these). Having some prior experience in at least some parts of hydrology, hydraulics, exposure and vulnerability data, risk analysis, remote sensing or GIS will likely be essential for success. 

How to apply

All students can apply using the button below, following the Master's by Research Admissions Statement. Please note that this is an advertised project, which means you only have to complete Section A of the Masters by Research Statement Template (Office document, 68kB).

Before applying, we recommend getting in touch with the project's supervisors. If you are interested in this project and would like to learn more about the research you will be undertaking, please use the contact details on this page.


Your supervisor for this project will be Paul Bates, Professor of Hydrology in the School of Geographical Sciences. You can contact him at +44 (0) 117 928 9108 or email .


Your co-supervisor for this project will be Dr Jeff Neal in the School of Geographical Sciences. You can contact him at +44 (0) 117 928 9113 or email .

Find out more about your prospective research community

The Water theme is a vibrant community of researchers who are transforming the evidence base for water-based decision making in a changing and deeply uncertain world. Find out more about the Water research theme.

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