PhD Studentships

We want our students to succeed. That is why we offer a range of studentships to support excellent candidates.

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Sheffield University Management School has an overarching mission to give priority to research that promotes socially responsible work practices.

Our research strategy derives its distinctive character by prioritising research that encourages positive societal transformation and sustainable policy outcomes.

We seek to promote a vibrant, enabling and inclusive research environment that prizes ambitious and pluralistic intellectual enquiry.

To enhance the research environment, we are investing in a number of PhD studentships. Doctoral students will join our community of scholars and develop the advanced skills required for rewarding careers in academia or industry.

We do this by delivering an outstanding supervision experience underpinned by our commitment to engage in socially responsible research.

Entry requirements

The Management School is looking to appoint exceptional candidates to its doctoral programme. PhD candidates must meet our PhD entry requirements.

Entry requirements and writing your research proposal guidance

Funding

These are fully funded 3.5 year studentships covering Home or International tuition fees, and a stipend at the basic UKRI rate (£17,668 for 2022/23).

A research and training support grant of £2,250 in total is available to support research costs during the successful applicants' PhD periods.

How to apply

In order to be considered for the following studentships, you must also apply for a place to study in the department using the Postgraduate Online Application Form.

In crafting a research proposal, you are required to demonstrate how you would engage with objectives of the proposed studentship.

Read the University's application guidance and apply now.

The deadline for applications is Wednesday 30 November 2022.

All PhD studentships below have a start date of February 2023.

PhD Studentships currently available

Workforce reconfiguration in residential care: opportunities, risks and future directions

Project description

There is an urgent need for innovative workforce solutions to address the current ‘care gap’, caused by expanding demand and exacerbated by the current financial crisis in social care and high rates of job vacancies. Potential solutions in residential care often rely on expanding the workforce, redesigning care jobs, changing the skill-mix and introducing new work roles. 

Informed by participatory research approaches, this project will investigate the reconfiguration of work in care homes from the perspectives of the people involved. Specifically, the project will explore how these changes are enacted through the lived experiences of managers, care workers and people who receive care as they adapt to changing roles on the ground, and examine institutional and organisational factors that facilitate or hinder effectiveness here. The project will identify opportunities and risks to inform and influence future workforce planning and policymaking.

Supervisors

Research centre

Organization Studies

This research centre explores the dynamics that influence processes of organising and organisations and engages with underrepresented voices in management and organisational studies.

Apply now

Improving well-being of healthcare staff: dealing with cumulative stressors

Project description

Work-related stress of healthcare staff has long been a major problem for health services, and this has been worsened by the Covid-19 pandemic. This project will examine how stressors accumulate over time for healthcare staff, including how long effects of different stressors last, and to what extent stress management interventions are effective in reducing the effects of these stressors of wellbeing.

Although the causes of stress, and the effectiveness of interventions against stress, have frequently been studied, much less is known about how stress accumulates over time, and the extent to which different interventions and management practices can exacerbate or mitigate this.

This project is a great opportunity for a quantitatively-minded candidate with an interest in applied psychology. You will be supervised by specialists in work psychology and statistics and the project will include the potential for developing skills in advanced and novel statistical techniques.

Supervisors

Research centre

The Institute of Work Psychology

The Institute of Work Psychology combines scientific quality with practical relevance. Their emphasis is on the effects of work on employee wellbeing and performance.

Apply now

Interpersonal emotion regulation effectiveness and wellbeing at work - looking at situational and individual context

Project description

Trying to influence other people’s feelings is part of the everyday activity of many organisational members. The emerging research on this process of ‘interpersonal emotion regulation’ (IER) has attracted substantial interest. However, while we know that IER is influential in shaping outcomes, such as employees’ quality of relationships, wellbeing, and leadership effectiveness, we know surprisingly little about what makes some IER attempts successful while others fail to achieve intended outcomes or even backfire and cause damage.

The objective of this project is to understand situational (e.g. goals, strategies, relational context) and individual (e.g. personality, empathy, age) factors that shape the effectiveness of IER. Using innovative methods, including video-cued recall and experience sampling, we will study these factors in both the laboratory and the field. The successful candidate will have a strong aptitude for research design and statistics and will likely have a background in psychology or a related discipline.

Supervisors

Research centre

The Institute of Work Psychology

The Institute of Work Psychology combines scientific quality with practical relevance. Their emphasis is on the effects of work on employee wellbeing and performance.

Apply now

The impact of climate change reporting on corporate structures

Project description

A variety of financial reporting initiatives require corporations to disclose their environmental impact in order to inform stakeholders or progress towards key sustainability goals. However, many corporations also operate within a financialized corporate governance framework that rewards executives who increase distributions to shareholders. On the basis that net zero commitments incur costs which may limit the capacity of corporations to pay dividends or buy back shares, corporations may reorganise their corporate form and adopt creative reporting practices to avoid reporting the emissions they produce.

This interdisciplinary project at the intersect of political economy, accounting and economic geography will explore the relationship between environmental reporting, corporate reorganisation and the use of secrecy jurisdictions in a context of financialization. It would potentially include an exploration of 'emissions avoidance' - the use of complex corporate structures and secrecy jurisdictions, aided by the Big Four advisory services, as a facilitator of this process.

Supervisors

Research centre

Centre for Research into Accounting and Finance in Context

This research centre is at the heart of the debate about the role of accounting and finance in the development of inclusive and sustainable societies.

Subject group

Accounting and Financial Management

Apply now

Implementing the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals in international business

Project description

This project examines cross-sector partnerships (CSPs) involving multinational firms, governments and non-profit organizations that aim to address the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs provide ambitious targets which aim to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all. The SDGs feature an increased emphasis on the role of partnerships between sectors (business, government, and civil society). CSPs that aim to contribute to the SDGs play a significant role in addressing SDGs by capturing the experiences, knowledge, and resources of different sectors. However, despite the consensus that CSPs are conducive to addressing SDGs, the partnering process often leads to friction and disappointing results.

Employing qualitative research methods, the aim of this PhD is to develop an understanding of the potential and pitfalls of these CSPs, and the factors that mitigate the tensions and conflicts arising from the partners’ differing positions, perspectives and forms of knowledge and power.

Supervisors

Subject group

Entrepreneurship, Strategy and International Business

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Freeports in the UK:  Prospects for Worker Voice?

Project description

The UK government’s flagship freeports program in key regions in the UK is intended to contribute to the regional ‘levelling up’ agenda through the creation of high skilled quality jobs.  Yet, wider stakeholders, including trade unions, have raised concerns about the government’s ability to deliver on the levelling up agenda, especially with regards to the creation of decent jobs with growing concerns raised about the possible erosion of worker rights, the growth of low skilled and insecure jobs concurrent with a degradation of employment practices. To date, little research attention has been focussed on the role of worker organisation and worker voice in the establishment of freeports in the UK and the delivery of high quality jobs. This PhD is therefore concerned with exploring the challenges workers face as a result of regulatory and industrial developments in freeports and how they can be addressed.

Supervisors

Research centre

Centre for Decent Work

The Centre for Decent Work's experts produce ground-breaking research on a wide range of issues related to decent work and workplaces.

Apply now

Ethics of communications by a virtual influencer

Project description

This PhD will study the role of ‘virtual influencers’ in the UK marketing ecology. Virtual influencers (VIs) are owned and operated by dedicated design teams. They are gaining popularity in social media platforms which have historically been predicated on ‘authenticity’. As virtual influencers are an emerging trend within marketing communications, many of the audiences and key actors (e.g. regulatory bodies, such as ASA) are not fully clear about motivations, contents, engagement approaches, and potential implication of massive development of VIs. More specifically the use of VIs raises concerns related to compensation, representation, equality and diversity in already discriminatory online ecology. This PhD would study the role of virtual influencers within UK marketing industries, related to ethics, authenticity and audiences.

Supervisors

Subject group

Marketing

Apply now

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