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PhD Studentships

For the academic year beginning 1 October 2016 we are inviting applications for a number of full-time funded PhD studentships. The studentships are based at the Milton Keynes campus and students are normally expected to live within commuting distance of Milton Keynes. The studentships cover tuition fees, a generous research training support grant and you will receive a stipend of circa £14,000 per annum for 36 months.

In order to be considered for the funded studentship your application must be based on one of the advertised projects below. Once you have decided which project interests you the most, you should apply through our online Research Degrees Prospectus. The deadline for applications is midday BST on 7 April 2016. Interviews will form part of the selection process and will be held in approximately April/May in person (or via web conference if required).

Your application should include the following:

  • a 1000 word proposal which indicates your knowledge of the literature, methods and likely approach to your project of interest
  • a covering letter indicating your suitability for the project
  • a completed application form
  • certificates with transcripts, if possible, confirming your professional qualifications relevant to your application

Applicants for the PhD programme should have minimum qualifications of an upper second class honours degree 2:1 (or an equivalent) plus 120 credits of research methods training or ideally a Masters in Research Methods (MRes).

Applicants who speak English as a foreign language and are applying for a Tier 4 visa must have achieved SELTS (Secure English Language Test) from a UK Border Agency-approved provider at level B2 or above in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR), in all four elements (reading, writing, listening, speaking).

We also welcome full-time and part-time self-funded applications in any business and management subject, dependent on the availability of appropriate supervisors.

PhD project titles we are offering are listed below and you can find out more by clicking on the individual links. Further details about supervisors can be found by going to the 'About us' link at the top of this page.

Further Information

If you have any questions about how to apply, what to include or about studying with the Open University Business School please contact the OUBS Research team.

For enquiries about Open University research degrees in general and the OU experience, please contact our Research Degrees team via email or phone +44 (0)1908 654882.

Accounting and Finance

(Please also see the project focusing on The True Potential Centre for the Public Understanding of Finance (True Potential PUFin) below)

People and Organisations

Public Leadership and Social Enterprise

(Please also see the projects focusing on the 'The Voluntary Sector' below)

Strategy and Marketing


Centre for Voluntary Sector Leadership (CVSL),
Department of Public Leadership and Social Enterprise (PuLSE)

Anthony Nutt PhD Scholarship: Driving voluntary sector leadership research through PhD studentships

A vacancy is available for a candidate of exceptional ability to undertake research in the field of voluntary sector leadership. The PhD research will need to be of relevance to leadership issues at a UK level and could also draw on local case studies. The proposed projects must include an engaged form of research with continual interaction with voluntary organisations throughout the three years of the studentships. The research should gather evidence that would enable smaller organisations to improve their overall leadership performance and to apply the latest thinking on how to handle the most pressing problems in the sector.

Candidates are invited to submit a proposal of no more than 1000 words outlining a suitable topic, why it is relevant and important and how it may be researched. A short synthesis of relevant literature should form an inherent part of the proposal. An indication of the kinds of questions that may be explored would be useful.

Seven potential projects that may be developed into proposals are listed below. In developing proposals, candidates may wish to draw on ideas from more than one of these. The successful candidates will each be supervised by two academics associated with CVSL.

The True Potential Centre for the Public Understanding of Finance (True Potential PUFin)