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PhD opportunities

PhD opportunities in the Birmingham City Business School

There are currently funded PhD opportunities in the following areas. For further information, contact the named staff below.



Funded PhD Opportunities

The Business School is seeking to recruit a new cohort to undertake research in a number of key areas. The funding consists of a tax-free stipend paid monthly and has a current value of £15,609 per annum. The bursary is renewable annually for up to 36 months in total, subject to you making satisfactory progression within your PhD research.

Successful applicants for our funded PhD studentships will receive a tax-free research stipend that tracks UK Research Council rates (currently £15,609) and a fee waiver to the value of Home student PhD fees (currently £4,500).  All applicants will receive the same stipend irrespective of fee status, however only Home fees will be covered and International applicants will be required to meet the difference in fee costs from their own funds.

You must upload your Research Proposal to your application.  Please ensure you include the Project Number and Title on your Research Proposal and upload it in place of the Personal Statement. We are not able to consider incomplete Applications.  Details of how to apply and what is required in a Research Proposal can be found here

The closing date for applications is 23.59 on 31 October 2021

If you have any queries on the application process please contact the BLSS Doctoral Research College - blssdoctoralresearchcollege@bcu.ac.uk


Title:  Exploring the influence of middle managers’ cognitive styles on their strategic roles’ enactment

Ref Number: 17

School: Business School & Psychology Department

Supervisory Team:

  • Prof. Alexandros Psychogios
  • Prof. Eirini Mavritsaki
  • Dr. Panagiotis Rentzelas

This PhD study will aim to explore Middle Managers’ (MMs) strategic roles in relation to their cognitive styles (analytic-holistic) in visual attention. The main research question that will be investigated is the following: Do MMs’ holistic and analytic cognitive styles influence the way that they enact their strategic roles?  The methodology will be based on experimental design along with a series of questionnaires following previous work in the area. The ideal applicant should have a degree in Psychology and/or Business Management (or relevant). In addition, experience on quantitative data collection and analysis will be important. 

Business School PhD Proposal - Ref 17 CIS Bus Exploring the influence of middle managers’ cognitive styles

Contact information:


Title:  Building back better through innovation: challenges of corporate decision making in times of uncertainty and crises

Ref Number: 18

School: Business School

Supervisory Team:

  • Dr Hanna Szymborska
  • Dr Danilo Spinola
  • Dr Bruce Philp

This project aims to analyse how uncertain macroeconomic conditions shape investment strategies of non-financial corporations (NFCs) in the UK. It uses empirical analysis and Stock-Flow consistent economic models to examine how changing financial sector operations contribute to firms’ preference for financial investment over investment in production and innovation.

The theoretical framework is based on the concept of “Maximizing Shareholder Value”, understood as the need to generate returns to placate shareholders, which is necessary to maintain competitiveness and avoid hostile takeovers, leading to a short-termism mindset on NFCs decision making process, reducing incentives for R&D investments. Furthermore, in this scenario, opportunities are uneven across firms, with large multinational corporations able to capture an increasing market share, depriving their competitors of investment opportunities for innovation.

The analysed research questions are:

  • How do financial sector operations and uncertain economic conditions affect objectives and decision-making across firms of different sizes?
  • How does market concentration influence profitability and capacity for R&D investment?
  • How can economic policy effectively promote investment and innovation?

The project will provide new understanding of corporate decision-making under uncertainty, expanding research on corporate finance. It will also contribute to improving the efficacy of economic policy to better support corporations during periods of uncertainty to promote innovative investment.

The candidate should have:

  • A good bachelor degree (2.1 or equivalent);
  • Strong analytical skills (knowledge of quantitative methods is desirable);
  • Interest in applying pluralistic perspectives in economic theory and research.
  • An interest in stock-flow consistent economic modelling is desirable

It is desirable for the candidate to hold a postgraduate Masters degree in disciplines of interests (for instance: economics, political economy, finance, business studies, critical management), or a similar level of professional experience.

You must upload your Research Proposal to your application.  Please ensure you include the Project Number and Title on your Research Proposal and upload it in place of the Personal Statement. We are not able to consider incomplete Applications.  Details of how to apply and what is required in a Research Proposal can be found here.

If you have any queries on the application process please contact the BLSS Doctoral Research College - blssdoctoralresearchcollege@bcu.ac.uk

For information on the project, please contact: Dr Danilo Spinola (danilo.spinola@bcu.ac.uk)

Tel: +44 (0)121 300 4419

Ref 18 CIS Bus Building back better through innovation