PhD Studentship: Centre for Doctoral Training: Entrepeneurship and Innovation

University of Strathclyde

The University of Strathclyde has recently commissioned the world’s first Centre for Doctoral Training dedicated to Entrepreneurship and Innovation, partnering with a number of prestigious external organisations to deliver world-class research. To this end the Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship in partnership with Scottish Enterprise is therefore looking to recruit a PhD student for a funded doctoral research project investigating the drivers of innovation in Scottish companies to understand better the impact it has on entrepreneurship in and growth performance of companies. The research would focus on R&D activity by companies and consider:

  • How Scottish SMEs make innovation decisions (and the role that public policy and the economic environment such as sector and cluster assets play).
  • How innovation activity influences other company growth activities, such as investment and internationalisation (exporting).
  • Product development cycles in Scottish companies and how they may replicate or differ from those in competitor countries.
  • Why Scottish companies appear to be better at exploiting technology than those in other countries (when they perform relatively poorly in other innovation-related activities across their innovation journey).

The successful applicant will be based in the Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship, and work in Scottish Enterprise around 2/3 days a week on average. The student will work alongside Scottish Enterprise Innovation colleagues (and the Economic Research Team) to fully understand how companies are supported to innovate, adding a significant practical element to the academic study. This will help shape the research thinking, with the potential outputs helping also shape Scottish enterprise policy based on the research learning and outputs.

Consistent within this analysis will be explorations of different official datasets and interviews with key stakeholders within the Scottish entrepreneurship ecosystem, deploying a mixed methodology approach which will provide a series of practical policy insights and recommendations as well as providing a ‘state of play’ of the Scottish private sector’s innovation performance and potential.

Applicants are expected to have an interest or commitment to understanding the Scottish economy, quantitative and qualitative research experience and/or training and experience of using datasets. As SMEs comprise 99.3% of all businesses in Scotland (Scottish Government, Oct 2013), an understanding of small business is desirable. 

The student will be supervised by experts in the Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship.

The studentship covers home tuition fees and a stipend of £14,510 pa for 3 years. Candidates are required to have an excellent undergraduate degree with Honours (or equivalent Undergraduate) degree in a relevant business, scientific or social science subject (minimum upper second classification), and a Masters degree (or equivalent) will be strongly preferred. Interested applicants should send a CV and a short statement of research interest to Dr. Niall MacKenzie ( by 27th September 2017. 

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