PhD Scholarship: “Digital Fabrication, Redistributed Manufacturing, and Governance”

The University of Manchester - Alliance Manchester Business School

Alliance Manchester Business School is committed to recruiting the highest calibre Ph.D. students from across the globe. With an excellent international reputation, we strive to produce graduates and researchers of distinction who attain the highest standards of academic excellence, contribute to their disciplines and typify Original Thinking Applied.

This PhD scholarship offers three years’ funding, including doctoral programme tuition fees and a stipend of approximately £15,000 per year for candidates wishing to commence their studies in September 2018. The successful candidate will also receive a generous research support and conference allowance. You will also have access to a robust doctoral research training programme, dedicated research resources, training in transferable skills, visiting speaker seminar programme, and associate with existing research centres and groups. In addition, all students are encouraged to undertake training and development in teaching and deliver teaching and/or research assistantship duties on a paid basis to further enhance their experience in preparation for their future careers.

The Project

Digital fabrication combines advances in computing, big data, manufacturing technology, robotics, and materials with new business models to revolutionise design, production and consumption. More sustainable and customised products are promised, while manufacturing may be redistributed in decentralized networks. Yet, concerns arise about employment impacts, the readiness of small and mid-sized manufacturers, repercussions for existing industrial regions, and the governance of smart digital fabrication systems. This project will research the emergence of digital fabrication as a disruptive innovation, examine implications for current and future manufacturing, and consider new business and governance models for effective and responsible commercialisation. Focussing empirical work on North West England, the project will use case study, foresight and assessment approaches. The project will contribute to advancing theoretical concepts, knowledge, and strategies for adapting to, and managing, disruptive technological changes with far reaching societal implications. Findings will inform management and policy decision-making not only regionally but also more broadly in the UK and industrial regions internationally. The lead supervisor is Professor Philip Shapira and the successful applicant will be associated with the Emerging Technologies and Governance group at the Manchester Institute of Innovation Research in Alliance Manchester Business School.

Entry Requirements

Applications for this project are sought from exceptional UK, EU and international students with an outstanding academic background.

Applicants must have a First or Upper Second Class Honours degree (or equivalent) and hold or expect to obtain a Masters level qualification with Distinction. English Language requirements (where required) are IELTS 7.0, TOEFL 623 (100 ibt), PTE 66.

How to apply

Candidates should submit a PhD application for the PhD Science, Technology & Innovation Policy programme and indicate that they wish to be considered for this project.

Your application must contain a letter of interest outlining your background, interest and research skills related to the topic, understanding of the project, and how you satisfy the requirements described above.

Candidates are strongly advised to submit their application as early as possible. Candidates who do not submit the required supporting documents by the deadline will not be considered.

Application deadline:  31st January 2018


For further details about the project, please contact Prof. Philip Shapira at

For questions related to making your application, please contact Lynne Barlow-Cheetham in the Doctoral Programmes Office:

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Northern England