PhD Studentship (ESRC South Coast DTP) - Simulation Modelling to Inform the Design and Delivery of Skills Training for the Future UK Workforce

University of Southampton - Southampton Business School

Simulation modelling to inform the design and delivery of skills training for the future UK workforce.

A fully funded studentship awarded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) South Coast Doctoral Training Partnership (SCDTP) commencing in 2018/19 Academic Year.

Supervisory Team:

Doctor Steffen Bayer (Southampton Business School, Lead Supervisor) (, Professor Sally Brailsford (Southampton Business School), Professor Pauline Leonard (Sociology, Social Policy and Criminology).

It is often quoted in the media that in 25 years’ time, around 65% of today’s primary school children will be doing jobs that do not currently exist. It is possible that many of today’s lower-skilled jobs will be done by robots in future! Nevertheless, policy decisions regarding the education and skills training that this generation will require have to be made today. This mixed-methods research will focus on lower-skilled jobs and selected economically deprived populations, and will combine qualitative data analysis with computer simulation modelling (using an approach called system dynamics) to develop a decision support tool for policy-makers.

Skills Required

Strong quantitative background; ideally an MSc in Operational Research, Management Science, Business Analytics, or related subject; keen interest in public sector and societal issues.

We require at least 2:1 for both degrees (Bachelor and MSc) and satisfactory IELTS (minimum 6.5 in each component) for non UK applicants unless their second degree was awarded by a UK institution in the last 2 years prior to the date of enrolment.


South Coast DTP Funding provides an annual maintenance grant (tax free) of £14,777 (2018/19 RCUK rate), plus payment of all programme fees. Other funding available for SCDTP funded students can be found on the SCDTP website (

Funding is provided for 3 years full-time PhD study (pro-rata for part-time students). Applications for 1+3 funding for students completing a Master's year prior to the commencement of PhD study are also welcome (details available at

Application Procedure

The closing date and time for applications is 4pm on 25th June 2018. Please note, you will be required to make TWO applications – one for a place to study at the University, and a separate application to apply for the funding. The full application procedure, the funding application form, and more information on the South Coast Doctoral Training Partnership can be found at:

For further information about this project, please contact the lead supervisor detailed above. For questions relating to the application procedure, or for more information about the SCDTP, please visit the SCDTP website or contact us at

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South East England