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PhD Scholarship: Digitalisation and the Future of Work: Platforms, Networks, and Workers

The University of Manchester

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Manchester
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students, International Students
Funding amount: A generous research support and conference allowance
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 28th January 2019
Closes: 29th March 2019

This PhD scholarship offers three years’ funding, including tuition fees and a stipend of approximately £15,000 per year for candidates wishing to commence their studies in September 2019. 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.

Students will benefit from the state-of-the art facilities at the newly refurbished Business School including a new Learning Resources Centre, Data Analytics Visualisation Lab and a Behavioural Economics and Strategic Management Laboratory. 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

The gig economy and platform-based working is increasingly being debated as an illustration of the impact of technology on the future world of work. This project will investigate platform-based working as a form of work organisation and investigate working practices and experiences. The focus will be on the under-researched area of intermediary firms, who have emerged to provide a bridge between workers and clients, filtering work requests to the platform. These emerging networks create long supply chains, many of which contain the features of fragmented and globally dispersed production. The research will adopt a case study approach to enable an in-depth exploration of the key issues. Research will involve the network itself as well as the experiences of workers in order to study the interaction and complex links between the two. Detailed research will enable an appreciation of the complex social units in terms of organising and operational principles, governance issues, power and social relations, and working conditions.

The candidate will be supervised from within the Work and Equalities Institute (WEI), alongside the Institute’s broader research interests concerning the future of work.

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 Business & Management and indicate that they wish to be considered for this project.

Your application must contain a 3000-word research proposal related to the topic.

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

Application deadline: 29th March 2019


For further details about the project, please contact Professor Debra Howcroft at

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

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