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PhD Scholarship: Public Procurement and Innovation: Measuring Policy and Impact

The University of Manchester

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Manchester
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students, International Students
Funding amount: £15,000 per year
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 8th February 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 purchasing of goods and services by the public sector is a significant part of economic activity in all developed economies. Public procurement is a key, yet under-exploited, industrial policy tool, capable of stimulating innovative activities, shaping the transformation of production systems and fostering industrial renewal. The increasing quality and availability of large administrative datasets of public sector activities is opening up significant new opportunities for research in this field, with the potential to better inform policies and practice.

This project seeks to exploit unstructured data from patents, publications and new open sources of “big data” to investigate the influences of public procurement on innovation. It will address the following major questions:

  • To what extent, and how, are government actors strategically using public procurement to pursue industrial policy goals?
  • How does public demand shape the innovative performance of firms?
  • How does public procurement influence industrial structure, industrial renewal and diversification?

The successful candidate will be supervised from the Manchester Institute of Innovation Research, which has pioneered studies of public procurement and innovation.

Entry Requirements

Applications are sought from UK, EU and international candidates with an outstanding academic background, particularly in economics, data science, innovation studies or a related discipline. Demonstrable quantitative skills will be essential and an interdisciplinary background will be an advantage. The candidate should be willing to attend specialist innovation policy courses as well as advanced training in data science, and be familiar with key programming languages (e.g. STATA and R), social network analysis techniques, and/or have some experience with text mining or other work with unstructured data.

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 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 Dr. Elvira Uyarra at

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

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