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PhD Scholarship: The Impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI) on Research and Innovation Practices

The University of Manchester

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Manchester
Funding for: UK Students, International Students
Funding amount: Not Specified
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 18th January 2021
Closes: 2nd April 2021

This fully-funded PhD project at the Alliance Manchester Business School will investigate the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on research and innovation practices in companies and public organisations.

The Scholarship:

This scholarship offers 3.5 years’ funding, including tuition fees and a stipend of approximately £15,285 per year (pro rata for final 6-months) for candidates wishing to commence their studies in September 2021. A research support and conference allowance is provided. You will have access to a robust doctoral research training programme, dedicated research resources, training in transferable skills, visiting speaker seminar programme, and research centres and groups.

The Project:

The project has three research objectives. First, to explore how and where AI is being introduced into research and innovation processes. Second, focusing on leading organisations, the project will examine how AI intersects with research and innovation practices, exploring how it draws upon – and where it changes – extant processes of knowledge discovery, teamwork, the crafting of research outputs, as well as how it influences productivity and innovation. Third, the project will investigate the implications for the management of AI in research and innovation processes at institutional, research system, and policy levels.

The project will primarily employ qualitative methods. Possible mixes of methods may include: (i) Landscape and scanning analyses informed by immersion in the available literature and use of secondary sources. Narratives may be developed about how AI in research and innovation processes is currently unfolding and how it is anticipated to develop going forward. (ii) Investigation of exemplary cases of the relationship between AI and research and innovation practices in leading companies and public organisations, using ethnographic, interview or other qualitative methods. (iii) Policy and governance analyses, drawing on interviews with stakeholders to comprehend the institutional context for AI applications in research and innovation, key issues, and governance approaches.

This PhD project will be undertaken at the AMBS Manchester Institute of Innovation Research as part of the Emerging Technologies and Governance group with Professor Philip Shapira (supervisor) and Dr Barbara Ribeiro (co-supervisor). The project contributes to University and AMBS research themes on the digital revolution, productivity, and the governance of emerging technologies.

Entry Requirements:

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

Applicants must have a First or 2:1 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 3000-word research proposal related to the topic of the impact of AI on research and innovation practices, including proposed research methods. The project can be proposed as a conventional or journal format dissertation.

Candidates are advised to submit their application as early as possible. You must submit required documents by the deadline to be considered.

Application deadline: 2 April 2021


For further details about the project, contact: Prof. Philip Shapira ( or Dr. Barbara Ribeiro (

For questions related to making your application, contact: Lynne Barlow-Cheetham (

Apply here 

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