The coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic and worldwide lockdowns in 2020 has added another layer of complexity to the ongoing climate crisis.
The Open University Business and Law Schools, collectively known as the Faculty of Business and Law (FBL), is currently inviting applications for a dozen funded PhD studentship projects relating to a themed call on ‘Responding to COVID-19 and the Climate Emergency’ for a February 2021 start date.
Projects focused on the pandemic and its aftermath cover a variety of topics from rethinking relations between organisations and the material/natural environment; to gender, ethnicity and class at work and social inequalities laid bare by the pandemic; and the future of work through empirical research with workers. Others focus on the lived experience of uncertainty for managers and organisations; the role of inter-organisational collaboration in rebuilding civil society; and expectations and perceptions of service providers and customers during the pandemic.
Law and order is also on the agenda as UK policing is facing a range of new and emerging operational and organisational challenges due to the pandemic, balancing public interest, hazards, staff wellbeing, politics and finances. The outbreak and resulting European-wide lockdown has had significant ramifications as well for women’s (human) rights, and for ensuring their safety, dignity and equal treatment. Technology, data, law, regulation and governance will also be put under the microscope with an eye on the pandemic’s economic, political, philosophical and cultural effects.
With the world on pause, reduced economic output has resulted in a marked improvement to the environment in many countries, showing what a greener future could look like. Three projects focus on the climate emergency, ranging from the consumer response to green advertising; to the renewable energy sector in Africa; and also exploring democratic practice as a way to engage communities and individuals in a fair transition to a green economy.
All these projects are being supervised by a range of academic experts drawn from both the Business and Law Schools.
The Open University Business and Law Schools invite applications for a number of full-time funded PhD studentships beginning 1 February 2021 on ‘Responding to COVID-19 and the Climate Emergency’.
This themed call is for PhD research projects that consider the organisational and legal challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and/or the climate emergency – as urgent, complex societal problems that management, business and legal researchers can help to address. Your application should be based on one of the advertised projects.
You will join a vibrant environment of students and academics in the Faculty of Business and Law who conduct research of the highest international standard that has economic, public and social value consistent with the mission of The Open University. You will work with subject specialists and have the opportunity to develop your skills in research communication, engagement and impact.
Applicants for the PhD programme should have minimum qualifications of an upper second class honours degree 2:1 (or an equivalent) and usually a specialist masters in a subject relevant to the intended study with a strong research element.
PhD studentships are based on full-time study for three years at the Milton Keynes campus. Students are normally expected to live within commuting distance of Milton Keynes.
Studentships cover tuition fees, a generous research training support grant and a stipend (circa £15,285 per annum) for 36 months.
How to apply
Your application must include:
- your proposal should be at least 1,000 words and no longer than 2,000 words, which indicates your knowledge of the literature, methods and likely approach to your project of interest (guidance on how to write your research proposal)
- a covering letter indicating your suitability for the project
- a fully completed application form
- copies of degree certificates and transcripts relevant to your application
If your first language is not English, you will need to verify your competence in the English Language in all four elements (reading, writing, listening and speaking). The University requires a minimum IELTS score of 6.5 with no less than 6.0 in any of the four categories (or approved equivalent). You should have your level of proficiency certified through a provider approved by UK Visas and Immigration and provide your certificate and grade with your application.
The closing date for applications is 12pm (noon) GMT on Monday 7 September 2020. Your proposal, covering letter, fully completed application form and copies of certificates and transcripts, should be emailed by the closing time and date.
Interviews will form part of the selection process and will be held in September 2020 either in person or remotely via videoconference. PhD candidates are expected to give a 10 minute presentation about their proposal, followed by a question and answer session.
We also welcome full-time and part-time self-funded applications in topics in business and management, dependent on supervision availability.
If you have any questions regarding our PhD studentships or about studying with The Open University Business School please contact us