Roffey Park Institute - Sussex Studentships

Roffey Park Institute - Sussex Studentships in the Future of Work (2019)

We are delighted to announce that 3 PhD studentships in the ‘Future of Work’ are offered jointly by Roffey Park Institute and the University of Sussex Business School. The formal home of the studentships is the PhD in Management programme in the latter. We welcome applications for full-time or part-time study, which must be submitted with research project proposals that fall within the two research areas outlined below.

Type of award

3 x PhD Studentships in the Future of Work

PhD project

The Sponsors

The University of Sussex Business School is a leading research-intensive institution, with world-renowned expertise in science and technology policy, the economics and management of innovation and their implications for policy, practice and people. The School has a long and distinguished track record of conducting highly impactful, world-leading research across a range of subject areas, and is one of the top three business schools in the UK by research grant income.  The Department of Management is home to research and teaching in the areas of human resource management, work and employment studies, leadership, organisational behaviour, operations management, supply chain management, and information systems, with over fifty academic staff members.

Roffey Park is an internationally renowned leadership institute based in the UK, Singapore and Ireland. With over 70 years’ experience of leadership, organisational development, human resource and coaching, they provide executive education and research to many of the world’s leading companies and organisations. Roffey Park Institute works to enhance organisational performance by developing the skills and capabilities of individuals and training future leaders in order to realise its overarching ambition of improving the world of work. It achieves this by delivering high impact training, qualifications and bespoke research, putting people at the heart of organisational development.

The PhD researchers would become members of the Sussex Future of Work Research Hub, an interdisciplinary platform based in the Business School, with members from across a range of University departments.  The Hub is currently in an exciting, fast-growth phase, seeking to facilitate further collaborative research into the changing nature of employment, work and industry, as well as engage with a wide range of external partners and stakeholders for realising impact from such research.  

The studentships provide a unique opportunity for outstanding graduate students to partake in a seminal collaboration between Roffey Park Institute and the University of Sussex Business School, supported with expertise, engagement and funding from both organizations.


Research Proposals  

All applications must be accompanied with an independent research proposal that engages with one of the following two research topics. The selection committee will consider the merits of proposed projects based on both the potential scholarly contribution, theoretically and empirically, and relevance to practice. The proposals must engage with one of the topics outlined but also describe in sufficient detail the specific context, questions and methodologies that would be involved in the proposed project. 

For the requirements of what your proposal must include please consult the University of Sussex Doctoral School Guidelines, available here:


Research Topics

1: ‘The impact of The Fourth Industrial Revolution on workplace relationships’

2 x studentships available

The development of IT and the accompanying robotic revolution are set to transform the nature of many jobs, and eliminate others. Emergent technologies are impacting not only low skill jobs but also highly skilled occupations, such as medicine. These developments may fundamentally affect the nature of organizations and the relationships within them.

Projects in this topic area may address several of the following research questions or develop these with greater precision in relation to particular empirical contexts:

  1. What impact are technological developments likely to have on relationships within organisations?
  2. How well do existing theories and scholarship on leadership development and technology account for and explain relevant cases, and how would the study contribute to a better understanding of this relationship?
  3. What are the implications for relationships at work? For example, if there are many fewer people to be employed, will organizations still need large HR departments, training programmes, and complex performance management systems?
  4. Are such notions as meaningful work and fulfilment at work endangered or strengthened by these developments?


2: ‘Dialogic leadership in organizations – opportunities, barriers and prospects’.

1 x studentship available

The leadership narrative has traditionally been based on the assumption that leaders must have a great vision, set clear goals and know how to achieve them. However, as the world becomes more complex, it is also clear that no one individual possesses sufficient information and skill to lead organizations on their own. Consequently, there is a growing interest in leadership approaches which propose that an effective leader is one who encourages others to propose ideas and act with much greater independence.

Given the continually changing world and the need for leadership to be adaptive, we need to know more about how organisations think of both traditional ‘visionary’ leadership models and emerging models of dialogic leadership. 

Projects proposed in this topic area may address several of the following research questions or develop these questions with greater precision in relation to the empirical focus identified by the applicants:

  1. What value do different members of organizations still attach to more traditional conceptions of leadership?
  2. What opportunities, and challenges, do they see in notions of dialogic leadership?
  3. What attempts have they made so far to develop the skills of dialogic leadership?
  4. What barriers and problems have they encountered in doing so?
  5. What steps can or should be taken to enable the wider adoption of models that promote more dialogic leadership?
  6. What are the implications of dialogic leadership for leadership development?
  7. How well do existing theory and scholarship account for the practice and outcomes of dialogic leadership in contemporary organizations, and how does the proposed study aim to contribute to a better understanding of these? 


Coverage of Studentships

If granted a studentship, you will receive:

  • Supervision by a team of one area expert from Roffey Park Institute and two academics from among the members of the Future of Work Research Hub at the University of Sussex Business School
  • Opportunities to take part in a wide range of activities at both Roffey Park Institute and at the University of Sussex Business School, work closely with academic experts and practitioners and engage in the communities at both sponsoring institutions

Tuition fee and bursary details as shown below.


  • Full tuition fee waiver for 3 years full-time or 6 years part-time at the Home/EU rate. Applications from international researchers from outside the UK and EU are welcome, however if granted the studentship, you will have to source additional funding to pay the difference up to the Overseas fee rate. Current fees for the PhD in Management can be found here:
  • A tax-free bursary for 3 years full-time or 6 years part-time at the standard UKRI stipend rate. For 2018/19 this is £14,777 per year


To be eligible you must:

  • Have or expect to have a UK Master’s degree, or its equivalent, in a relevant subject such as management, human resource management, sociology, business, economics, organizational behaviour, psychology and the like.

Number of scholarships available



29 April 2019 23:59 (GMT)

How to apply

All complete applications must be submitted by 29 April 2019 23:59 (GMT) through the University of Sussex online Postgraduate Application System.

Apply online here.

Select the PhD in Management with a September 2019 start date.

In the Finance section, you should enter the name of the studentship, which is: Roffey Park Institute - Sussex Studentship in the Future of Work

NOTE: To be considered for a studentship, your research proposal must clearly address one of the two prescribed research topics outlined above.

Be sure to supply all of the required documents, particularly your transcripts and the details of two referees.

Due to the high volume of applications received, you may only hear from us if your application is successful.


Contact us

For academic questions, please contact the Future of Work Hub Director, Dr. Ödül Bozkurt:

For questions about the PhD programme, please contact the convenor of the PhD in Management programme, Dr. Michelle Luke,

For practical questions about applications, please contact the Business School Research Student Support Team:


All complete applications must be submitted by 29 April 2019 23:59 (GMT) through the University of Sussex online Postgraduate Application System.

A short-list of candidates will be invited for interview at the University of Sussex.  Every effort will be made to notify applicants selected for interview by 15 May 2019.

Interviews are expected to take place on 21 May 2019.


At level(s):
PG (research)

Application deadline:
29 April 2019 23:59 (GMT)
the deadline has now expired


The award is available to people from these specific countries: