R M Phillips PhD Studentship

R M Phillips PhD Studentship: Strategic Responses to Grand Societal Challenges (2020)

The University of Sussex Business School is delighted to offer a fully funded, full time PhD studentship in Management to commence in September 2020.

Type of award

Postgraduate Research Studentship

PhD project

Today’s businesses and entrepreneurs are increasingly expected to address sustainable development goals (SDGs) and work with multiple stakeholders to tackle grand societal challenges, such as climate change, poverty, clean water access, migration, and persistent inequalities. We are seeking outstanding PhD applicants interested in researching this trend. Examples of related topics include cross-sector collaboration, multi-stakeholder coordination, inclusive development, new business models, shared value creation, social innovation, and the role of science, technology and innovation in informing strategic responses to the SDGs. Prospective students with prior degrees in business, sociology, economics, geography, engineering, political science, development studies or other relevant areas are encouraged to apply. The successful applicant will have a Master’s degree, prior research experience (e.g. data analysis, literature reviews, academic writing) and a longer-term interest in pursuing an academic career.


Sponsorship & Funding

The studentship is endowed by the R M Phillips Foundation and will be held at the University of Sussex Business School, which owes a great debt of gratitude to the Foundation for its continued generosity and support for research in the areas of science, technology and innovation.


The Research Area

Your PhD proposal should address the theme Strategic Responses to Grand Societal Challenges.

If successful, you will work primarily with Dr Stephan Manning, Professor of Strategy and Innovation at the University of Sussex. Prof Manning’s current research focuses on topics such as sustainability standards, entrepreneurial ecosystems, social enterprises, climate adaptation, and innovation value chains. He has published numerous papers in top-tier academic journals in the field.

For any enquiries regarding the proposed research topic, please contact Prof Manning at S.D.Manning@sussex.ac.uk


The School

The EQUIS and AMBA accredited University of Sussex Business School is embedded in an ecosystem with a long tradition of cross-disciplinary and high-impact research combining expertise in innovation, development, energy policy, business and sustainability, with a strong focus on real-world application and public policy. Our staff and students collaborate regularly with various widely recognized institutes and research groups, such as the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), Roffey Park Institute and Chatham House. The School is ranked in the Top 10 in the UK for Business and Economics (Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2020) and third in the UK for research income 2015-2018 (Chartered Association of Business Schools). Currently, we employ around 200 faculty and support 140 PhD students.


The award is for 4 years full time and covers a full waiver of tuition fees at either the Home/EU or the Overseas rate, as applicable, plus a stipend at the prevailing UK Research Council rate, currently £15,009 per year. Applications are welcomed from both UK and non-UK students with no restriction on nationality; however, those who are currently undertaking a PhD at the Business School are ineligible to apply.


To be eligible you must have, or expect to have, a UK Master’s degree or its equivalent in a relevant subject, plus prior research experience in a relevant field.

Number of scholarships available



31 May 2020 23:59 (GMT)

How to apply

Apply online here.

Select the PhD in Management with a September 2020 start date.

In the Finance section you should enter the name of the scholarship, which is: R M Phillips PhD Studentship.

Be sure to supply all the required documents, including:

  • All transcripts from Higher Education degrees, including partial marks for any Master’s degree currently in progress;
  • A current CV detailing all educational and employment history;
  • Letters from two referees, where possible in relation to the specific project proposal being submitted.

All applicants invited for interview will also be requested to submit a sample of written academic work prior to interview. Interviews may be conducted via Skype if candidates are unable to travel to Sussex for interview in person.

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

Contact us

For practical questions about applications, please contact the Business School Research Support Team: business-research@sussex.ac.uk.

For questions relating to the research subject, please contact Prof Stephan Manning: S.D.Manning@sussex.ac.uk


All complete applications must be submitted by 31 May 2020 by 23:59 (UK time) through the University of Sussex online Postgraduate Application System.

A shortlist of candidates will be invited for interview, likely taking place the week commencing 22 June 2020. Candidates who are unable to attend in person may request a Skype interview.

Every effort will be made to notify the successful candidate by 30 June 2020.


At level(s):
PG (research)

Application deadline:
31 May 2020 23:59 (GMT)
the deadline has now expired


The award is available to people from these specific countries: