R230225 – PhD Studentship (3 years) A systems approach for digitalizing supply chains towards circular economy and advanced sustainability principles

Aston University

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College of Business & Social Sciences – Studentships
Aston University Main Campus
Full Time
Closing Date:  23.59 hours BST on Tuesday 24 October 2023
Reference:  R230225
Release Date:  Monday 02 October 2023

Department: College of Business and Social Sciences

Contract Type: Fixed Term

Basis: Full Time

Closing Date: 24th October 2023 at 23.59 (UK time)

Supervisor: Professor Ben Clegg 

Applications are invited for a three-year PhD studentship, supported by the College of Business and Social Sciences to be undertaken within the Operations and Information Management department and Centre for Circular Economy and Advanced Sustainability at Aston University.

The position is available to start in January 2024.

Financial Support

This studentship includes a fee bursary to cover the home or overseas fees rate, plus a maintenance allowance of £18,622 in 2023/4. 

Background to the Project

The Operations and Information Management Department is part of the triple accredited Aston Business School, it is one of the largest and most impactful departments of its type in the UK, and has international reputation for high quality teaching and impactful research. OIM has many UKRI funded projects worth many millions of pounds, produces REF impact cases, has approximately 70 research students and four research centres (soon to become five). OIM has a supportive and thriving research culture. You will be part of the OIM Department and the Centre for Circular Economy and Advanced Sustainability that bridges across ABS and the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences. 

The Operations and Information Management Department and the Centre for Circular Economy and Advanced Sustainability is looking to recruit an aspiring academic to join us and become a world leading expert in digitalizing supply chains to become more sustainable and circular. 

You will have a relevant undergraduate degree (with a 1st or 2:1 classification) and preferably a relevant master’s degree. Relevant subjects include but are not limited to business, IT/IS/ICT, supply chain, technology, operations and supply chain management, technology management or industrial engineering. One to two years relevant industrial experience would also be desirable. 

You should have strong skills in qualitative analysis, interviewing and working with industry. You will be given full research methods training particularly in specialist systems modelling methodologies. You will have a strong desire to conduct applied research by working with industry while applying rigorous academic methodologies and techniques to produce novel and actionable insights. You must have excellent interpersonal, written, verbal, self-organizing and logical reasoning skills. You must also have a strong interest in the application of digital technologies. We are looking for someone who can be a strong academic researcher and a systems thinker as well as someone who will be a credible operator in industry and commerce. 

Full academic support and training will be given. You will be encouraged to attend international conferences (e.g. the European Operations Management Conference), contribute to research outputs (e.g. conference and journal papers) and participate in research events under the guidance of your supervisors who are very active in industry based research projects. 

There may be further opportunities to develop teaching skills and achieve teaching qualifications although this is not mandatory. This PhD programme could lead someone into further post-doctoral academic studies by establishing the successful applicant as an expert agent of change specializing in the digitalization of supply chains and use of novel systems thinking methods to achieve improved circularity and advanced sustainability. 

Person Specification

The successful applicant should hold the equivalent of a UK first or upper second class honours undergraduate degree from an approved university or higher education institution. They should have been awarded, or expect to achieve, a Masters degree in a relevant subject with an overall degree classification of at least Merit (or an equivalent qualification from an overseas institution).

Contact information

For formal enquiries about this project please contact Professor Ben Clegg [email protected]    

Submitting an application

As part of the application, you will need to supply:

  • A copy of your current CV
  • Copies of your academic qualifications for your Bachelor degree and Masters degree; this should include both certificates and transcripts, and must be translated in to English.
  • A research proposal statement*
  • A personal statement in a covering letter
  • Two academic references
  • Proof of your English Language proficiency

Details of how to submit your application, and the necessary supporting documents can be found here . 

*The application must be accompanied by a “research proposal” statement. A full original proposal is not required as the initial scope of the project has been defined in further details, candidates should take this opportunity to detail how their knowledge and experience will fit the project.

Please include the supervisor’s name, project title and project reference in your personal statement.

If you require further information about the application process, please contact the Postgraduate Admissions Team at [email protected]  

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