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PhD Opportunities

International Business/Global Strategy with an interest in the areas of digitalisation or social responsibility

Queen's Management School | PHD

Applications are now CLOSED
Reference Number
Application Deadline
10 January 2021
Start Date
2 August 2021


Queen’s Management School (QMS) invites applications for a PhD Studentship in International Business/Global Strategy with an interest in the areas of digitalisation or social responsibility. The 3-year studentship is fully-funded, covering all fees and living expenses. This stipend will support work towards a PhD, awarded on the basis of original research presented in a written thesis. The Studentship is intended to support research on international business and its relationship with digitalisation and social responsibility under the supervision of Dr Kieran Conroy.

Proposals are welcome in either one of the following broad areas:

- The digitalisation of global strategy -
The project considers how global strategies are increasingly influenced by growing digitalisation issues such as artificial intelligence, data analytics and virtual platforms. Proposals should consider how global managers collaborate with their cross-borders networks in an increasingly virtual world, as well as how this facilitates/hinders the development of global strategy.


- Multinationals and value creation for society -
The project explores how the strategies of multinationals are being adapted to address grand challenges in global society. Outsourcing activities to developing markets surfaces a whole range of related social issues, including ethical concerns, labor-related issues, human rights violations, educational challenges, relative poverty and more. Building on theories in global strategy, proposals should consider how global managers adapt their strategic decision making activities to address these challenges.

As a member of the prestigious Russell Group of research-intensive universities, Queen’s University Belfast has an outstanding reputation and tradition for research excellence. The results of the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) placed Queen’s University eighth in the UK for research intensity. QMS is one of UK’s leading Management Schools. The School has an excellent track record in research. QMS has a vibrant PhD student community and a broad international network of academic support.

Application Details
The post is open to start immediately, but no later than August 2021.
Candidates should ideally hold or be in the process of completing a Master’s degree in any area broadly connected to international business. Candidates with broader Social Science degrees are encouraged to apply, in interdisciplinary areas, such as global governance, geography, political science, human rights, sociology or international relations.
Deadline for submissions: Apply online here and enter the text “QMSPHD/IB/GS” into the funding field.
As part of your application you should submit a research proposal (no more than 2,500 words) that includes:
• Overview of problem/issue being addressed and justification of topic
• Central research questions and objectives you will seek to address
• Key scholarly works that will inform the design, framing and content of your project
• Methods and context of how you plan to collect and analyse data

Informal enquiries may be directed to: Dr. Kieran Conroy

Funding Information

The position is being funded by a grant from the Queen’s Management School (QMS) and runs from 2021 - 2024. Queen’s Management School is located at Riddel Hall in Belfast, offering world-class research facilities. There may also be additional opportunities for candidates to attend summer schools in other Universities as part of the program. The successful candidate will have the opportunity to alter the aims of the project according to their experience and interests. Salary Scale: Subject to eligibility for a full award (covering stipend and fees) the standard rate for 2021-22 is: stipend £15,285 (tax free) pa and Home/EU fees at £4,407 pa.

The University is committed to an Equal Opportunities Policy.

Project Summary

    Mode of Study

    Full-time: 3

    Funding Body
    Queen’s Management School (QMS)
    Apply now Register your interest

    Management overview

    The management group is an energetic and enterprising research cluster that continuously strives for excellence in both its teaching and its scholarship. The group's research strengths range from entrepreneurship to human resource management, and from marketing to public sector management. Aside from gaining close research advice and direction from their supervisors and other academics in the group, research students benefit from attending courses and tailor-made reading groups to complete their background preparation in business and management sciences.

    Queen's Management School prides itself on research-led teaching and offers its research students experience as teaching assistants in a variety of undergraduate courses. Students regularly attend the School's various seminar series, which attract leading academics from around the world. Students also present their work at these events, gaining invaluable advice and preparation for the academic job market.

    Mode of study/duration

    Registration is on a full-time or part-time basis, under the direction of a supervisory team appointed by the University. You will be expected to submit your thesis at the end of three years of full-time registration for PhD, or two years for MPhil (or part-time equivalent).

    Course content

    Career Prospects

    The School has a proven track-record of placing its PhD graduates in tenure-track research and teaching posts at top universities in the UK and elsewhere.

    Employment after the Course
    For further information on career development opportunities at PhD level please contact the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Career Development Team on where our Development Officers, Cathy Wilson and Aileen Carson, will be happy to provide further information on your research area career prospects.

    People teaching you

    Postgraduate Research Team

    Management School

    Learning Outcomes

    Course structure

    The Queen’s Management School Doctoral Programme will support you in the PhD process with a faculty of leading scholars and a network of international partnerships with other top-ranked universities. This means that you will have access to a broad set of facilities and specialised courses, and you are able to build a global knowledge network with top scholars from around the world. This ensures you will receive unmatched support to maximise your chances of achieving excellence in your doctoral research.

    The Chartered Association of Business Schools counts Queen’s Management School among the top 10 per cent of UK research-intensive business schools. A Queen’s Management School PhD enables you to differentiate yourself through top academic research. It prepares you for an academic career, but exposes you to skills that are useful in a business or public policy career as well.


    Our doctoral programme is centered on the preparation of a research thesis of approximately 80,000 words, which must contain material of publishable standard. You will write this thesis under the guidance of Dr. Kieran Conroy as your main supervisor. Subject-specific training will be gained through attending our weekly seminars in management and international business, which attract leading international experts. The thesis is awarded after a successful oral examination with an internal and external examiner. The normal period of study is three years for full-time students.

    Students can undertake a series of modules in developing their research skills. These modules vary across topics such as Theory and Debates in Social Research, Sources and Construction of Qualitative Data, Qualitative Data Analysis, Structural Equation Modelling, Advanced Qualitative and Quantitative Research Methods, Undertaking ethical Research and more. You will also have the chance to attend and present your research at leading international conferences in International Business such as Academy of International Business, Academy of Management and Strategic Management Society.


    Students will receive regular feedback and communication from their supervisor.

    Entrance requirements

    Normally a UK 2.1 Honours degree (or equivalent qualification acceptable to the University) and a UK Master's degree in a relevant discipline with a final result of 60% (or equivalent qualification acceptable to the University).

    International Students

    For information on international qualification equivalents, please check the specific information for your country.

    English Language Requirements

    Evidence of an IELTS* score of 7.0, with not less than 6.0 in any component, or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University is required (*taken within the last 2 years).

    International students wishing to apply to Queen's University Belfast (and for whom English is not their first language), must be able to demonstrate their proficiency in English in order to benefit fully from their course of study or research. Non-EEA nationals must also satisfy UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) immigration requirements for English language for visa purposes.

    For more information on English Language requirements for EEA and non-EEA nationals see:

    If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this degree programme, INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for admission to this degree.

    Tuition Fees

    Northern Ireland (NI) 1 £4,596
    Republic of Ireland (ROI) 2 £4,596
    England, Scotland or Wales (GB) 1 £4,596
    EU Other 3 £18,000
    International £18,000

    1 EU citizens in the EU Settlement Scheme, with settled or pre-settled status, are expected to be charged the NI or GB tuition fee based on where they are ordinarily resident, however this is provisional and subject to the publication of the Northern Ireland Assembly Student Fees Regulations. Students who are ROI nationals resident in GB are expected to be charged the GB fee, however this is provisional and subject to the publication of the Northern Ireland Assembly student fees Regulations.

    2 It is expected that EU students who are ROI nationals resident in ROI will be eligible for NI tuition fees, in line with the Common Travel Agreement arrangements. The tuition fee set out above is provisional and subject to the publication of the Northern Ireland Assembly student fees Regulations.

    3 EU Other students (excludes Republic of Ireland nationals living in GB, NI or ROI) are charged tuition fees in line with international fees.

    All tuition fees quoted are for the academic year 2021-22, and relate to a single year of study unless stated otherwise. Tuition fees will be subject to an annual inflationary increase, unless explicitly stated otherwise.

    More information on postgraduate tuition fees.

    Management costs

    There are no specific additional course costs associated with this programme.

    Additional course costs

    All Students

    Depending on the programme of study, there may also be other extra costs which are not covered by tuition fees, which students will need to consider when planning their studies . Students can borrow books and access online learning resources from any Queen's library. If students wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow them from the University Library, prices per text can range from £30 to £100. Students should also budget between £30 to £100 per year for photocopying, memory sticks and printing charges. Students may wish to consider purchasing an electronic device; costs will vary depending on the specification of the model chosen. There are also additional charges for graduation ceremonies, and library fines. In undertaking a research project students may incur costs associated with transport and/or materials, and there will also be additional costs for printing and binding the thesis. There may also be individually tailored research project expenses and students should consult directly with the School for further information.

    Bench fees

    Some research programmes incur an additional annual charge on top of the tuition fees, often referred to as a bench fee. Bench fees are charged when a programme (or a specific project) incurs extra costs such as those involved with specialist laboratory or field work. If you are required to pay bench fees they will be detailed on your offer letter. If you have any questions about Bench Fees these should be raised with your School at the application stage. Please note that, if you are being funded you will need to ensure your sponsor is aware of and has agreed to fund these additional costs before accepting your place.

    How do I fund my study?

    1.PhD Opportunities

    Find PhD opportunities and funded studentships by subject area.

    2.Funded Doctoral Training Programmes

    We offer numerous opportunities for funded doctoral study in a world-class research environment. Our centres and partnerships, aim to seek out and nurture outstanding postgraduate research students, and provide targeted training and skills development.

    3.PhD loans

    The Government offers doctoral loans of up to £26,445 for PhDs and equivalent postgraduate research programmes for English- or Welsh-resident UK and EU students.

    4.International Scholarships

    Information on Postgraduate Research scholarships for international students.

    Funding and Scholarships

    The Funding & Scholarship Finder helps prospective and current students find funding to help cover costs towards a whole range of study related expenses.

    How to Apply

    Apply using our online Postgraduate Applications Portal and follow the step-by-step instructions on how to apply.

    Find a supervisor

    If you're interested in a particular project, we suggest you contact the relevant academic before you apply, to introduce yourself and ask questions.

    To find a potential supervisor aligned with your area of interest, or if you are unsure of who to contact, look through the staff profiles linked here.

    You might be asked to provide a short outline of your proposal to help us identify potential supervisors.