Applications invited for PhD studentship: Enhancing the capacity for workplace learning and innovation in Scotland

We are currently advertising a fully-funded PhD studentship within the Centre for Social Informatics at Edinburgh Napier University. The studentship is advertised on the Edinburgh Napier University vacancies web site, and on The title of the study is Enhancing the capacity for workplace learning and innovation in Scotland.

  • Applications are due by Monday 20th April 2015.
  • Interviews are planned for Thursday 14th May 2015.
  • The studentship will start on Thursday 1st October 2015.

sgsss-dtc and sds logoThe studentship is one of a number supported by a partnership between Scottish Graduate School of Social Sciences – Doctoral Training Centre (SGSSS-DTC) and Skills Development Scotland. It is hosted by the Information Science pathway of the SGSSS-DTC. UK/EU fees are covered, plus an annual stipend of £13,863 per annum for 3 years.

The project will investigate innovation and best practice in skills development in the workplace in Scotland, drawing comparisons with the rest of the UK and other countries. The successful candidate will explore how employee-led workforce learning can be encouraged to deliver innovation that leads to competitive advantage, employment growth, and increased productivity. The aims of the proposed work are to:

  1. Identify factors that underpin successful workplace learning and innovation.
  2. Determine how skills innovation in the workplace is facilitated by organisational culture and strategy.
  3. Demonstrate how a skills agency can support innovation in the workplace.
  4. Formulate practical and workable recommendations to policy makers concerned with the skills agenda in Scotland.

The study will furnish insight into how existing knowledge is shared, used, stored, and created in organisations. The work will also make contributions to policy development in Scotland as related to investment in workplace learning for the benefit of the economy.

I will be co-supervising the successful candidate with my colleague Professor Robert Raeside, Director of the Employment Research Institute at Edinburgh Napier University. Between us we have supported 29 PhD students to completion. Robert and I currently co-supervise two research students, as well as work on research projects together.

IIDI logoThe successful candidate will join a growing group of research students within the Centre for Social Informatics (see below), and the wider community of over 50 research students hosted by all five research centres within the Institute for Informatics and Digital Innovation. This cohort includes other research council funded students, one of whom is also supported by the SGSSS-DTC and SDS. The successful candidate will also join the network of other students sponsored through their doctoral studies by the SGSSS-DTC/SDS partnership. The network currently comprises the students at a number of Scottish universities who registered for their studies in 2013 and 2014, and recently met in Glasgow.

We are interested in receiving applications for the studentship from individuals who:

  1. Hold (or are nearing successful completion of) a Masters degree in a social science subject which includes a substantial level of research training.
  2. Hold a good first degree (2.1 or first class).
  3. Demonstrate in their application interests in, and knowledge of, the broad theme of knowledge management. We are particularly keen to hear from candidates who would like to explore at doctoral level organisational learning in the workplace, its relationship to skills development, and its impact on innovation, employment growth and productivity.
  4. Have a good grounding in social research, including both qualitative and quantitative methods, with a keen desire to develop this further.
  5. Demonstrate excellent level of spoken and written English. (Applicants whose first language is not English must meet the University’s English language requirements.)
  6. Meet the eligibility requirements of the ESRC. NB overseas students from the EU are eligible to apply for a fees-only award (and not the stipend). Students from outwith the EU are ineligible to apply.

We’d be particularly interested in applications from those with qualifications in subjects such as Information Management, Information Science, Information Systems, Knowledge Management, Management, Organisational Studies, Science and Technology Studies, Social Research, and Sociology. However, this is not a requirement: if you have a qualification in another social science subject and meet the criteria listed above, we’d still be keen to hear from you.

To make an application please follow the instructions “How to apply for an advertised studentship vacancy” on the Edinburgh Napier University research degrees application page. Your application should include:

  • A completed application form.
  • Details that address items (3) and (4) above in the personal statement section of the application form
  • Two academic references

Your application should be submitted by Monday 20th April 2015.

For further information about this studentship, please feel free to contact me by email at

Current doctoral studies within the Centre for Social Informatics:

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