Applications invited for ESRC Scottish Graduate School of Social Science Doctoral Training Partnership studentship competition 2017

Esrc_logoThe Science, Technology, Innovation, Information and Communication Studies pathway of the ESRC Scottish Graduate School of Social Science Doctoral Training Partnership (SGSSS-DTP) is currently inviting applications for this year’s studentship competition.

Academic staff at each of the pathway member institutions – including those within my group at Edinburgh Napier University – would be pleased to hear from eligible candidates who would like to apply for a PhD place under this scheme.

Applications are due for submission to the SGSSS-DTP by Friday 17th February. The application process is detailed at: The first step is to secure an offer of a PhD place and so initial contact must be made to the pathway representative at Edinburgh Napier University (Dr Laura Muir: by Monday 16th January 2017.

Applicant interests should align with the focus of the pathway research. At Edinburgh Napier University this places emphasis on the relationship between the use of information and societal development within the broader context of the ESRC SGSSS-DTP. The key areas of research interest are:

  • The social and economic impact of information
  • The legal and regulatory context for the collection and use of information
  • The technologies for the management of information
  • Information policy and strategy
  • Information behaviour and use
  • Library and information management

Applicants should meet the following requirements:

  1. Hold a good first degree (first class or 2.1).
  2. Hold a Masters degree in a social science subject that includes significant coverage of qualitative and quantitative research methods (at least 60 credits of appropriate research methods training), or be on target to complete such a Masters degree before the start of the academic year 2017/18.
  3. Be a United Kingdom citizen, or be a resident of another European Union country.
  4. Submit a research proposal that aligns with the key areas of interest the pathway.

Further details on these requirements can be found on the eligibility page of the Scottish Graduate School of Social Science web site.

If you are interested in making an application for a studentship under this scheme at Edinburgh Napier University, you should make initial contact with Dr Laura Muir ( by Monday 16th January 2017 (or preferably sooner) to check your eligibility to apply. Dr Muir will then arrange a telephone or Skype call to discuss research proposal ideas, and potential supervision arrangements at Edinburgh Napier. (Possible supervisors include myself and my immediate colleagues such as Dr Laura Muir, Dr Colin Smith, Dr Gemma Webster and Peter Cruickshank.) This conversation will also provide an opportunity to discuss in further detail the application process.

The next stage will be for you to complete the Edinburgh Napier research degree application form to be submitted directly to Dr Laura Muir by email at (and not to the general research degrees admissions e-mail address) by midday on Wednesday 18th January 2017.

Interviews will be held on the afternoon of Wednesday 25th January 2017 at the Merchiston campus of Edinburgh Napier University. Decisions on who will be invited to take their applications to the next stage will be made by Friday 27th January 2017.

Candidates who pass the internal Edinburgh Napier application process will then be authorised to start the application process on the ESRC SGSSS-DTP system: initial registration needs to be made by Monday 13th February 2017. Following ESRC eligibility checks, candidates will then be invited to submit their full applications to the ESRC SGSSS-DTP system by Friday 17th February 2017. The outcome of these applications is expected to be known by 12th May 2017.

Candidates who are considering making an application to Edinburgh Napier University through this scheme are encouraged to explore how their research interests align with those of the staff and research students within the Centre for Social Informatics. We carry out research that is broadly concerned with the intersection of people, communities and technologies, and that incorporates themes such as:

  • Democratic digital engagement
  • Digital culture
  • Digital economy
  • e-Government
  • Information policy
  • Information seeking behaviour and use
  • The Information Society
  • Information systems for organisational effectiveness
  • Knowledge management
  • Online communities
  • Open data and open government

Our recent and current research students engage in a range of doctoral studies on topics that include:

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