Applications invited for fully-funded PhD studentship on workplace skills development within the Centre for Social Informatics at Edinburgh Napier University

ESRC-SDS-Napier studentship logos

We are currently advertising a fully-funded PhD studentship within the Centre for Social Informatics at Edinburgh Napier University. The title of the study is Meta-skills maturity for future workplaces.

  • Applications are due by Friday 23rd March 2018.
  • Interviews are scheduled for Wednesday 18th April 2018.
  • The studentship will start on Thursday 1st October 2018.

The studentship is one of a number supported by a partnership between ESRC Scottish Graduate School of Social Science – Doctoral Training Partnership (SGSSS-DTP) and Skills Development Scotland (SDS). It is hosted by The Science, Technology and Innovation Studies, and Information and Communication Studies (STIS-ICS) pathway of the SGSSS-DTP. The studentship includes payment of the Home/EU level of full-time fees for three academic years, plus 36 monthly PhD stipend payments at the prevailing rate set by the UK Research Councils. (The stipend rate normally increases each year. From September 2018 it is £14,777.)

The aim of the proposed work is to develop new knowledge and practical tools that will produce a paradigm shift in the delivery of workplace skills development to one that focuses on metacognitive processes for meta-skills development. The PhD student who undertakes this study will investigate:

  • The means by which work-based/experiential learners develop their metacognitive knowledge, learn from their metacognitive experiences, and self-regulate their metacognitive development.
  • The interventions required to prompt and develop meta-skills in individual work-based/experiential learners.
  • The measurement/evaluation/assessment of the meta-skills of individual work-based/experiential learners as indicators of meta-skills ‘maturity’, and their potential value (and burden) for educational providers, employers and communities to ensure that the developed approach is economically feasible.

The work will make a theoretical contribution to Information Science by providing new insight into the impact of metacognitive knowledge on information behaviour and use in a novel context: meta-skills development. It is anticipated that the practical outcomes from this work will be used to prioritise investment in interventions for workplace learning for the benefit of Scotland’s economy. It responds to the wider skills policy agenda in Scotland that promotes self-efficacy. The findings will also be useful for informing agencies such as SDS in the provision and support of appropriate services for employers and training providers.

The Director of Studies for the successful candidate will be Dr Laura Muir, with co-supervision by Professor Hazel Hall.

The 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 School of Computing. This cohort includes other research council funded students, two of whom are supported by the SGSSS-DTP and SDS and are close to completion. The successful candidate will also join the network of other students sponsored through their doctoral studies by the partnership between the SGSSS-DTP and SDS at a number of other Scottish universities.

We are interested in receiving applications for the studentship on a full-time or a part-time basis. Your eligibility to apply will depend on your current level of degree qualification, prior training in advanced research methods, and your ability to meet the additional criteria for the studentship award.

If you hold, or are nearing successful completion of, a Masters degree in a social science subject which includes 60 credits of research training, you may be eligible to apply for the fully-funded PhD programme: 3 year full-time; 5 year part-time.

If you do not hold a Masters qualification and are not currently working towards one (or the Masters degree that you hold/are working towards does not include 60 credits of research methods training), you will be required to undertake an approved Masters-level research training programme for one year before transferring to this PhD programme. This route is also fully funded, i.e. you will be funded for the approved Masters-level research training programme and for the PhD.

In addition to the above, you must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  1. Hold a good first degree (2.1 or first class).
  2. Demonstrate in interest in, and knowledge of, the broad theme of metacognition. We are particularly keen to hear from candidates who would like to explore workplace meta-skills development and its impact on innovation, employment growth and productivity at doctoral level.
  3. Have a good grounding in social research, including both qualitative and quantitative methods, with a keen desire to develop this further.
  4. Demonstrate an excellent level of spoken and written English. (Applicants whose first language is not English must meet the University’s English language requirements.)
  5. 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 would be particularly interested in applications from those with qualifications in subjects such as Education, Information Management, Information Science, Information Systems, Knowledge Management, Management, Organisational Studies, Psychology, Science, Technology and Innovation Studies, Social Research, or Sociology. However, this is not a requirement: if you have a qualification in another social science subject and meet the criteria listed above, we would still be keen to hear from you.

For further information about this studentship, and to make an application, please contact Dr Laura Muir by email at L.Muir@napier.ac.uk.

Your application should include:

  • Your Curriculum Vitae
  • A personal statement that includes your reasons for applying, and details that address items (3) and (4) above.
  • Copies of your academic transcripts
  • Two academic references
  • A completed SGSSS Equal Opportunities (EO) form

Your application should be received by Friday 23rd March 2018.

For further information about this studentship, please contact Dr Laura Muir by email at L.Muir@napier.ac.uk.

Current doctoral studies within the Centre for Social Informatics:

CSI at i3 dinner 2017

Laura Muir (second from right) and Hazel Hall (third from right) with research students from the Centre for Social Informatics at the i3 conference dinner 2017

Applications invited for ESRC Scottish Graduate School of Social Science Doctoral Training Partnership studentship competition 2018

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 the 2018 studentship competition. Successful applicants will start their doctoral studies in October 2018. Continue reading

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. Continue reading

School of Computing Research Student Conference 2016

Update post-conference: Four of the CSI students won awards at the conference. Frances Ryan won first prize for the best third year full presentation. John Mowbray won second prize for his second year 20×20 presentation and Iris Buunk third prize for hers. Lyndsey Jenkins won second prize in the first year poster competition.

Two students have blogged about the conference: Lyndsey at http://lyndseyjenkins.org, and Frances at http://justaphd.com.


School of Computing Research Student Conference 2016 logoToday the research students in the School of Computing at Edinburgh Napier University are hosting their annual conference (hashtag #socphdconf). The event has been organised by a committee of six students, three of whom are from the Centre for Social Informatics: Frances Ryan, Iris Buunk and Lyndsey Jenkins. The other student organisers are Baraq Ghaleb, John McGowan and Andreas Steyven. My colleague Dr Kevin Chalmers, who was previously involved in this series of conferences when a research student in the School himself, has also been helping out with the preparations for the event. Continue reading

Applications invited for ESRC Scottish Graduate School of Social Science Doctoral Training Centre studentship competition 2016

Esrc_logoThe Information Science Pathway of the ESRC Scottish Graduate School of Social Science Doctoral Training Centre (SGSSS-DTC) is currently inviting applications for this year’s studentship competition.

Academic staff at each of the pathway member institutions – including those within the Centre for Social Informatics 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-DTC by Wednesday 17th February (explained below). However, initial contact regarding this opportunity must be made by Monday 11th January 2016. Continue reading

Prizes, papers, and a new publication on success factors in information systems development projects

John Mowbray's winning poster

John Mowbray’s winning poster

We currently have eight research students undertaking doctoral studies in the Centre for Social Informatics (CSI) working on a variety of projects. While the goal of our students is to complete their theses within the degree registration period, it’s also important that they share news of their work as it progresses. A number of our current students have recently been busy taking advantage of opportunities to disseminate their research. New work on success factors in information systems projects co-authored by a PhD graduate has also been accepted for publication.

Continue reading

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 jobs.ac.uk. 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.

Continue reading