Fully funded PhD studentships available Fully funded PhD studentships available

Graduate Teaching Assistant – PhD Studentship Scheme

Norwich Business School

Faculty of Social Sciences

Deadline for all applications is 23 March 2020

Start Date: 01 October 2020

Norwich Business School (NBS) is investing in three-year PhD Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA) studentships. These studentships are open to Home and EU students only.

The School is looking for three GTAs for the following research areas. Applicants are invited to apply for ONE of the areas listed below and prepare their potential research proposals accordingly. (Please refer to NBS's Studentship page for details).


1. Using Big Data and machine learning to improve policy evaluation

    Peter Ormosi    P.Ormosi@uea.ac.uk

2. Counter-urbanisation and Entrepreneurial emergence in rural areas

    Zografia Bika    Z.Bika@uea.ac.uk

3. Regional Cluster Formation and Development

    Naresh Pandit    N.Pandit@uea.ac.uk

4. Good quality work and where to find it

    Sara Connolly    Sara.Conolly@uea.ac.uk

5. Developing creative, meaningful and ethical workplaces for wellbeing

    Ana Sanz Vergel    A.Sanz-Vergel@uea.a.uk

6. Connecting management comments to sustainability in annual reports

    Ana Marques    Ana.Marques@uea.ac.uk

7. Research in Financial Technology and Analytics

    Apostolos Kourtis    Apostolos.Kourtis@uea.ac.uk

8  Building the Circular Economy

    James Cornford    J.Cornford@uea.ac.uk

9. Sustainable entrepreneurial ventures: how strategic decisions are made in a green/clean tech venture

    Tiago Bothelho    T.Dos-Santos-Botelho@uea.ac.uk

10. Uses of Big Data for performance measurement in service organisations

    Pinar Guven Uslu    P.Guven@uea.ac.uk

11. Understanding the circular economy: from sharing digital platforms to consumer perspectives

    Nick Yip    N.Yip@uea.ac.uk

12. Corporate Sustainability Reporting and the UN Sustainable Development Goals

    Konstantinos Chalvatzis    K.Chalvatzis@uea.ac.uk

13. Meeting Environmental sustainability goals through organisational transformation

    Olga Tregaskis    O.Tregaskis@uea.ac.uk


Please scroll down to Further information on the projects for more details

Studying for a PhD under an NBS GTA studentship will be a life changing experience, equipping you with the expertise, knowledge, skills and experience to fast-track a successful academic career. GTAs are registered as PhD students, rather than as staff members, but participate as valuable members of the NBS academic team delivering its taught degree programmes and other activities while pursuing their own research studies under supervision.

Your doctoral research is your primary objective, but you will be given the opportunity to develop a set of other skills and experiences that are also necessary. This will include participating in the delivery of NBS undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, including seminars, tutorials and marking.

The key components of the NBS GTA Scheme are as follows:

Full tuition fees (home/EU level of fees)

A tax-free maintenance grant (currently £14,533 per year)

Conference and training fund £1000 per year

Developing Teaching Skills: 20 credit Masters’ module, which is a part of the Higher Education Practice (MA HEP)

Develop teacher training relationships with teaching mentors in addition to your PhD supervisors

Be a member of NBS's vibrant and exceptional academic community

Be provided with a workspace, computing facilities, access to extensive resources (including staff common rooms in the TPSC), inclusion in regular research seminars and a web profile/homepage as an NBS GTA


Upper second (2:1) undergraduate degree and a good merit Master’s degree (65%). Applicants with a background outside social sciences are also welcome but may be required to undertake additional training during their PhD studies.

English Language: If English is not your native language, you must fulfil the Language Requirements for research degrees (IELTS 7.0 at least 6.5 in each component)


Please refer to https://www.uea.ac.uk/norwich-business-school/research-degrees/how-to-apply  for the details about the application process 


For an informal discussion, please contact:

PGR Director; Dr Pinar Guven Uslu, p.guven@uea.ac.uk




1. PhD Studentship - Using big data and machine learning to improve policy evaluation

Norwich Business School (NBS), and the Centre for Competition Policy (CCP) at the University of East Anglia are jointly hosting this collaborative PhD studentship. “The supervisory team will consists of international experts from the CCP and NBS.

You will work on new methodological approaches to policy evaluation, especially with the goal of developing tools to estimate how different demographic groups are affected by competition policy. Your task will include understanding the literature on big data methods and machine learning for data analysis, data collection and engineering, preparing the data for the analysis, and conducting the analysis under guidance from the supervisors. You will publish research results and present them at conferences, workshops, etc.

You will have an undergraduate degree and Master’s degree in business & management, or economics, or computer science (data science). If your undergraduate degree is in computer science, we require a Master’s degree in one of the above social science disciplines. Having a multidisciplinary background in a combination of the above disciplines is an advantage. For further information please contact Peter Ormosi = P.Ormosi@uea.ac.uk

2. Counter-urbanisation and entrepreneurial emergence in rural areas

This project draws together parallel lines of research in entrepreneurship and counterurbanisation to understand contemporary processes influencing rural and regional development. New knowledge will establish the importance of social and spatial contexts and their ‘affordances’ (the advantages that the environment offers to the perceptive individual (Gibson 1966)) for processes of entrepreneurial emergence. We are looking for a Graduate Teaching Assistant with relative skills in carrying out immersive fieldwork and analysing in-depth narrative interviews with in-migrant entrepreneurs that will reveal their migration and business start-up trajectories in the Norfolk/East Anglia context, identifying whether they arrived as latent entrepreneurs or not and how the transition from paid work/commuting to rurally-based entrepreneur evolved. The successful candidate would work with experienced supervisors and researchers from the Strategy and Entrepreneurship (S&E) group, https://www.uea.ac.uk/norwich-business-school/research/research-areas/strategy-and-entrepreneurship and Innovation, Technology and Operations Management (ITOM) group (https://www.uea.ac.uk/norwich-business-school/research/research-areas/innovation-technology-and-operations-management ) in Norwich Business School. For further information please contact Dr Zografia Bika, Z.Bika@uea.ac.uk

3. Regional Cluster Formation and Development

Regional clusters are a major driving force of innovation and productivity. Whilst there are many excellent studies of developed clusters, the literature on early cluster formation and development is limited and controversial. Arguments abound on top-down versus bottom-up development, generic versus bespoke support policies, and demand versus supply focussed policies. The proposed study aims to contribute to this literature by analysing emerging clusters in the UK and China. It will build on over two decades of funded research on clusters by Naresh Pandit and researchers from Strategy and Entrepreneurship; Finance Group; Innovation, Technology and Operations Management Group. For further information please contact Naresh Pandit N.Pandit@uea.ac.uk

4. Good quality work and where to find it

This project will explore the notion of good work.  Key questions will include what good work might means for individuals, for the communities in which they live and how/if policy makers can encourage the development of good work.  Specifically it seeks to go beyond the common understanding of work - in the formal economy - which has already been analysed in terms of job quality.  For example, the Taylor review (2017) sets out an ambition for all work in the UK to be ‘fair and decent with realistic scope for development and fulfilment’ and the Farmer/Stevenson review (2017) has advocated a vison of how wellbeing can be supported by employers. But both reports overlook the contribution that work outside of the formal sector can make to individual and community wellbeing. However, many people find work that is purposeful and enjoyable to them outside their paid employment and forms of labour undertaken in the informal economy, through voluntary roles or in the household can be the most meaningful work in peoples’ lives and make important contributions to the common good.  Moreover policy makers at local and national level can take action to support such forms of work. This project will evaluate how good quality work outside the formal economy is understood and factors underpinning it.     

We are looking for a Graduate Teaching Assistant with relevant technical skills and experience, with an interest in work, equality and wellbeing for this project. The successful candidate would work with experienced supervisors and researchers from the Employment Systems and Institutions group (http://www.uea.ac.uk/esi)  in Norwich Business School.  For further information please contact Pinar Guven Uslu, p.guven@uea.ac.uk

5. Developing Creative, Meaningful, and Ethical Workplaces for Wellbeing

The opportunity to re-design one’s own job is important for increasing well-being. We know little about how occupational health (OH) professionals shape their jobs (beyond deploying technical knowledge), or which strategies support them in finding meaning at work. Having the ability to craft tasks and relationships helps individuals change how they approach problems and relate to others at work, in turn benefiting wellbeing. The research objectives are: (a) to analyse how OH professionals craft their roles and practices, (b) how they develop creative solutions to complex organisational issues and (c) how they craft their relationships with key agents (e.g. how they deploy moral/ethical arguments when interacting with HR). This research will help us understand how (OH) professionals can make the most of their jobs to increase their own and their patients’ well-being.

We are looking for a Graduate Teaching Assistant with an UG or PG degree in a psychology or sociology related discipline (required).  Skills in quantitative data analysis are required, but the student should be willing to master both qualitative and quantitative research methods and data analysis. Also, understanding of the wellbeing literature is desirable. Finally, the student should be able to demonstrate ability to develop and implement ideas independently, based on guidance from supervisors. The successful candidate would work with experienced supervisors (Dr Annilee Game, Dr Ieva Martinaityte and Prof Sanz-Vergel) and with researchers from the ESI group https://www.uea.ac.uk/esi/home in Norwich Business School. For further information please contact Pinar Guven Uslu, p.guven@uea.ac.uk

6, Connecting Management comments to sustainability in annual reports

This project brings financial and non-financial information together, and investigates how the two are interrelated in reporting and performance measurement.

The Capital Markets Advisory Committee of the International Accounting Standards Board is currently discussing the challenges firms face when reporting performance in the management commentary. An important issue is how firms can link this to other reports provided to stakeholders (connectivity of reports). It has been suggested firms should do this via cross-referencing, as this approach would avoid information duplication, and facilitate interpretation. Given that firms now issue reports on corporate social responsibility, detailing their initiatives for sustainability, it is important to assess what is the best way to integrate this information into the management commentary.

Alternatively, firms may decide to have only one annual report, where they integrate both the financial and the non-financial disclosures.

This topic in in line with UEA’s interest in sustainability, as well as with the university’s interest in how data and technology can come together to allow a better use of the information available. 

We are looking for a Graduate Teaching Assistant with basic knowledge of econometrics, and a pro-active attitude. Experience with Stata will be a plus. The successful candidate would work with experienced supervisors and researchers from Accounting (https://www.uea.ac.uk/norwich-business-school/research/research-areas/accounting-group) in Norwich Business School. For further information please contact Ana Marques Ana.Marqus@uea.ac.uk

7. Research in Financial Technology and Analytics

 We are interested in employing a high quality GTA to carry out cutting-edge research with high application impact that lies in the intersection of Finance, Technology and Analytics. Potential research areas include AI, Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies, Big Data, Crowdfunding, Digital Banking, InsureTech, Risk Mining, Robo advising and Text Analysis. The student’s research is expected to have high commercial relevance so engagement with firms and regulators will be encouraged in the context of the Norwich Finance Industry Group (FIG), TechEast and the CCP. The successful GTA is expected to support the development of ongoing relevant activities through the FinTech Lab and Moneyhack along with building links to Productivity East. For Further information please contact Apostolos Kourtis (a.kourtis@uea.ac.uk)

8. Building the Circular Economy

 The construction of a circular economy depends on the entrepreneurial construction of new markets to link producers and consumers of “waste,” new and revived technologies to process “waste” into new materials, new logistics and supply chain strategies to physically align supply and demand, new data and communications infrastructures and applications to co-ordinate these activities, the normalisation new behaviours and approaches at a range of levels, and the shaping of a supportive and enabling regulatory environment. Understanding if and how this can be achieved is a major challenge to our ability to synthesise these various knowledge domains.

We are seeking a Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA) to undertake a programme of doctoral research focused on the Circular Economy and specifically concerned with the implications of digitalisation of supply chains and the role of data, information and knowledge sharing in enabling sustainable upcycling business. The successful candidate would join the Innovation, Technology and Operations Management (ITOM) group in Norwich Business School. With supervision from ITOM and Entrepreneurship and Strategy groups, the successful candidate would undertake a programme of research, leading to the submission of a PhD thesis, as well as developing skills and experience in higher education teaching. There are opportunities to engage directly with policy, at an international level, through the Interreg 2 seas programme “Upcycle your waste,” in which UEA has a role, and in other linked research projects. For further information please contact James Cornford J.Cornford@uea.ac.uk

9. Sustainable entrepreneurial ventures: how strategic decisions are made in a        green/clean tech venture.

The rapid growth of environmental concerns in recent decades has brought together governmental, business, and civil society stakeholders aiming to control and mitigate environmental degradation. As a result, ambitious policy agendas are being set by governments aiming to control harmful environmental emissions. Against this background, organisations are under pressure to reduce their environmental impact at an unprecedented rate. Large organisations are locked-in in pathway dependent trajectories that do not allow them to innovate fast enough to lead change. In this context, niche innovations hold more promise in providing alternatives to the current high pollution growth paradigm. Which is the ideal context for entrepreneurial ventures to flourish, however, much of this green/clean movement seems to oppose a global market approach by primarily focusing on locality and community. Hence, this research project will focus on the strategic decision faced by entrepreneurs when setting a green/clean tech venture. The project will follow the supervisors previous research on business angels investing in green/clean tech investments. For further information please contact TIago Botelho T.Dos-Santos-Botelho@uea.ac.uk

10. Uses of Big Data for performance measurement in service sector organisations

According to recent studies, organisations that leverage Big Data to improve performance, achieve 5-6% gains in productivity. Accumulating and evaluating Big Data are becoming key elements in establishing and maintaining competitive advantage. Despite this, the real influence of Big Data on performance measurement is still not clear. This project investigates the potential of Big Data to meet key performance measures in service organisations. In this project we are looking for a GTA to work on various sets of Big Data to be used in modelling to study correlations between financial and other performance related data to establish relationships between them. This way we aim to propose new ways of using Big Data for reasoning and decision making in order to meet key performance targets in service organisations.

We are looking for a Graduate Teaching Assistant with relevant technical skills and experience in coding, data extraction and manipulation to design relevant algorithms for this project. The successful candidate would work with experienced supervisors and researchers from Accounting, https://www.uea.ac.uk/norwich-business-school/research/research-areas/accounting-group  Finance (https://www.uea.ac.uk/norwich-business-school/research/research-areas/finance-group)   and Innovation, Technology and Operations Management (ITOM) group (https://www.uea.ac.uk/norwich-business-school/research/research-areas/innovation-technology-and-operations-management ) in Norwich Business School. For further information please contact Pinar Guven Uslu, p.guven@uea.ac.uk

11. Understanding the circular economy: from sharing digital platforms to consumer perspectives

The 21st century consumer has become more sophisticated in their needs. While the production of goods and services are becoming more efficient in terms of costs, it has also transcended different aspects of marketing. Firms such as Amazon, Netflix and Spotify are among the pioneering of these different types of technologies to meet the consumers’ appetite. Arising from this, the market place has since seen a growing battle for the consumer’s attention while addressing the different segments of the market. 

More importantly, Marketing has an important role to play in managing the supply and demand for these various goods and services. In that respect, sustainability in terms of resources is fast becoming a critical issue. Marketing research has often raised this issue through concepts such as Green Marketing, Sustainable Marketing and more recently the notion of the Circular Economy. 

Our project aims to bring a multidisciplinary focus on marketing issues that is important to all aspects of marketing. For further information please contact Nick Yip N.Yip@uea.ac.uk

12. Corporate Sustainability Reporting and the UN Sustainable Development Goals

It is already more than 4 years since the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have been adopted by the United Nations and a new, surprising role is emerging for them. In a departure from the previously celebrated Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) the UN adopted the 17 SDGs before the end of 2015 to continue and deepen the development agenda. No matter the industrial focus on materials, manufacturing or services there are goals and specific indices for companies to report, showcase their performance and even compete on. Not all goals and indices are of relevance to all companies, but all companies can find indices that matter to them and their stakeholders. Adjacent to that is the SDGs’ flexibility in relation to a global sustainability agenda, no longer splitting the world in developing and developed countries. Even for multi-national corporations, with complex, international operations and supply chains SDGs provide a reporting platform that delivers variety and balance. With business and management research on SDGs new questions emerge.

How can a new corporate taxonomy be defined and explain company classifications for SDG reporting? What are the antecedents of SDGs readiness and what are the results in terms of corporate and Environment Social and Governance (ESG) performance? Are SDGs gradually replacing other, previously established sustainability reporting schemes? For further information please contact Konstantinos Chalvatzis K.Chalvatzis@uea.ac.uk

13. Meeting environmental sustainability goals through organisational transformation

The research aims to identify how organisations mobilize change through shifting organisational mindsets. Organisational mindsets capture the cultural climate of the organisation reflecting employees’ thinking and feelings towards changes in how they work, alongside structural or behavioural changes in people management structures and processes. This work is part of the Centre for Climate Change and Social Transformations (CAST), a collaboration between UEA, Cardiff, Manchester and York Universities, and charity Climate Outreach. It will work closely with industry, local and national governments, and charities to tackle climate change. The research is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and will establish a programme of social science research that places the role of people at the heart of the transformations needed to bring about a more sustainable, very low-carbon society.

We are seeking research degree students to undertake case studies that will seek to understand the process of implementing complex and multifaceted environmental initiatives that shift how people think about and understand environmental goals in the context of how they work.

Applicants may use qualitative methods to understand organisational processes supporting transformations in the workplace. Alternative applicants may seek to use quantitative methods to measure mindsets and shifts in mindsets within working populations. Applicants may also be interested in using a combination or mixed methods approach. For further information please contact Olga Tregaskis O.Tregaskis@uea.ac.uk










SeNSS DTP studentships



MRes Social Science Research Methods



UEA Alumni Scholarship