Research Project: Academic-Industry Engagement, Science Commercialisation, and the Development of University-Centred Entrepreneurial Ecosystems (UCEEs)
Durham University Business School invites applications from prospective PhD candidates with outstanding academic achievement and research potential. The successful candidate will be part of a research team, led by Dr David Johnson (Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship), investigating academic-industry engagement, science commercialisation, and university-centred entrepreneurial ecosystems (UCEEs). Findings of this research will contribute to the ‘Smart and Scale’ initiative at Durham University Business School, which is an interdisciplinary impact-driven research programme in smart and scale-up activities, designed to support small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) innovation, resilience, and economic development in the North-East of England.
Research Project Description
Academic-industry engagement and science commercialisation activities are multifaceted phenomena, characterised by dynamic interactions between multiple actors across different institutional contexts, each with their own agendas. Importantly, academic-industry engagement and science commercialisation activities facilitate the emergence and development of university-centred entrepreneurial ecosystems (UCEEs).
Universities have become increasingly focused on commercialising their knowledge, engaging with industrial partners such as SMEs, and diversifying income streams. At the same time, resource constrained SMEs have realised the opportunities afforded to them in mobilising resources and scaling their ventures by engaging with universities. It is these entrepreneurial/commercial activities at the university-industry boundary that support the emergence and development of UCEEs, and lead to potential pathways to impact, including regional innovation and economic development. However, whilst academics are encouraged to behave entrepreneurially, this poses several challenges. Likewise, despite industry partners having much to gain from engaging with university academics, they too face challenges in doing so. Unfortunately, despite a broad and emerging literature in the academic entrepreneurship field, our understanding of the processes, particularly at the micro-level, underlying academic-industry engagement, science commercialisation, and UCEEs remains limited.
Accordingly, the successful candidate will work in a research team under the supervision of Dr David Johnson (Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship, Durham University) and Dr Jeffrey Hughes (Associate Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship, Durham University). Specifically, the successful candidate will investigate the underlying micro processes driving entrepreneurial/commercial activity at the university-industry boundary. Adopting both qualitative and quantitative approaches, the successful candidate will be expected to work with existing datasets, as well as engage in empirical research. This will involve working with a diverse range of stakeholders at the university-industry boundary. As such, evidence of working with both qualitative and quantitative data, and demonstrable experience of working with a wide range of stakeholders, are important requirements.
This research project forms part of the ‘Smart and Scale’ initiative at Durham University Business School, which is an interdisciplinary impact-driven research programme in smart and scale-up activities, designed to support SME innovation, resilience, and economic development in the North-East of England. Specifically, findings of this research project will contribute to our understanding of the underlying (micro-level) processes of academic-industry engagement, science commercialisation, and the development of UCEEs.
PhD Programme in Management (with Integrated Studies), Department of Management and Marketing, Durham University Business School
Durham University Business School is one of an elite group worldwide to carry three internationally recognised accreditations by EQUIS, AACSB, and AMBA for the quality of our research, teaching, and environment. We are also a member of the European Doctoral Programmes Association in Management and Business Administration. The entrepreneurship research group leads these PhD projects within the Management & Marketing Department. Our Ph.D. in Management and Marketing (With Integrated Studies) offers access to our vibrant academic community, cutting-edge knowledge, skills development at the doctoral level, and learning and support from internationally renowned researchers to progress successfully in their PhD studies.
Applications for this funding are open to UK students only. The successful applicant will have the cost of home tuition fees covered for the full duration of their studies. The scholarship also includes a tax-free stipend, set at £17,668 per year (as per UKRI). This stipend is paid to the student directly and monthly to cover living costs.
For an informal discussion about this opportunity, please contact Dr David Johnson (Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship), firstname.lastname@example.org
How to Apply
The deadline for submitting applications to the PhD programme is 23rd June 2023 for a start in September/October 2023. In the first instance, it is expected that the candidate will contact Dr David Johnson, Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship (email@example.com), no later than 7th June 2023 with CV, awards, transcripts, and a statement (2-pages maximum) of your suitability for this scholarship, including a brief explanation of your research interests and how these interests align with the research project.
Following this, the project team will consider your application and suitability. You will then be invited to formally apply in advance of 23rd June 2023. For the application, you will need to provide a research proposal that builds upon the project description above.