Research Scholarships

The Business School and the University provide some scholarships and bursaries for postgraduate research students with the Business School.

Previously available scholarships

Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) funding

The University of Birmingham ESRC Doctoral Training Centre (DTC) is one of 21 across the UK that has been accredited by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).

The University is able to offer 22 ESRC scholarships to fund postgraduate training and doctoral research, with both +3 (PhD) and 1+3 (Masters and PhD) funding available. A full ESRC scholarship comprises research fees, relevant bench fees, and an annual Research Council stipend (£13,726 in 2013/14).

Applications for ESRC funding beginning in October 2014 has now closed.


Birmingham Business School invites applications for the doctoral programme from critical social scientists from a range of disciplines who are interested in markets,organisations, work and national business systems. We welcome applications from students with Masters degrees in Economics, Geography, Politics and Sociology,as well as Management disciplines, who will analyse business topics from this perspective.

Outstanding students with a strong research proposal will be considered for doctoral studentships funded by the ESRC’s doctoral training centre at the University of Birmingham and studentships funded by the School.

Colleagues are interested in supervising proposals on the following topics:

  • Decision-making structures in banks
  • New business models and the financialisation of manufacturing.
  • New migrant businesses.
  • Corporate restructuring: causes, consequences and impact on people.
  • New forms of jobs in post-austerity labour markets.
  • The implementation and reporting of ‘corporate social responsibility’.
  • The re-shoring of production to developed market economies.
  • Social and institutional perspectives on taxation.
  • Public sector accounting.
  • The dynamics of foreign direct investment
  • Leadership
  • Innovation
  • Creative economy
  • Knowledge-based economy
  • SME start-up and SME growth
  • Diversity and business development/growth

The Economics Department would in addition welcome applications from high calibre students hoping to research topics in Macroeconomics and Finance,Econometrics, Environmental and Natural Resource Economics, International Trade, Behavioural Economics and Economic Theory and Policy.

To search for topics individual supervisors are interested please see the staff webpages and the FindaPhD database.

How to apply for ESRC funding

Awards are available to home and EU students only, with the exception of Economics, for which international candidates may be considered. Full details on eligibility for these awards can be found in the candidate guidelines below.

ESRC scholarships are offered through an open competition. Candidates interested in being considered for an ESRC award should complete the application form below, returning this by the deadline. 

This year a number of the scholarships will be awarded on a College basis, and so candidates are also advised to contact College, School or Pathway leads in the area where they are wanting to study, to find out more about any priorities here, and to explore potential supervision arrangements.

Candidates need to meet the quality benchmark criteria in order to be considered for an award, however meeting the benchmark is not a guarantee of success due to the competitive nature of the competition.

Candidates should also apply for and hold a place to study at the University of Birmingham by the application deadline, and candidates are encouraged to contact the academic pathway lead for their subject area in advance of making an application.

The deadline for applications (16:00, 15 January 2014) has passed and applications are now closed.

All candidates will hear the outcome of the competition by 31 March 2014.

Additional documents

College guidance is available on the  University Graduate School website.

Scholarships available in previous academic years

2014/2015 Birmingham Business School Doctoral Scholarships


Birmingham Business School is renowned for its research. With over 130 lecturing and research staff, many internationally recognised authorities in their fields, our research contributes to academic and topical debate worldwide. And as part of our ongoing expansion we are pleased to announce a number of PhD scholarships for the 2014/2015 academic year.

Who is eligible?

The scholarships are available only to candidates of the highest academic ability who wish to study for a PhD in the areas of Accounting and Finance, Economics, Management and Marketing. A variety of scholarships are available including fees-only scholarships and scholarships combining fees plus generous maintenance grant.

Applications are invited from both home / EU and overseas candidates.

A successful applicant will typically have a very good undergraduate degree. They should have, or be in the process of completing, a Masters degree (typically at the level of in a Business-related subject or Economics. Their references will attest to a history of academic achievement and future research potential.

Applications will be assessed on academic qualifications and preparedness for doctoral level study, references, quality of the research proposal and the match of the proposal to areas of research strength within the School.

How to apply

Potential candidates for the Birmingham Business School Doctoral Scholarships must have an offer of a place to study for a PhD. If you do not already have an offer, you must apply by May 19th. At the same time, you should submit a separate Birmingham Business School Scholarship application form, which can be downloaded below, along with your research proposal to;

The deadline for scholarship applications is also May 19th.

If you already have a place to start the doctoral programme in September 2014 and are interested in being considered for these awards, please contact your supervisor to discuss the opportunity and submit a completed Scholarship application and your research proposal as explained above.

Download a scholarship application form.

To apply to the doctoral programme please visit the following links.

Six new Doctoral Research scholarships for the 2013/14 academic year

Doctoral Researcher

Funding database search

To find out if you are eligible for any University of Birmingham scholarships or bursaries, please visit the Postgraduate funding database search.