Research Degrees

Join a dynamic research community

The Glasgow School for Business and Society is the hub for international research into business, law, social sciences, justice, welfare and policy sectors. Based in Glasgow, London and various international campuses, our research centres are diverse and you will find that the produce some of the most exciting, world changing discoveries in your specialism.

Enjoy supervision and support from the award-winning Graduate School and choose from Masters (MPhil), PhDs, Professional Doctorates or Master of Research Methods programme. We welcome applications for PhD study based on the self-funded projects advertised here, or based on your your research proposal or studentship application.

Funded PhD positions are available in research that meets the needs of business and society. The school has an international outlook and is committed to developing partnerships across the world.

The Yunus Centre for Social Business and Health currently have a PhD studentship available with a closing date of Friday 14 December 2018.  Further details are listed below. 


Title: A critical analysis of community-led rural service provision

Project Reference Number: Yunus 2019-1

Applications are invited for a full-time PhD research studentship at Glasgow Caledonian University within the Yunus Centre for Social Business and Health.  The studentship of £19,300 per year is for a period of three years, subject to satisfactory progress. The studentship covers the payment of tuition fees (currently £4,500 for UK/EU students or £13,000 for international students) plus an annual stipend of £14,800 for UK/EU students or an annual scholarship of £6,300 for international students.

Project Summary

In Scotland a prominent policy discourse centres upon the ‘Scottish approach’ to co-produced policymaking and service delivery. This discourse highlights the involvement of local communities in the design and delivery of local services (Cairney et al. 2016). Advocates of this approach focus on the benefits of coproduction, for example, responsiveness of services to local needs, cohesive communities, democratic engagement (Bovaird and Loeffler 2012). Rural communities in particular are said to be well suited to community engagement in service delivery due to high levels of resilience, social capital and community cohesion. But this ignores some of the challenges faced particularly by more deprived rural communities including a lack of skills, and resources (Steiner and Teasdale 2018). Moreover, implementation of this Scottish approach has coincided with ‘austerity’ and associated cuts to public service provision. In essence, rural communities are expected to do ‘more with less’. What then does this mean for third sector organisations delivering services, people working and / or volunteering at these organisations, and people receiving services?

We welcome proposals that set out clearly how they will unpack the complex relationships between austerity, co-production and third sector service-delivery in rural areas and develop findings and theory that can impact on policy development in Scotland and further afield. The exploratory nature of the research lends itself to qualitative, and particularly ethnographic, approaches. However, we are open to proposals that demonstrate imaginative use of other methods and approaches. We particularly encourage candidates to develop their own research questions and methodological approaches within the deliberately broad agenda set out above, and to send these as a four-page research proposal as part of the application process.


Bovaird, T. and Loeffler, E. 2012. From engagement to co-production: The contribution of users and communities to outcomes and public value. Voluntas23(4), 1119-1138.

Cairney, P., Russell, S., & St Denny, E. 2016. The 'Scottish approach' to policy and policymaking: what issues are territorial and what are universal? Policy & Politics, 44(3), 333-350.

Steiner, A., & Teasdale, S. 2017. Unlocking the potential of rural social enterprise. Journal of Rural Studies,

Research Supervisors

Candidates are encouraged to contact the following researchers for further details:

Mode(s) of Study

The studentship is available as a:

  • PhD:  3 years full-time


Applicants will normally hold a UK honours degree 2:1 (or equivalent); or a Masters degree in a subject relevant to the research project. Equivalent professional qualifications and any appropriate research experience may be considered. A minimum English language level of IELTS score of 6.5 (or equivalent) with no element below 6.0 is required. Some research disciplines may require higher levels.   

How to Apply

Candidates are encouraged to contact the research supervisor(s) for the project before applying. 

Applicants should apply online via this link selecting the Full Time Research Social Sciences option, stating the Project Title and Reference Number listed above in the application process and attaching copies of academic qualifications (including IELTS if required), 2 references and any other relevant documentation. All applicants should submit a research proposal (four pages maximum).

Applicants shortlisted for a PhD studentship will be contacted for an interview.

The closing date for applications is Friday 14th December 2018.

Self-funded PhD research projects

Find out about our:

For further information on the areas of expertise within the Glasgow School for Business and Society, please contact us: