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Alcan PhD Studentship in the Future of Work

  Business School

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 Funded PhD Programme (Students Worldwide)

About the Programme

Provider: The studentship is funded by the Alcan endowment to Newcastle University.

Alcan PhD Studentship in the Future of Work

Newcastle University Business School invites applications for a three-year PhD studentship in the area of the Future of Work.  The studentship commences in September 2021.

This studentship offers an opportunity to be part of a new major research programme in the Future of Work led by Professor Stephen Procter, the Alcan Chair of Management. The successful applicant will work under the supervision of a team led by Professor Procter. They will also work alongside a Post‑Doctoral Research Associate, due to be appointed in summer 2021.

The Future of Work Agenda

The Future of Work agenda is a broad one, and applications are welcome from candidates with interests from across a range of areas. These areas include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • changes in the nature of work and employment
  • changing patterns of work
  • new technologies and their relationship with changes in work
  • skills, deskilling and reskilling
  • the voice of employees and unions in technological and organizational change
  • equality and diversity in workplace change
  • surveillance, control and management
  • workplace change and organizational performance
  • workplace change and employee well-being
  • the management of technological and organizational change

Specific areas of interest might include:

  • work in the gig economy
  • algorithmic management
  • development and impact of AI
  • manufacturing and Industry 4.0
  • union strategies for workplace change
  • impact of change on particular occupational or social groups
  • team-based systems of work and organization
  • changing nature of office work
  • implementation of Lean and HPWS
  • job quality: good work or decent work
  • public sector and health services restructuring
  • developments in front-line service work
  • role of middle and HR managers in workplace change

While applicants will be expected to submit an outline research proposal (see ‘How to Apply’, below), it is recognised that the subject and scope of their research is likely to change and develop over the course of their studies.  Rather than be able to present a detailed, fully formed research proposal, therefore, it is more important that applicants can demonstrate academic ability, an interest in the research process, and an engagement with some part of the Future of Work agenda (see ‘Person Specification’, below).


International students are eligible for the award of the studentship, but they would still have to pay fees at the international rate. The international fees are £18,000 for 2021/22, leaving a stipend of £2,109 out of the total award value of £20,109.

The holder of the studentship would also have the opportunity to undertake teaching and other research opportunities within Newcastle University Business School. Such work would be undertaken as part of a development plan agreed with the student’s supervisory team. The work would be paid at a standard hourly rate, based on qualifications and experience.

Person Specification

Qualifications: Essential

·      A good honours degree (first class or upper second)


·      A masters-level degree in a subject area related to the Future of Work

Knowledge, skills and experience

·      An interest in, and engagement with, some part of the Future of Work agenda

·      A basic understanding of the nature of research in the social sciences

·      An interest in the possibility of a career in research

·      An English language ability that meets the university’s requirements for PhD study

How to Apply

You must complete the University’s postgraduate application form:

  • click on programme of study and insert 8240F in the programme code section and click search
  • select 'PhD Newcastle University Business School (full time)’ as the programme of study
  • insert the reference number ALCAN21 in the ‘Studentship/Partnership reference’ field on the Programme of Study page of the application

Applicants should submit a full CV, an outline research proposal of 1,000-2,000 words, and a personal statement of around 500 words setting out their reasons for applying.

Applicants should also submit their degree transcripts and certificates, in addition to two letters of references to support their academic credentials.

Further Information and Contacts

Informal enquiries are welcome, and can be directed to Professor Procter at:

Professor Procter’s profile can be found at:

More on Newcastle University Business School’s research can be found at:

Closing date: 7 July 2021

Funding Notes

The three-year studentship will cover PhD fees at the home rate and a stipend based on that provided by UKRI studentships. In 2021/22 the studentship will amount to £20,109, being made up of fees of £4,500 and a stipend of £15,609. The stipend will rise in line with inflation in the second and third years of the studentship. There is also a small fund for research expenses upon which the holder of the studentship is able to draw.
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