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Are Place-based governance arrangements ‘fit for purpose’ in delivering the UK Industrial Strategy? (RDF20/BL/LHRM/LIDDLE)

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Friday, January 24, 2020
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

A new meta-level of regional governance was introduced in 2014 with Northern Powerhouse, (& counterpart meta-structures in other places). It sits within a network of Mayoral and Non-Mayoral Combined Authorities, LEPs & quango agencies for Transport.

This Ph.D. will focus on:

(1) The role and development of the NP and meta-level governance within devolution ,Brexit and a growing North-South divide
(2) Examine the changing roles of the public, private and the voluntary ‘third’ sectors in this evolving framework
(3) Investigate how ‘Places’ might benefit from the new governance framework (or not?)
(4) Determine the extent to which ‘Leadership of Place’ could aid the development of Local Industrial Strategies & increase economic growth beyond London.

Central government believes that the new framework will empower core cities and key cities, and enable city leaders to replace European funds and focus on key priorities in different ‘Places’

The PhD student will aim to work in partnership with North East and other English Combined Authorities and non-Mayoral authorities (& the Convention of the North) and will involve case studies and interviews at local and central government levels

The aim of this PhD research is to understand the how Local Industrial Strategies are being developed, and we envisage that this will be an in-depth comparative qualitative study, but, depending on the applicants’ interests and skills, could be supplemented with quantitative research The PhD will be supervised by Professor Joyce Liddle (principal) and Professor John Shutt (second).

Eligibility and How to Apply

Please note eligibility requirement:

- Academic excellence of the proposed student i.e. 2:1 (or equivalent GPA from non-UK universities [preference for 1st class honours]); or a Masters (preference for Merit or above); or APEL evidence of substantial practitioner achievement.
- Appropriate IELTS score, if required.
- Applicants cannot apply for this funding if currently engaged in Doctoral study at Northumbria or elsewhere.

For further details of how to apply, entry requirements and the application form, see

Please note: Applications that do not include a research proposal of approximately 1,000 words (not a copy of the advert), or that do not include the advert reference (e.g. RDF20/…) will not be considered.

Deadline for applications: Friday 24 January 2020.

Start Date: 1 October 2020.

Northumbria University takes pride in, and values, the quality and diversity of our staff. We welcome applications from all members of the community. The University holds an Athena SWAN Bronze award in recognition of our commitment to improving employment practices for the advancement of gender equality.

Funding Notes

The studentship is available to Students Worldwide where a full stipend, paid for three years at RCUK rates (for 2019/20, this is £15,009 pa) and full fees.


Liddle J and Shutt J (2019) The NE after Brexit, Emerald Publications, Bingley, UK.

Shutt, J. and Liddle, J. (2019) ‘Are Combined Authorities in England strategic and fit for purpose?’, Local Economy, 34 (2) 196-207. Special edition Shutt J and Liddle J (2019) Combined Authorities in England: Moving Beyond Devolution?

Gibney Liddle J, Shutt, J. 2019 Gazing Beyond Brexit: Challenges of Transnational Collaboration in Europe and Relational leadership and the City-Region Scale in the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. Forthcoming Regional Studies, 2020.

Bowden A, Liddle J (2017) Communities leading, public sector enabling: Regional development in an era of austerity and ‘Big Society’- Regional Studies, DOI : 10.1080/00343404.2017.1346369, 145-155.

Bentley.G, Pugalis.L, Shutt J, (2017) Leadership and Systems of Governance. The constraints on the Scope for Leadership of Place-based development in Sub-National Territories, Regional Studies Special Edition on Leadership 2017.

Liddle J (2016) Aligning vertical structures and horizontal relationships: Collaborative leadership and accountability mechanisms for economic growth in England, accepted for publication, International Review of Administrative Sciences, Brussels,, 0 (0), 1-16, 3*

Liddle J (2016) Leadership, Entrepreneurship and Innovation: theoretical assumptions; barriers and methodological considerations, in Liddle J, Gibney J, Sotarauta M, Beer A (2016) Exploring varieties of Leadership in Urban and Regional Development, Editorial, Regions, Issue 302, Regional Studies Association, Sleaford, UK, 15-16.

Liddle J (2010) 21ST Century Public Leadership: Some reflections, Policy and Politics, October 2010, 38 (4): 657-664.

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