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Barriers to and proposing solutions for securing investment in responsible innovation


Birmingham Business School

About the Project

Birmingham Business School (BBS) is renowned for the quality of its research. With over 200 lecturing and research staff, internationally recognized as authorities in their fields, our research contributes to academic debates and has worldwide impact. A Birmingham Business School Doctoral Scholarship is available to a candidate of the highest academic calibre who wishes to conduct doctoral-level study on a topic within the research areas of Marketing.

Responsible Innovation is a process that “seeks to promote creativity and opportunities for science and innovation that are socially desirable and undertaken in the public interest” (EPSRC 2021). More and more companies aim at being more socially responsible in their innovation activities. Unfortunately, many of them struggle to obtain the finance to support their planned responsible innovation.

Finance, alongside demand, are often cited as the two most important categories of barriers to innovation including responsible innovation (Pellegrino and Sarona 2017). There have been studies on both barriers. However previous studies on financial investment barriers were mostly conducted from an econometric perspective. For example, Silva and Carrcira (2012) and Canepa and Stoneman (2008) used a large secondary dataset and conducted econometric modelling trying to quantify financial investment barrier to innovation. More recently, Pellegrino and Sarona (2017) used data from four waves of the UK Community Innovation Survey to develop econometric modelling involving financial investment data, demand data and innovation data. To the best of our knowledge, there has been no study on barriers to securing financial investment in innovation, let alone responsible innovation, using tailed made primary data from companies.

This study addresses the above research gap. What’s more, this study also aims at applying selected theories and primary data from companies to develop possible solutions for securing financial investment in responsible innovation. No previous study has investigated into such potential solutions. This project will be supervised by Dr. Eric Shiu and Dr. Sheena Leek.

A successful applicant is expected to have a very good undergraduate degree: a minimum of a 2:1, and preferably a first class honours. They should also hold, or expect to achieve, a very good Master’s degree (at least a merit and preferably at distinction level) in a Business or relevant subject. Their references will attest to qualities of academic achievement and research potential that make the candidate stand out above their peers. They may have already won academic prizes within their home institutions and /or internationally.

Applications will be assessed on (a) the quality of the student’s academic achievements and preparedness for doctoral level study; (b) the quality of the research proposal; (c) the potential to contribute to cutting edge research; and (d) the match of the proposal to areas of research strength within Birmingham Business School. Guidance on preparing a research proposal is attached. Since we are particularly keen to build on existing areas of research strength, all applicants are strongly advised to contact potential supervisors and to discuss their proposal with them prior to online submission.

How to apply

Potential candidates for the Birmingham Business School Doctoral Scholarship either must have an offer of a place to study for a PhD or must have applied for a place by 30 April 2021 (marking the electronic application Birmingham Business School Scholarships). Candidates should send a separate Birmingham Business School Scholarship application form, which can be downloaded along with a research proposal, to Dr Danny McGowan, Director of the Doctoral Programme () and mark the email ‘Birmingham Business School Scholarships’. 

For further information on the application process, please contact the Business School: .


Funding Notes

A full scholarship is equivalent to an ESRC studentship and covers home fees (£4,500 p.a.) plus a living allowance (stipend) of £15,609 per annum for three years, subject to satisfactory progress. For applicants outside the UK or without settled status, a full scholarship equates normally to £20,109 covering full fees and providing a contribution towards living expenses.

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