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Digital platform for project management services: Case studies


   Department of Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering

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  Dr Lihong Zhang, Dr S Embury, Dr Kun Wang  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

The Management of Project (MoP) Research Group is a vibrant ecosystem of cutting-edge research initiatives and activities within the Department of Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering (MACE). The group delivers a very successful suite of MSc programmes in project management and it is at the forefront of several strands of research within project management and engineering management. The group has successfully delivered impact-laden research in collaboration with national and international organisations within industry, academia and government. Notable research endeavours include Project X (funded by the Economic and Social Research Council), the Discovering Safety Research programme via the Thomas Ashton Institute, and studies for UK government, Association of Project Management (APM), Project Management Institute (PMI) Association and several other funding agencies.

Drawing on the research successes of the group and as part of significant research investment by the Department of MACE, this studentship forms part of a cluster of PhDs to further enhance our research activity. More information about research themes and academic staff within the MoP research group can be found at https://sites.manchester.ac.uk/mop/

Project Brief:

Professional service providers are increasingly aware of the competitive advantages and business risks brought up by the digital technologies. One of the key challenges is the dynamic development and customer implementation of a cloud platform that can effectively integrate organisational and supply-network resources and provide super-unique tailor-made products and services. The digital transformation in knowledge translation and transfer have brought up a strong need for research into developing a digital strategy and platform to support service-oriented business. 

The scholarship winner is to undertake research to develop a cloud platform as a digital infrastructure of integration to support Project Management (PM) consultancy providers, in their design, planning, excursion and optimisation of business activities. Objectives include:

•Systemic literature review to understand PM domain and map the patterns and trends PM education and training across industries and regions/nations.

•Framework development to identify digital paradigms that enable or stifle future PM service provision, stakeholder engagement, smart databank and eco-system management.

•System development of connection, empowerment, co-creation, among other functions that digitally integrate and optimise resources, services and knowledge.

•Technology and process re-engineering that support the cloud platform business model and business solution development for varying application (e.g. cultural and social) settings.

The scholarship involves an industry co-sponsor, Ying Lue Rui Lian Education Technology (Chengdu) Co., Ltd.

Application information:  Information about the application process and a link to the online application form can be found at https://www.manchester.ac.uk/study/postgraduate-research/admissions/how-to-apply/. The online application form does not list individual project titles; when submitting an application, please select the Management of Projects PhD programme. Take note of the application checklist and provide the requested documents. 

Please include a research proposal for the project you wish to apply for. The title of the proposal should be the title of the project. The proposal should be 3-5 pages and cover: research background (including the knowledge gap); aim and objectives; methodology; expected contribution/impact; and references.

When completing the application include the name of the lead supervisor as the potential supervisor.

Applicants must have obtained or be about to obtain either a First class UK honours degree or the combination of an Upper Second class UK honours degree and a UK master’s degree awarded with Merit or higher (or international equivalents), in an appropriate area of: E business analysis, project management services, digital-human platform design, system and network engineering.

In addition, applicants must have the following skills/qualities:  Computer, cloud and internet skills, business analysis skills, platform design, text mining and topic modelling, business process re-engineering, 

Desirable skills/qualities include: fluency in English and Chinese, training in leadership and strategic management, critical reading and academic writing. Evidence of high-quality research about relevant topic(s) and the ability to produce publications of international standard; and relevant industry work experience.

Equality, diversity and inclusion is fundamental to the success of The University of Manchester, and is at the heart of all of our activities. We know that diversity strengthens our research community, leading to enhanced research creativity, productivity and quality, and societal and economic impact. We actively encourage applicants from diverse career paths and backgrounds and from all sections of the community, regardless of age, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender expression, sexual orientation and transgender status.

 We also support applications from those returning from a career break or other roles. We consider offering flexible study arrangements (including part-time: 50%, 60% or 80%, depending on the project/funder). 


Funding Notes

Funding for this PhD project is provided by the Department of Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering and Ying Lue Rui Lian Education Technology (Chengdu) Co., Ltd. This studentship comprises: tuition fees at the overseas or home/UK student rate; and a tax-free stipend at the standard UKRI rate (£17,668 in 2022/23). Please note that this studentship is offered subject to final contract being signed with the industry partner.

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