26-27 Jan | FREE virtual study fair | REGISTER NOW 26-27 Jan | FREE virtual study fair | REGISTER NOW
University of Salford Featured PhD Programmes
Heriot-Watt University Featured PhD Programmes
University of Reading Featured PhD Programmes

ESRC Wales DTP Collaborative Studentship in Management and Business - Exploring intelligent immersive systems for field service operations

   Cardiff Business School

  Dr Yingli Wang  Friday, February 04, 2022  Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Exploring intelligent immersive systems for field service operations

Cardiff Business School supported by the ESRC Doctoral Training Partnership for Wales (Wales DTP), invites applications for PhD study. These particular studentships, known as ‘collaborative studentships’, involve liaison with a non-academic organisation, often at many key stages of the research programme. They will commence in October 2022

The lead supervisor is Dr Yingli Wang ()

This project is in collaboration with BT


Increasingly complex service operations require companies to improve employees’ expertise to remain competitive. The recent Covid-19 pandemic further reveals the importance of digital and remote support, repair, and maintenance activities. Intelligent immersive systems combine immersive technologies (IMSTs) with computational intelligence mechanisms to produce adaptive, context-aware environments for advanced decision-making support. This can enhance working environments, optimising resources by reducing time and location restrictions, leading to faster knowledge transfer and better understanding of different processes. Although businesses see great potential in IMST, technology alone will not yield success, and few organisations realise that IMST requires different ways of thinking and new processes (Porter and Heppelmann 2017).

Aim and rationale

Whilst there is much enthusiasm for IMSTs, how to manage and leverage them in contemporary operations is underexplored. We expect IMSTs will have a transformational impact on service operations, helping businesses to build individual and organisational absorptive capabilities. This in turn will a) improve productivity, collaboration, and quality of work; b) contribute to environmental sustainability via remote equipment monitoring and control and supporting digital twins.

This research is one of the early studies in the OM discipline, and aims to explore the early implications of IMST in augmenting human competency and supporting field service operations. The findings will make a significant contribution to this emerging field.

Suggested research questions and theoretical lenses

RQ1: How can IMSTs add different types of value to field service operations?

RQ2: How should IMSTs user-experience be designed and executed?

RQ3: How should service organisations leverage IMSTs to achieve sustainable operations?

Multiple theories could be utilised to investigate, evidence and evaluate the impact of IMST, i.e. dynamic capability theory and absorptive capacity theory (on how IMST helps to build individual and organisational capability), institutional theory and nudge theory (how to initiate organisational change and influence individual behaviour for desirable outcomes).

The student will develop a relevant research approach guided by the project team. An action Design Science approach will be suggested as a starting point, which is well-regarded within the OM and IS/IT disciplines for discovery and problem solving[1],[2]. The principally qualitative study will employ interviews, immersive observation, focus groups, and design thinking workshops to iteratively co-develop and test 4-6 usecase examples with BT technical team.


Please see bottom of references section for further details.

Eligibility for the studentship

Applications are invited from exceptional candidates with a first class or strong upper second class honours degree, or appropriate Master’s degree. The University and ESRC Wales DTP value diversity and equality at all levels and we encourage applications from all sections of the community, irrespective of age, disability, sex, gender identity, marital or civil partnership status, pregnancy or maternity, race, religion or belief and sexual orientation. In line with our commitment to supporting and promoting equality, diversity and inclusion, and to increase recruitment of currently underrepresented groups, applications from Black British, Asian British, minority ethnicity British and mixed race British candidates are particularly encouraged and welcomed. We welcome applications for both full and part-time study, and studentships are available as either ‘1+3’ (i.e. one full time year of research training Masters followed by three years of full-time Doctoral study, or the part-time equivalent), or ‘+3’ (i.e. three years of full-time doctoral study or its part-time equivalent), depending on the needs of the applicant.

Please visit here for further information about the PhD Programme at Cardiff Business School.

Applications welcomed by 4th February 2022(1200 hours).

Please see references section for further details on how to apply. Applications should be made online, please visit the Business School website and click "apply now".

Funding Notes

Cardiff University Business School, supported by the ESRC Doctoral Training Partnership for Wales (Wales DTP), invites applications for funded PhD study. This competition is open to UK, EU and International students. These particular studentships, known as ‘collaborative studentships’, involve liaison with a non-academic organisation, often at many key stages of the research programme. Studentships commence in October 2022.
Please read the project details for further information about eligibility and how to apply.
Applications close midday 4th February 2022.
This program is available in English only. To request information in Welsh, please contact the Postgraduate Recruitment Team ()


These studentships are ‘collaborative’ awards. Applicants should take careful consideration of the working title and description of the project, and may wish to contact the named member of staff for a discussion prior to applying:
The Lead supervisor on this project is Dr Yingli Wang (wangy14@cardiff.ac.uk)
The Business and Management Pathway Lead is: Dr Nicole Koenig-Lewis (Koenig-LewisN@cardiff.ac.uk)
Studentship Awards commence in October 2022 and will cover your tuition fees as well as a maintenance grant (currently £15,609 p.a. for 2021/22 for full-time students, updated each year); and includes access to an additional Research Training Support Grant (RTSG), though an element of this latter fund may be ‘pooled’ and require separate applications from 2022 onwards. There are other opportunities and benefits available to studentship holders, including an overseas fieldwork allowance (if applicable), internship opportunities, overseas institutional visits and other small grants.
ESRC studentships are highly competitive, candidates should have an excellent academic background in the social sciences, holding a 1st or strong upper 2nd class degree; applications from those also holding a relevant research training Masters degree (or an equivalent background in research training) will be considered for a +3 award. Wales DTP studentships are available to both home and international (including EU and EEA) students. All applicants will be eligible for a full award consisting of a maintenance stipend and payment of tuition fees at the UK research organisation rate. Applicants must satisfy studentship eligibility requirements. For further details see the UKRI web site. Successful international student applicants will receive a fully-funded Wales DTP studentship and will not be charged the fees difference between the UK and international rate.
'1+3 OR +3?'
With exception of studentships in the Economics pathway, awards are available on either a 1+3 or +3 basis. A 1+3 studentship provides funding for four years (or part-time equivalent), completing a research training Masters in the 1st year, followed by 3 years research funding for a PhD. A +3 studentship provides funding for the three years PhD research study only (or part-time equivalent).
Please see the Cardiff Business School website for further detail on the programme structure and admission criteria: https://www.cardiff.ac.uk/business-school/courses/postgraduate-research
The closing deadline for applications is 12.00pm GMT on Friday 4th February 2022. Short-listed applicants will be invited to interview, which are expected to take place in late February/early March 2022. After interview, a final short-list of applicants will be put forward to a Panel convened by the ESRC Wales DTP Management Group at which final decisions with regard to studentship awards will be made. In most cases successful applicants can expect to hear by early April 2022.
In the funding section, please select “I will be applying for a scholarship/grant” and “ESRC Wales Doctoral Training Partnership”.
A completed application form for admission to doctoral study in Cardiff Business School by the deadline of 12:00pm GMT on 4 February 2022. Incomplete applications or applications received after this specified time will not be accepted.
The application must contain the following documents:
1. Covering letter: Please address to Dr Nicole Koenig-Lewis. The covering letter must name the collaborative studentship being applied for. It must set out your reasons and motivation for applying to study at Cardiff University, and the Business and Management Pathway; your understanding, and expectations of doctoral study; and your academic interests generally, and particularly how these relate to the description of the project supplied. The covering letter should be no more than two pages. Please also specify whether you wish to apply on a +3 or 1+3 basis. (Upload to ‘Personal Statement’ section)
2. Academic / Professional Qualifications: Where appropriate, this should also include proof of English Language Competency (7.0 IELTS minimum).
3. References: All applications require two academic references to be submitted in support. Candidates must approach referees themselves and include the references with their application.
4. Curriculum Vitae: This should be no longer than two pages. (Upload to ‘Professional Experience’ section).
5. Research Proposal: For collaborative studentships, the proposal should build directly on the outline description that has been supplied. The proposal should be up to a maximum of 1000 words, not including bibliographic references. We suggest that you use the following five headings in your research proposal:
• Your reflections on the title, aims and purpose of the research;
• An overview of some key research literature relevant to the study;
• Your proposals for developing the design and methods of the study;
• A description of potential outcomes of the project for understanding, knowledge, policy and practice (as appropriate to the topic);
• Bibliographic references
This program is available in English only. To request information in Welsh, please contact the Postgraduate Recruitment Team (postgradmarketing@cardiff.ac.uk). Mae'r rhaglen hon ar gael drwy gyfrwng y Saesneg yn unig. I wneud cais am wybodaeth yn Gymraeg, cysylltwch â'r Tîm Recriwtio Ôl-raddedigion (postgradmarketing@caerdydd.ac.uk)
Porter, M.E. and Heppelmann, J.E., 2017. Why every organization needs an augmented reality strategy. HBR’S 10 MUST, 85.
1 Sein, M.K., Henfridsson, O., Purao, S., Rossi, M. and Lindgren, R., 2011. Action design research. MIS quarterly, pp.37-56.
2 van Aken, J. E. 2005. “Management research as a design science: articulating the research products of Mode 2 knowledge production in management.” British Journal of Management 16, pp.19–36

Email Now

PhD saved successfully
View saved PhDs