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Establishing an Innovation Footprint in the Cultural Quarter of a Regional Capital City

  • Full or part time
    Dr E Crehan
    Dr T O'Toole
  • Application Deadline
    Thursday, July 02, 2020
  • Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

Post summary
Applications are invited for a student to undertake a 4-year PhD study on “Establishing an Innovation Footprint in the Cultural Quarter of a Regional Capital City”. This research project will evaluate international models for developing city-based innovation footprints to inform the re-configuration of the economic base of a city region by leveraging innovation and technology. The research aims to develop a template for the implementation of a city-based innovation district that articulates the roles and actions of key stakeholders. An action research methodology deploying cycles of diagnosis, planning, action and evaluation is planned. The researcher will engage with a network of regional stakeholders, organised as a community of practice (CoP), to explore the applicability of international models for creating and operationalising innovation districts in order to create new knowledge amongst regional stakeholders.
This project requires a researcher with an enthusiasm for cutting-edge social research and a well-developed understanding of the latest advances in qualitative research methods.
The scholarship will provide an annual stipend to the successful scholar of €12,000. A budget of €2,000 annually is allocated to cover materials, consumables and travel costs. In addition, an allowance of €4,500 per annum will be awarded to cover postgraduate tuition fees. Non-EU nationals will be charged at EU rates.

Standard duties and responsibilities of the scholarship
This fulltime scholarship runs for 4 years under a structured PhD format. Thus, the successful applicant will be expected to be ordinarily resident in the region of the South East and be present at Waterford Institute of Technology to participate in structured PhD modules. The researcher is required to undertake 2 hours per week of departmental work activities as directed by management, in conjunction with the supervisory team. The successful applicant to contribute to academic culture at WIT, and to travel nationally and abroad to academic conferences and fieldwork events as required. Other duties include:
• Deliver agreed academic, practitioner and policy papers in conjunction with the supervisory team.
• Attend and present at agreed conferences, seminars and other relevant sessions.
• Further develop the existing proposal to be submitted to the Irish Research Council Government of Ireland PhD scholarship scheme within the first 18 months of the award
• Engage in agreed activities that help to support and enhance the WIT School of Business and the Centre for Enterprise Development and Regional Economy.
• It is a requirement of this award that supervisory team and successful student must undergo research integrity training as provided by Epigeum

Person specification
• Applicants should hold or expect to attain, as a minimum, a 2.1 Honours degree, or equivalent, in Business or Social Science related areas at undergraduate or professional level.
• Demonstrable experience in conducting research at either undergraduate or postgraduate level.

• Applicants should hold or expect to attain a Masters degree in Business, Sociology, Anthropology or related discipline.
• Relevant postgraduate research experience.

Knowledge & Experience
• An interest in and some knowledge of academic research and what it entails for the researcher.
• Demonstrable knowledge and experience in at least one of the following: regional economics, innovation management, anthropology, business management and/or sociology.

• Relevant professional experience.
• Experience and understanding of qualitative methods of data collection.
• A demonstrable competence in academic theory in business, regional economics, business management and/or sociology.

Skills & Competencies

• Applicants whose first language is not English must submit evidence of competency in English, please see WIT’s English Language Requirements for details.
• Facilitation skills, project planning and an ability to build rapport with project stakeholders is a key requirement.
• Applicants should have experience and/or training in qualitative research methods.
• Excellent communication skills (written and verbal), analytical skills and teamwork skills.
• Motivated, self-directed, good time and project management skills, and a high level of attention to detail.

• Advanced academic communication skills (written and verbal), and analytical skills.
• Strong presentation skills.
• Ability to work under pressure, set and meet deadlines and drive projects forward successfully.

Further information
For any informal queries, please contact Dr. Eugene Crehan at +353 51 302953 or (preferably) by email on

For queries relating to the application and admission process please contact the Postgraduate Admissions Office via email or telephone +353 (0)51 302883.

Funding Notes

This is a 4 year, full-time structured PhD programme

The value of the scholarship is as follows:

Stipend: €12,000 p/a x 4 years

Application procedure

Please download the Research Postgraduate Application Form from the WIT Website and return completed applications to quoting “WD_2020_12” in the email subject line. Please note that paper submissions will not be accepted.
Any queries relating to the application process should be emailed to .
Fees: covered for 4 years
Research costs: €2,000 p/a x 4 years


Please note that the closing date is Thursday 2nd July 2020 at 4 pm Irish time (GMT+1)

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