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Evaluating carbon reporting standards from the perspective of net zero emissions targets


Birmingham Business School

, Dr Annika Beelitz Friday, April 30, 2021 Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

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 Accounting.

In light of the global climate emergency and the urgency to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to reach the net zero carbon target by 2050, this project will investigate a range of GHG emissions reporting standards and corporate practices. Specifically, it will investigate the interplay between the GHG emissions that companies report (Scope 1 and 2 emissions), (as far as possible) companies’ actual GHG emissions (Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions), and how companies talk about their GHG emissions in their narrative reporting.

The project aims to investigate whether companies report all direct and indirect GHG emissions, and whether these disclosures are suitable for input into key stakeholder decision models. This evaluation will explore the possibility of problematic actions emerging from corporate disclosures, e.g. inappropriate investment / disinvestment by asset managers; consumer boycotts; business procurement decisions; government regulators; activist engagement tactics. The project will attempt to uncover innovative standards or practices, as well as critically evaluate conventional reporting practices. The project will further explore how the findings might influence GHG emissions disclosure requirements in the future.

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 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.

How to apply

Potential candidates for the Birmingham Business School Doctoral Scholarship must have an offer of a place to study for a PhD. If you do not already have an offer, you must apply by 30 April 2021 and mark your electronic application Birmingham Business School Scholarships.  At the same time, you should send a separate Birmingham Business School Scholarship application form, which can be downloaded along with your research proposal, to Dr Danny McGowan, Director of the Doctoral Programme () and mark your 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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