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Identifying High Performing Faculty in Academia


   Department of Psychology

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  Dr Peter McNamara  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Faculty at the School of Business have a successful stream of research in the broad domain of the management of Business Schools, including career management, teaching and learning, and the strategic management of the business school industry. The focus of this research project will be on the broad theme of Identifying High Performing Faculty in Academia. Exploration of this theme might include, for example, focus on:

a. Perception of excellence across multiple dimensions of performance in higher education institutions

b. Difference in the perception of high performance between disciplines

c. Difference in perceived and objective performance

While research explored multiple aspects of hiring exceptionally high performing employees (also called stars), scholars paid less attention to the question of how the stars are identified and perceived by different stakeholders within organisations and professions. Yet the question “who is a high performer (at individual and organisational level)?” is not as straightforward as it might seem. For example, we have seen the proliferation of rankings, which use different measurement approaches to identify academic excellence. There is an ongoing debate about the qualities of research that count, with priorities varying across different stakeholders in academic ecosystem. This project seeks to combine quantitative and qualitative approaches to provide insights into the perception of academic high performance in complex multidisciplinary organisations. The particular focus of this project is on the interplay between perceptions of excellence at different levels of analysis, such as individual, organisational, professional, and societal, amongst others.

Applicants will be expected to submit a proposal that is rooted in the theme outlined above.

Higher education industry is a highly complex sector of economy. It employs hundreds of thousands of people worldwide, with the revenue of schools varying from several million to over a billion euros per annuum. There is much competition within this industry, comprising of a blend of public, for profit, and non-profit players, competing domestically and internationally for students, staff, industry partners, funding, and research. At the core of an academic career is the production and transfer of knowledge (through publication, interaction with industry, and teaching) to the business community. Strategic Management is focused on methods to improve the performance of an organisation, which in the case of business schools is education and research performance. Higher education institutions typically have functional organisational structure and recruit managers with professional background in academia. This makes it alike to other knowledge and R&D-intensive industries. The lessons from this project are expected to be applicable to a wide array of other sectors such as consulting, training, R&D, amongst others.

Our team has strong expertise in the area of academic careers and strategic management of higher education institutions. We have published in the top journals in the field, including the Academy of Management Education and Learning, Research Policy, Journal of World Business, Journal of Management, Journal of Innovation and Product Management, amongst many others. We are members of editorial boards of some of the leading journals in our field. We have active research projects involving teams of faculty and PhD students. We are looking for a new PhD student to join this group.

Value of the Scholarship

The successful candidate will be enrolled on the PhD programme of the School of Business under the supervision of Professor Peter Mc Namara and co-supervison of Dr Olga Ryazanova. The successful candidate will join our research team and write their PhD on topics related to the strategic management of business Schools and academic careers.

Application Process / Additional Information

Applications should be via the School of Business application process, details of which are provided at the end of this document. Early applications are strongly encouraged.

Applications should be sure to include:

1. A cover letter explaining the applicant’s motivation and interest to undertake a PhD in the project topic. Any relevant background and/or experience needs to be mentioned.

2. A research proposal of no more than ten 1.5 line spaced A 4 pages. This proposal ought to include the following:

  • 300 word summary of your proposed study.
  • Motivation for undertaking a PhD and what you can add to the existing research team at Maynooth University School of Business.
  • Research question and why it is interesting to both researchers and practice.
  • Literature review supporting exploration of your research question.
  • Outline of methods that you would use to study this research question.
  • Please ensure that you provide academic references in your literature review using the Harvard style of referencing.

Informal enquiries concerning the advertised PhD scholarship position, accompanied with the CV, can be made to Professor Peter Mc Namara ([Email Address Removed]).

Closing Date: 20 October 2022

Commencement Date: Students are expected to commence their PhD studies in January 2023.

Candidate’s qualifications and characteristics

  • Both an undergraduate and postgraduate degree in a business-related subject to a minimum of 2.1 honours or equivalent. Examples of such degrees include Business, Commerce, Strategy, Human Resource Management, Economics, Finance, Accounting, Human Resource Management
  • Data driven approach to solving problems
  • Critical thinking skills
  • Openness to both qualitative and quantitative forms of data and problem solving
  • Patience, hard work, and flexibility
  • Strong preference will be given to suitable candidates wishing to relocate to Ireland from Ukraine or those who have recently moved to Ireland from Ukraine.

Qualifications, Expected Skills and Competencies

It is essential that scholarship holders have the following:

  • Highly proficient English language skills. Evidence of English language proficiency for non-native speakers based on IELTS (or TOEFL internet/paper based) score of 6.5 (or score of 95/585) is essential to be available no later than 15th of October 2022. Duolingo test is also accepted, with the minimum score of 110.
  • Ability and willingness to work under supervision.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication, including presentation skills.
  • Excellent organisational skills, attention to details and the ability to meet deadlines.
  • Ability to think logically, create solutions and make informed decisions.
  • Ability and willingness to work both individually and collaboratively in a research environment.
  • A strong self-motivation and commitment to their own continuous professional development.

Funding Notes

We are seeking to add to this team with a funded PhD studentship. The scholarship will entail a fixed maintenance award of €18,500 per annum and full annual tuition fees support for four years of study.
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