University of Edinburgh Featured PhD Programmes
Birkbeck, University of London Featured PhD Programmes
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council Featured PhD Programmes
University College London Featured PhD Programmes
FindA University Ltd Featured PhD Programmes

Improving Project Delivery

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Monday, December 02, 2019
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

This research project is a collaboration between academic researchers and the government department responsible for the oversight and effective delivery of projects–the Infrastructure and Projects Authority (IPA).

The research explores the effective delivery of major government projects and how it can be improved to deliver more cost-effective, higher-quality outcomes that improve the lives of UK citizens.

Projects are temporary, flexible organisational structures that are now the central way in which large-scale, complicated systems and change programmes are delivered. New transport, energy and water infrastructure systems are typically delivered in projects, as are most large-scale military systems like aircraft carriers. Similarly, when government plans a major policy change that aims to transform how government interacts with citizens it will use projects to implement that policy change. Unfortunately projects have a tendency to run over-budget, take longer than planned to finish and sometimes don’t delivery the outcomes that were promised.

In recent years, the UK has developed a world-class ability to deliver complex projects, with major successes like the London Olympics. This research project aims to better understand what drives improved project delivery and implement it more successfully to improve the overall performance of the UK in delivery.

Given the costs of projects going over-budget, the potential cost-savings for the UK are very significant, and could easily run into billions of pounds. To deliver on this potential, the research project will proactively engage with the UK policy and practitioner communities and provide them with targeted, high-quality research across two of the six project’s sub-themes: Theme C: Data Quality and Use as Performance Drivers, and Theme D: Assurance, Reporting and Governance.

These sub-projects require an interdisciplinary understanding of the complexities of decision-making under conditions of radical uncertainty and ambiguity. They will be researched with partners in industry, government, and the wider policy implementation community. We will exploit the ability of the researchers to access a large body of high-quality data that is being opened up to academics for the first time.


Applicants must meet the following entry requirements for this project:
1. Comply with the ESRC eligibility criteria (in particular, the UK/EU residency requirement):
2. Meet the PhD programme academic requirement. This normally requires a minimum qualification (or expected qualification if you are current Masters’ student) of above-average academic achievement, quantified as a 65% or above overall at the Masters level, with a distinction level dissertation (or UK equivalent).
3. Meet the PhD programme English requirement. Full details of the English requirements can be found at The most commonly approved certificate is an IELTS, for which the minimum accepted score is 7.0 overall with at least 6.0 in each section.


Applicants interested in applying for this opportunity should:

1. Register on GradHub and fill out EO data (this is a requirement of the application process):
2. Complete and upload the prescribed list of required documentation to include: application form, academic transcripts, references, and academic CV
3. Submit application through GradHub

Applications will be ranked by a selection panel and applicants will be notified if they have been shortlisted for interview.
Interviews will be scheduled during the week commencing 9th December, 2019.

All scholarship awards are subject to candidates successfully securing admission to the PhD in Management programme. Successful scholarship applicants will be invited to apply for admission to the relevant PhD programme after they are selected for funding.

Funding Notes

The scholarship is available as a +3 or a 1+3 programme depending on prior research training. This will be assessed as part of the recruitment process. The programme will start January 2020.

It includes:
• an annual maintenance grant at the RCUK rate (2018/19 rate £15,009 full-time)
• fees at the standard Home rate
• students can also draw on a pooled Research Training Support Grant, usually up to a maximum of £750 per year

How good is research at University of Edinburgh in Business and Management Studies?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 51.60

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

Email Now

Insert previous message below for editing? 
You haven’t included a message. Providing a specific message means universities will take your enquiry more seriously and helps them provide the information you need.
Why not add a message here
* required field
Send a copy to me for my own records.

Your enquiry has been emailed successfully

FindAPhD. Copyright 2005-2019
All rights reserved.