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International Trade and Development


   Faculty of Business and Law

  ,  Applications accepted all year round  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

Applications are invited for a self-funded, 3 year full-time or 6 year part-time PhD project.

The PhD will be based in the Economics and Finance subject group and will be supervised by Dr Ali Onder and Professor Andy Thorpe

The work on this project will:

  • Analyse the role of international trade in growth and development
  • Analyse the linkages between international trade, research and development (R&D) activities and technology spillovers
  • Deliver specific policy recommendations regarding innovation and trade policy 

Project description

We welcome PhD research proposals in the broad field of international trade focusing on the linkages between trade, innovation, growth and development. Innovation is one of the major driving forces of sustained growth and development. Trade creates important channels for the diffusion of technologies between nations, regions, or even sectors.

We are interested in the following major research questions:

  • How are innovation, trade and finance connected? Specifically, how does a region’s innovative capacity react to changes in trade and finance?
  • Do regional trade agreements also foster regional innovation?
  • What are the implications of collaborations between universities and industries on a region’s trade and growth performance?

The above listed research questions can be investigated within the context of any specific region of your choice, depending on the more specific research idea you aim to focus on. For instance, trade, innovation and development in any region such as South East Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, the EU, NAFTA or a specific period and region such as post World War 2 Japan, post Word War 2 Germany, post-1990 Germany, post-1990 East Europe are all possible topics for the advisory team as long as results are promising and potentially generalizable to broader contexts.

General admissions criteria

You'll need a good first degree from an internationally recognised university (minimum upper second class or equivalent, depending on your chosen course) or a Master’s degree in economics or econometrics or a related area. In exceptional cases, we may consider equivalent professional experience and/or Qualifications. English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.

Specific candidate requirements 

You are expected to analyse micro datasets (e.g., trade flows, patent applications, or financial records) using panel data and time series methods.

Experience in working with large datasets, proficiency in panel data analysis, and familiarity with STATA or R will be a great asset in your application.

How to Apply

We’d encourage you to contact Dr Ali Onder () to discuss your interest before you apply, quoting the project code.

When you are ready to apply, please follow the 'Apply now' link on the Economics PhD subject area page and select the link for the relevant intake. Make sure you submit a personal statement, proof of your degrees and grades, details of two referees, proof of your English language proficiency and an up-to-date CV.  Our ‘How to Apply’ page offers further guidance on the PhD application process. 

Please also include a research proposal of 1,000 words outlining the main features of your proposed research design – including how it meets the stated objectives, the challenges this project may present, and how the work will build on or challenge existing research in the above field. 

When applying please quote project code: ECFN4781021


Funding Notes

Self-funded PhD students only.
Please View Website for tuition fee information and discounts.

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