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Investigation into the role of R&D tax credit boutique firms in the UK


   Brunel Business School

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  Prof Peter Jelfs  Applications accepted all year round  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

Boutique R&D tax credit firms have multiplied in the UK in recent years but little is known about their identity or impact other than anecdotal evidence. They claim to have had a significant impact upon the rapid increase in R&D tax credit claims made by SMEs. Some firms have been sold for significant sums to overseas buyers and large UK firms although financial details are often unclear. Recently they have come under scrutiny over allegations of unprofessional behaviour and lack of regulation. This project seeks to increase our knowledge of such firms, mainly through interviews of the firms themselves, although the methodologies to be used and the direction of research are very flexible and can be tailored to the applicant's strengths. Any applicant must have a demonstrable interest in UK taxation and at least basic knowledge of how the UK R&D tax credit system operates. Applicants can be from a range of backgrounds including law, economics or accountancy.


Funding Notes

Brunel offers a number of funding options to research students that help cover the cost of their tuition fees, contribute to living expenses or both. See more information here: https://www.brunel.ac.uk/research/Research-degrees/Research-degree-funding. The UK Government is also offering Doctoral Student Loans for eligible students, and there is some funding available through the Research Councils. Many of our international students benefit from funding provided by their governments or employers. Brunel alumni enjoy tuition fee discounts of 15%.

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

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