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Meta-skills maturity for future workplaces

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  • Full or part time
    Dr L Muir
    Prof H Hall
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

A fully funded PhD studentship is being offered within the Centre for Social Informatics at Edinburgh Napier University.
• Interviews are scheduled for Wednesday 18th April 2018.
• The studentship will start on Monday 1st October 2018.
The aim of the proposed work is to develop new knowledge and practical tools that will produce a paradigm shift in the delivery of workplace skills development to one that focuses on metacognitive processes for meta-skills development. The PhD student who undertakes this study will investigate:
• The means by which work-based/experiential learners develop their metacognitive knowledge, learn from their metacognitive experiences, and self-regulate their metacognitive development.
• The interventions required to prompt and develop meta-skills in individual work-based/experiential learners.
• The measurement/evaluation/assessment of the meta-skills of individual work-based/experiential learners as indicators of meta-skills ‘maturity’, and their potential value (and burden) for educational providers, employers and communities to ensure that the developed approach is economically feasible.
The work will make a theoretical contribution to Information Science by providing new insight into the impact of metacognitive knowledge on information behaviour and use in a novel context: meta-skills development. It is anticipated that the practical outcomes from this work will be used to prioritise investment in interventions for workplace learning for the benefit of Scotland’s economy. It responds to the wider skills policy agenda in Scotland that promotes self-efficacy. The findings will also be useful for informing agencies such as SDS in the provision and support of appropriate services for employers and training providers.

Eligibility Criteria & Academic Qualifications:

We are interested in receiving applications for the studentship on a full-time or a part-time basis. Your eligibility to apply will depend on your current level of degree qualification, prior training in advanced research methods, and your ability to meet the additional criteria for the studentship award.

If you hold, or are nearing successful completion of, a Masters degree in a social science subject which includes 60 credits of research training, you may be eligible to apply for the fully-funded PhD programme: 3 year full-time; 5 year part-time.

If you do not hold a Masters qualification and are not currently working towards one (or the Masters degree that you hold/are working towards does not include 60 credits of research methods training), you will be required to undertake an approved Masters-level research training programme for one year before transferring to this PhD programme. This route is also fully funded, i.e. you will be funded for the approved Masters-level research training programme and for the PhD.

Academic qualifications
A first degree (at least 2:1) ideally in a social science subject (e.g information science, education, knowledge management, information management, information systems, psychology, science, technology & innovation studies or sociology with a good knowledge of research methods.

English language requirements
IELTS score must be at least 6.5 (with no less than 6.0 in any component). Other, equivalent qualifications will be accepted, full details of the University’s policy is available here

Essential attributes
Experience of fundamental social research
Competent in data collection and analysis
Knowledge of advanced research methods
Good written and oral communication skills
Strong motivation, with evidence of independent research skills relevant to the project
Good time management

Desirable attributes
Interest in, and knowledge of the broad theme of metacognition with interest in exploring workplace meta-skills development and its impact on innovation, employment growth and productivity at Doctoral level.

Please complete and upload a copy of the SGSSS DTP 2018 - Equal Opportunities Form with your online application

Funding Notes

The studentship is one of a number supported by a partnership between ESRC Scottish Graduate School of Social Science – Doctoral Training Partnership (SGSSS-DTP) and Skills Development Scotland (SDS). It is hosted by The Science, Technology, Innovation, and Information and Communication Studies (STIS-ICS) pathway of the SGSSS-DTP. UK/EU fees are covered. In addition, an annual stipend at the current rate is available for students who meet the ESRC studentship residential conditions for eligibility at:


Akturk, A. O., & Sahin, I. (2011). Literature review on metacognition and its measurement. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 15, 3731–3736.
Finch, D. J., Peacock, M., Levallet, N., & Foster, W. (2016). A dynamic capabilities view of employability: exploring the drivers of competitive advantage for university graduates. Education + Training, 58(1), 61-81.
Gunson, R., & Thomas, R. (2017). Equipping Scotland for the future. Edinburgh: Institute for Public Policy and Research.
Green, A.E., Hogarth, T., Barnes, S-A, Gambin, L., Owen, D. & Sofroniou, N. (2016). The UK's skills system : training, employability and gaps in provision. London: Foresight, Government Office for Science.
Kompa, J (2017, August 28). What makes us truly human: a literature review, Figure 1: Systematic overview of the concept of individual metacognition. [Blog post] available from:
Skills Development Scotland (2015) 2015-2020 Corporate plan: making skills work for Scotland. Available:

Related Subjects

How good is research at Edinburgh Napier University in Computer Science and Informatics?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 10.70

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

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