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PhD Studentship Opportunity in Sustainable Investment Analysis

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Monday, August 26, 2019
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Evaluating the profitability of an investment is at the heart of any investment decision, with the most popular method being Discounted Cash Flow, DCF. This method uses present values of future cash flows to identify the most profitable investment, but in doing so, systematically ignores long-term as well as non-financial impacts. As a result, more sustainable projects of equal profitability to others are discriminated against.

This project aims to explore and analyse new ways in which this can be redressed, be this through a change in the basic formula, smart inclusion of monetised cash flows and / or a change in the use of interest rates. The project ambition is therefore to develop and evaluate alternatives to the DCF method and the comparative significance of these alternatives towards making more sustainable investment decisions.

This may include re-evaluating past investment decisions, using simulation, develop case studies as well as the conduct of relevant interviews with key stakeholders in the Financial Services Industry, though probably not all of this.
The project will thus offer some answers towards:
• Does the inclusion of social and environmental impacts in investment analysis make a difference to the choice of investments?
• Are the alternatives offered better or worse than the existing practice in (a) making economically sound decisions, (b) manage the sustainability impact of investment to be better understood.
• What is the potential acceptability of the new tool(s) amongst investment analysts?

This is 3 year project, commencing in October 2019.

Entry requirements:
• First degree with a 1st/2:1 in Accounting & Finance. Economics, Business & Management, Information Science, Data Analysis, Statistics or other relevant subject(s)
• Interest and understanding of the investment sector and insurance
• Knowledge of investment and economic dimensions of mainstream business
• Interest in implications of sustainability for organisational decision-making.
• Excellent written and verbal communication skills essential
• Self-directed and motivated worker, results driven
• Specific training / expertise are not required

• Awareness of innovation process in industry with at least 2 years work experience
• Appreciation of Sustainable Finance
• Practical knowledge of Life-cycle thinking and Investment Appraisal methods
• An appreciation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

IELTS Academic: 6.5 or above (or equivalent) with 6.0 in each individual component

How to apply:
To apply for this project, please contact Mrs Deidre Richardson for an information pack that will include:
• A Project Brief;
• Information about the Centre for Environment and Sustainability;
• Details of the Practitioner Doctorate in Sustainability programme.

Deadline for application to be Monday 26th August.
Shortlisting to commence and invitation to interview to be sent out Thursday 28th August. Interviews to take place week beginning 2nd September 2019.

Funding Notes

The successful candidate will receive a generous stipend of £18,000 per annum and an additional £500 p.a. allowance for attendance at conferences etc. Stipends are usually tax-free. In addition to this, full-time tuition fees (£4,327) will be covered by the programme at the current Home/EU rate for the duration of the programme.

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