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The role of enterprise and business ecosystem/clusters in regional economic development

   Teesside University Business School

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  Dr Z He  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

The theory of economic growth emphasises fundamentally on the role of total factor productivity (TFP) in sustaining the long-term growth of an economy. Among the subnational regions of the UK and Europe Union, there are large and persistent differences in the economic performance over the last few decades. The cause of this divergence among those regions can largely be attributed to differences in their TFP. Uncovering the answers to the productivity puzzle has been the central debate among academics and policymakers. Among the policies that have been implemented to solve the low productivity issue and to stimulate economic development and growth in “lagging”, “peripheral” or “left-behind” regions include promoting entrepreneurship, territorial innovation systems and creating regional/national ecosystem/clusters for stimulating business growth have emerged as a critical component of economic policy.

The business ecosystem and enterprise activities have increasing importance in the field of regional economic development. The argument favouring these concepts mainly concentrates on their positive role in improving productivity and business growth. However, the evidence of the causal relationship between these two forces and their collective impact on economic growth at the regional level remains unclear and mixed. In order to provide further answers to the remaining questions in the field, this project utilises appropriate econometric methods to offer a threefold explanation: 

  1. To identify and evaluate the linkages/channels between enterprise activities & regional economic development.
  2. To examine the role ecosystem/cluster (e.g. the spill over effect) in supporting the growth of enterprise activities and productivity improvements.
  3. To focus on subnational regions in the UK and European Union, particularly post-industrial areas, thus providing a systematic comparison for discovering the interregional diffusion resulting from the regional or cross-regional ecosystems/clusters. 

Entry Requirements

Applicants should hold or expect to obtain a good honours degree (2:1 or above) in a relevant discipline. A masters level qualification in a relevant discipline is desirable, but not essential, as well as a demonstrable understanding of the research area. Further details of the expected background may appear in the specific project details. International students will be subject to the standard entry criteria relating to English language ability, ATAS clearance and, when relevant, UK visa requirements and procedures.

How to Apply

Applicants should apply online for this opportunity at:

Please use the Online Application (Funded PHD) application form. When asked to specify funding select “other” and enter ‘RDS’ and the title of the PhD project that you are applying for. You should ensure that you clearly indicate that you are applying for a Funded Studentship and the title of the topic or project on the proposal that you will need to upload when applying. If you would like to apply for more than one project, you will need to complete a further application form and specify the relevant title for each application to a topic or project.

Applications for studentships that do not clearly indicate that the application is for a Funded Studentship and state the title of the project applied for on the proposal may mean that your application may not be considered for the appropriate funding.

For academic enquiries, please contact Dr Zhang He, [Email Address Removed]  

For administrative enquiries before or when making your application, contact [Email Address Removed]

Funding Notes

The Fees-Paid PhD studentship will cover all tuition fees for the period of a full-time PhD Registration of up to four years. Successful applicants who are eligible will be able to access the UK Doctoral Loan scheme to support with living costs. Applicants who are employed and their employer is interested in funding a PhD, can apply for a Collaborative Studentship.
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