Our PhD opportunities

Gender diversity in corporate settings.

In recent years, the topic of gender diversity in corporate settings has become a salient issue for scholars and policy makers. This project aims to investigate the career pathways of women on UK corporate boards, with particular attention to identifying how women achieve positions of influence. The potential research questions for this study include:

What are the barriers for career progression of women within the UK corporate setting?

How do the career pathways of senior executives differ between men and women in the UK?

What is the impact of gender balance in corporate boards on firms’ performance and behaviour?  

Are women executives better brokers within the UK corporate system?

This project would utilise a mixed methods approach, with particular focus on using Social Network Analysis tools. This study will follow on an existing project within the Centre for Networks and Enterprise Excellence (CNEE), complementing the existing research by undertaking field work. 

Supervisory team:  Dr Yasaman Sarabi, Dr Dimitris Christopoulos & Prof. Heather McGregor. 

Research Centre:  The Centre for Networks and Enterprise Excellence 

For more information, contact details and to apply:

Green finance and environmental modelling.

The focus of the project will be at the interface of statistical data science, network science, machine learning and its applications and methodological extensions in Green Finance. The project will explore the challenges that sustainable and green finance initiatives present to the financial industry, insurance industry and financial regulators. Sustainable finance may cover a variety of areas including: Strategy and policy, corporate social governance, environmental social governance, product design, portfolio and asset management, pricing and product design, insurance and risk management. This project will seek an in-depth understanding of the UK Green Finance strategy which may include:

Greening finance: ensuring current and future financial risks and opportunities from climate and environmental factors are integrated into mainstream financial decision making, and that markets for green financial products are robust in nature.

Financing green: accelerating finance to support the delivery of the UK’s carbon targets and clean growth, resilience and environmental ambitions, as well as international objectives.

Capturing the opportunity: ensuring UK financial services capture the domestic and international commercial opportunities arising from the ‘greening of finance’, such as climate related data and analytics, and from ‘financing green’, such as new green financial products and services.

Supervisory team: Prof. Gareth Peters & Dr Dimitris Christopoulos

Research Centre:  The Centre for Networks and Enterprise Excellence

For more information, contact details and to apply:

Corporate political risk: Evaluating probabilities of complex events.

Low probability events are often embedded in complex socio-political processes that confound hazard evaluations by corporate actors. The volatility of corporate stock and bonds therefore does not always reflect actual political risk.  Most often risk events are recognised ex post facto and are subject to perception bias. We seek to develop mixed methods models to help evaluate (and potentially insure and securitize) such events.  An obvious example of such an event is Brexit, the impact of which most corporations underestimated.  We propose a study of political risk at the systemic level, with reference to specific corporations or sectors providing case studies.  The use of novel methodologies for analysing complexity can be achieved with any of the research designs outlined below, either separately or in combination:

•    An analysis of risk evaluations at the systemic level through an understanding of the relations between assessments of risk.
•    A Bayesian network analysis to determine the unobserved (or latent) risk variables in socio-political events.
•    New media analysis either as NLP or semantic analysis to detect “early warning” indicators of change in risk hazards.
•    Content analysis of annual reports and profit warnings as a means for assessing response sensitivity to emerging political risks.

Supervisory team: Dr Dimitris Christopoulos & Prof. Gareth Peters
Research Centre:  The Centre for Networks and Enterprise Excellence

For more information, contact details and to apply: