Our PhD opportunities

PhD Studentship - Economics

  • Amount: £17,668 annual stipend for three years (increased each year in line with UKRI studentships), plus tuition fees waived and a research support allowance of £2,250
  • Level: Postgraduate research
  • School: Edinburgh Business School 
  • Entry date: 9 January 2023
  • Closing date: 31 October 2022   

Edinburgh Business School is offering full-time PhD studentship in Economics starting in January 2023. The studentship includes a tuition fee waiver and an annual stipend currently set at £17,668 for the academic year 2022-23.  The duration of the studentships is three years, offering a research support allowance of £2,250 over the registered period of study. In addition, full-time scholarship holders are normally offered an opportunity to undertake a modest amount of paid teaching support each academic year

Economics at Heriot-Watt University is based in Edinburgh Business School.  Our world-leading research in economics is based around the Centre for Social and Economic Data Analytics.  PhD candidates are expected to engage in specialist training through our membership of the Scottish Graduate Programme in Economics, as well as having access to a wide range of additional training and other activities supported by the School, and through the University’s Research Futures Academy.

About the role: 

We are looking for students who can develop a PhD proposal based in the following project area:

Job location decisions, commuting and mismatch. In dual career families the job location decision is often challenging.  Finding jobs for both partners which are a good match for their skills, well-paid and located at a commutable distance from their place of residence is not easy.

Women are often more willing than men to accept lower wages or mismatched jobs in exchange for a shorter commute. Moreover, with the birth of a first child this trade-off becomes even larger and strongly affects female labour market outcomes. Some studies in the literature have looked into aspects of this problem.

 A number of papers have documented gender differences in commuting distances and how they feed into the gender wage gap (Bertrand 2011; Goldin 2014; Olivetti and Petrongolo 2016; Blau and Kahn 2017).

Another line of research provides evidence on the strong impact that the birth of the first child has on women’s labour market performance compared to men (Angelov, Johansson, and Lindahl 2016; Kleven, Landais, and Søgaard 2019; Kleven et al. 2019). In a recent article Le Barbanchon et al. (2020) estimate the trade-off between wage and commuting preferences across gender and how this contributes to the gender wage gap, while Albanese et al. (2022) study the effect of childbirth on local and non-local employment dynamics. This proposal tries to quantify the trade-off that partners face when making job location decisions, with and without the presence of a child, and specifically to assess how much this trade-off varies across gender.

For informal enquiries, please contact Dr Cristina Tealdi (c.tealdi@hw.ac.uk

Entry criteria and applications: 

Applicants should have an undergraduate degree in a relevant field with a minimum classification of 2:1, and an MSc in Economics (or a closely-related field).  In addition, candidates for whom English is a second language should meet the University’s minimum English-language requirements.  If you have not already studied a degree programme that was taught and examined in the medium of English, the minimum overall IELTS score is 6.5 with no score lower than 6.0 in Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening.  Applications for more than one project from the same candidate will be considered.

Please note that possession of the minimum qualifications does not guarantee shortlisting for interview.

Applicants should submit their application online via https://www.hw.ac.uk/study/apply/uk/postgraduate.htm.

Please ensure that, when prompted by the system, you select ‘PhD Economics’ as the programme for which your are applying, and that in the relevant field on the application form you indicate that you are seeking to fund your PhD through the ‘SoSS Economics PhD scholarship’. Also, ensure that you include Dr Cristina Tealdi’s name as the potential supervisor of the project.

In order that your application can be processed, please ensure that all the supporting documents listed below are submitted with your application:

  • Research Proposal - An outline research proposal (max. 1500 words or two pages).  This should clearly identify the proposed research question and modes of inquiry you wish to pursue establishing a topic and potential supervisor(s)
  • Academic Transcripts and Degree Certificates - Copies of full academic transcripts from all previous academic degree courses and copies of degree certificates for degrees already awarded. If you are currently pursuing a degree course, please provide all available marks to date. If your degree is from a non-UK institution, please provide evidence of the UK equivalency of your qualification
  • Curriculum Vitae - A full CV should be submitted
  • Covering Letter - A brief covering letter outlining why you want to study for a PhD at Heriot-Watt University, and what makes you an excellent candidate

Interviews will take place in November 2022, and will be conducted via video conferencing (e.g. Zoom or similar). Interview support for those with disabilities will be available where required (e.g. a BSL interpreter).

If you have any general queries about the applications process, please contact soss.pgr@hw.ac.uk.


At Heriot-Watt University we understand that being diverse makes us better which is why we support a culture of respect and equal opportunity, and value diversity at the heart of what we do. We want to increase the diversity of our workplace to underpin a dynamic and creative environment and welcome applications from underrepresented groups.

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