Our PhD opportunities

Current PhD opportunities available in the Centre for Social and Economic Data Analytics.

Finance PhD Studentships - 2022

Centre for Social and Economic Data Analytics - Finance PhD Studentships

Our world-leading research in Finance at Edinburgh Business School is based around the newly established Centre for Social and Economic Data Analytics (CSEDA). The PhD candidate would be expected to engage in a wide range of training and activities supported by the School, and through the University's Research Futures Academy.

The studentship includes a tuition fee waiver and an annual stipend currently set at £16,062 for the academic year 2022-23. The duration of the studentship is three years. We also offer a research support allowance of £2,250 over the registered period of study. In addition, full-time scholarship holders are normally offered the opportunity to undertake a modest amount of paid teaching support each academic year.

  • Entry date: 12 September 2022
  • Application closes: 8 June 2022
  • Cost: £16,062 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

Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact Dr Bing Xu for an informal discussion prior to submitting their application.

Project Background

Climate change is one of the biggest challenges of our times. We are highly likely to face frequent and extreme weather conditions which may impact our society, businesses, and wildlife, causing immense economic losses. Hence, developing new transformative technologies is vital to achieving a low carbon and circular economy, but beyond the technological level there are complex non-technical challenges that need to be solved to enable this. It is now widely recognised that the decarbonisation and enhanced circularity cannot be achieved without unprecedented levels of investment.

This PhD project can potentially look at topics such as sustainable finance; the role of the financial system and financing a circular economy; sustainable investment funds and risks; financing opportunities of circular economy and risks; sustainable (digital) business models; climate finance and climate transition risks; ESG markets, amongst others

Entry Requirements

Applicants should have an Undergraduate degree in a relevant field, with a minimum classification of 2:1 - a Master's degree in a relevant area is desirable. For the purposes of this project, relevant fields include Finance, Energy Finance, Energy Policy, Business Analytics, or a similar discipline.

Particular consideration will be given to candidates with excellent economics, finance, analytical and communication skills. Programming experience in Matlab, Python, R and/or Stata is desirable. Experience in research-related stakeholder engagement and development, especially in the finance sector, energy or the circular economy would be advantageous. Professional experience of finance and investment, sustainable finance, business models, and demonstrable analytical writing experience would also be advantageous.

In addition, candidates for whom English is a second language should meet the University's minimum English-language requirements. If you have not studied a degree programme that was taught and examined in English, the minimum overall IELTS score is 6.5, with no score lower than 6.0 in Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening.

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

How to apply

You can submit your application here, please ensure that state Dr Bing Xu as the Primary Supervisor of the project and ensure the supporting documents listed below are included.

  • Research Proposal - An outline research proposal (max. 1500 words). This should clearly identify how the proposed research question and modes of inquiry align with the project brief
  • 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 mid-June 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 us here

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. Heriot-Watt is committed to giving access and opportunities to student carers, and received the Going Higher for Student Carers Recognition Award from Carers Trust Scotland in 2020.