One evening last week I had one of those great emails, bringing good news. I had been successful in the ESRC Scottish Graduate School for the Social Sciences Collaborative Studentship Competition. With only 10 awarded across the whole of Scotland (and in a plug for Stirling University’s expertise and approach we got three of them), I am understandably chuffed.
The PhD project is on “Scotland’s Town Centres: New Understandings of Retail Structure, Vacancy, Churn and Resilience”. Being a collaborative project, I could not have done this alone. My partner in this is the Local Data Company and Matthew Hopkinson. We have been working together for some time and most notably on our Scotland’s Towns Summit and Report. This showed the potential for the LDC data on Scotland and the ability of detailed and in depth work to produce new measures and understanding.
So the project was proposed to the ESRC and we are delighted to have been awarded the opportunity to deliver.
And thus to the main point of this blog post. We will be looking for an excellent PhD student to take on the project (PhD Project Summary here). You will need to have a relevant accredited Masters degree and an interest in understanding change in Scotland’s towns, and especially retail change. We will be using lots of data, so need good quantitative skills, but you also have to be able to engage with professional town centre managers and business owners. We’ll be giving specialist training and there’ll be lots of development opportunities including public presentations and academic and trade press writing.
Formal applications are not yet open, but if you want to discuss the opportunity informally then please drop me an email or give me a ring. Full details and the formal application process will be announced in due course, but contacting me now will register your interest in learning more.
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