To help support the University of Bath’s world-class research environment and to provide doctoral training for those interested in a professional academic career, the School of Management provides a number of funded PhD studentships each year.
There are currently opportunities to join the school’s Marketing, Business and Society division. With the deadline of 30th January fast approaching, we asked four students who have recently joined the Centre for Business, Organisations and Society (CBOS) to answer some common questions about what it’s like to study for a PhD, and why they chose Bath.
There are so many things I'm interested in - how can I refine my research area?
I remember coming back from my place of work in Nigeria. I noticed how dirty the central marketplace was, and specifically how littered it was with bottles and plastic bags. What struck me the most as I approached my house, was that most of these “waste products” had recycling signs on their packages. I then began to wonder if there was a possible misalignment between what an organisation desires in terms of keeping the environment clean through recycling, and how members of society in Nigeria respond to such cues. This led me towards my PhD, and an initial focus on sustainable production and representation.
Since I arrived, my supervisors have pointed me towards a variety of academic articles, and I’ve started to think of more interesting ways to look at the misalignment. My ideas are changing fast, and I am becoming more conversant with the CSR literature by virtue of the CBOS reading groups and recommended readings from my supervisors.
My final focus area is not yet clear cut, but it is a journey I am glad that I am undertaking, and I am excited that my mind is currently undergoing an academic and critical metamorphosis. A question my supervisor asked me was, “If you wanted to change the world, what would you focus on?” That question has changed how I view and interpret academic research because it challenges my assumptions, and makes me look deeper into something that stirs my passion and turns it into flames in my heart. I am truly excited about this journey: it is a worthwhile one, and I am happy to be a part of this community, where there is freedom to exchange and refine ideas constantly.
Oyinkansola Ige, 1st Year PhD Student
What sort of support and training will I get at Bath?
I am glad that I chose Bath for my PhD because the university provides immense support for postgraduates. Especially with the recent formation of the Doctoral College, there are many activities, events and workshops we can go to. There are extensive Postgraduate Skills Workshops available from the most theoretical aspects to very practical ones. On the academic side, for example, there are workshops on academic writing, how to write critically and how to conduct a literature review. But we can also learn about non-academic issues such as building confidence, coping with stress and managing yourself and your doctoral studies.
The workshops are of high quality, with some delivered by academics and the more practical ones delivered by external consultants. The university’s willingness to invest in this training makes me feel that they really believe in providing all the support they can.
In addition, PhD students in the School of Management must complete six compulsory modules in their first year: this is really is quite rare in a PhD programme. These modules cover topics including philosophy, qualitative studies, quantitative methods, and set a strong foundation for not just your PhD but for your entire future career. I am truly glad I chose this university to do my PhD.
Alisha Tuladhar, 1st Year PhD student
I’m worried that I’ll feel isolated – does it help to be part of a research centre?
Being a part of CBOS has been a great experience so far. We are invited to all CBOS seminars and events, which really make us feel included and valued even though we are new to the centre. Every two weeks we have a reading group, each led by a different member of faculty, which is a great opportunity to discuss concepts that I have never previously studied. In the reading group you realise how much there is to learn and how many perspectives there are to explore. It’s such a friendly environment that despite being extremely shy, I feel able and comfortable to share my opinion with the others.
We also have coffee together every Thursday morning. It’s a great opportunity to check in and see how everyone is doing and what they are working on. A PhD can be an isolating experience but our research centre is doing a lot to make sure that we connect and support each other. It’s great!
Amira Battle, 1st Year PhD student
Will I be able to connect with people beyond my PhD group?
Each day I spend at the School of Management confirms and surpasses my expectations that made me decide to come here for my six months PhD visiting period. From the very start of my visit, I received a warm welcome from my supervisor, other PhD students, professors and the administration. Thanks to the networking events that are organised at the university – such as coffees, doctoral digests or seminars – I am having the opportunity to meet interesting and smart colleagues to share ideas, receive suggestions, improve my knowledge (and my English!) and enjoy their company.
Moreover, thanks to the support provided by CBOS, I was able to attend a conference in London and several other workshops, which coherently align with my research interests. I feel fortunate to get this chance to learn from international renowned scholars. All these opportunities that the School provides, allow me to understand what it means to be a good researcher.
Diletta Acuti, visiting PhD student from the University of Florence
Don't forget that the deadline to apply for a studentship starting in October 2018 is midday on Wednesday 30th January.