PhD Opportunities

PhD Opportunities

To make an application for a place on the 2018/19 PhD programme, please click the 'Apply Now' button to the right-hand side of this page. The deadline for applications is the end of August 2018 and the deadline for studentship applications is 30th June 2018.

Henley Business School holds triple-accredited status and we enjoy a reputation for high quality academic and applied research. The University of Reading is one of the top 200 universities worldwide (QS World University Rankings 2018) and consistently rated among the UK's most research intensive institutions.

Becoming a PhD student in the area of Leadership, Organisations and Behaviour at Henley provides a unique opportunity to undertake original research that is timely as well as business relevant and to develop your critical thinking, intellectual capacity and creativity. Our postgraduate research students are drawn from all over the world and benefit from a dynamic research environment, supervision from internationally-renowned faculty, dedicated support and outstanding facilities. Our faculty continuously publishes in internationally well-known and highly rated journals such as the Journal of Organizational Behaviour, Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, British Journal of Sociology, Cambridge Journal of Economics, Organisation Studies, The Leadership Quarterly, Academy of Management Learning & Education, Organization Science, British Journal of Management, Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal,  International Journal of Management Reviews, Group and Organisation Management, including books with the following imprints: Routledge, Sage, JAI Press, Edward Elgar and Harvard Business Review Press.

In the 2016 annual evaluation of supervisory arrangements carried out by the University of Reading's Graduate School 100% of our PhDs rated their supervisory experience as either satisfied or very satisfied, with the majority (83%) being very satisfied. 

To view our PhD Programme for 2017-18, which includes a comprehensive programme of the modules to support the learning of all our PhD students, please click here: PhD_Programme_Specification_2017-18.pdf

Applying for a PhD

The process for applying does not follow a linear path that is identical for every student, but the basic steps are as follows:

1. Write a research proposal outlining the topic you wish to research. Please ensure that you read the information on our 'How to Write a Research Proposal' page before starting, as it will give you some useful advice.

2. Choose an academic member of staff, listed below on this page, that has a similar area of research to your research proposal's focus. You can then send your research proposal to them for comment.

3. If the academic in question is interested, they will get back in touch with you. It is likely that they will have some questions or suggestions for improving your research proposal. Please note that if you do not receive a response you must not send your research proposal to all the other academics listed on this page.

4. If the academic is satisfied with the proposal you will be invited to apply. Please note that you can apply before this, but until you have the support of an academic supervisor you will not be able to complete the process.

5. Apply by clicking the 'Apply Now' button on the right-hand side of this page. Please note that from 2017/18 onwards we will only be accepting PhD students starting their studies in September at the start of the Autumn semester, so we cannot accept any new students looking to enrol in either the Spring or Summer semesters.

PhD Funding

Up to 4 postgraduate studentships, each worth up to £15,000 plus University fees, are available for outstanding applicants wanting to conduct full-time postgraduate research in the areas listed. These awards are offered on an annual basis and are renewable at the end of each year subject to satisfactory performance, for up to 3 years. The closing date for Studentship applications is 30 June 2017. In particular we are looking for PhD candidates with excellent potential in the areas of Entrepreneurship, Social and Organisation Studies, Leadership, Moral Agency and Business Ethics and Non-market related strategies. Students with an interest in these thematic areas within our research centres are invited to apply.

The tuition fees for PhD students, both international and home/EU, will be set in spring 2018. Information about the PhD course fees for home and international students can be found here.

Please note: We are currently only accepting full-time applicants for our PhD Programmes. If you are interested in pursuing a part-time PhD, please follow the link to our DBA programme here.

Important Information for Applicants for Studentships

Applicants for studentships are expected to have obtained or be expecting to obtain a distinction in their Masters degree and in their Masters thesis. MBAs are not considered. Applications for studentships are very competitive and students are further assessed on their ability to speak and communicate in English as part of the duties of studentship holders are to engage in teaching assistant duties (up to 6 hours per week) from their second year in the programme. For further information on studentship requirements please contact the school administrator Alex Baker.

Research areas

Henley Business School's research in the School of Leadership, Organisations and Behaviour is driven through the following leading centres: the Henley Centre for Entrepreneurship, the Centre for Social and Organisational Studies, Centre for Euro Asian Studies and the Henley Centre for Leadership. Many of our research centres have active membership from a wide range of international leading companies providing plenty of opportunity to engage with executive leaders and the practitioner community.

We welcome applicants seeking to conduct full-time postgraduate research in the following fields:

Centre for Entrepreneurship

  1. The economics of entrepreneurship - Clusters and their evolution; Government Policies for the development of Small Business concerns and Clusters; The sources of Finance of Small and Medium-sized firms; Regional and National Systems of Innovation and their Evolution (all in relation to developed countries only)
  2. Leadership and Management in Entrepreneurial and /or Family firms - The impact of Gender on Management in SMEs, Women in Entrepreneurship
  3. Intermediation and market making
  4. Cross-Cultural Entrepreneurship - Ethnic entrepreneurship

Centre for Social and Organisational Studies at Henley Business School

  1. Virtue and integrity theories applied to problems of governance and agency in business, business and society and critical approaches to management
  2. Cultural change (in particular industries, or in relation to the business and society relationship at large e.g. globalisation) and the nature of ethical issues arising for individuals and groups in organisations and in the organisation and society relationship
  3. Challenges of ethical pluralism and relativism in relation to context and stakeholder problems
  4. Morals and the limits of Markets; Challenges for the common good
  5. The role of ethics of dialogue in organisations and society, the nature of dialogic ethics and agency
  6. The role of businesses and international organisations in the development of universal humanistic and eco-centric ethics.
  7. Philosophical topics in organisation studies (especially questions about the ontology of organisations).
  8. Proposals that use convention theory (sometimes called pragmatic sociology) and apply it to organisations.
  9. Proposals on alternative ways of valuing and prioritisation in general, or with a specific focus on healthcare.
  10. Any topics related to the philosophical foundations of economic thought.
  11. Gender, race, class in the workplace
  12. Intersectional perspectives on employment and organisations
  13. Elites and Professions
  14. Professional status and inequality regimes
  15. Critical perspectives on stress and well-being at work
  16. Critical perspectives on power in organisations
  17. Lacanian studies of organisational issues
  18. Management in cultural and creative organisations, particularly legitimisation strategies and relations within creative clusters

Henley Centre for Leadership

  1. Distributed Leadership in complex professionalised settings and strategies to facilitate its emergence
  2. Project leadership change management
  3. Leadership development processes to enable women to access senior positions and break the glass ceiling
  4. Leadership dysfunction and its effect on organisational culture/wellbeing
  5. Team leadership, team dynamics and team effectiveness)
  6. Leadership and innovation-creativity on teams
  7. Exploring organisational leadership capability
  8. Energising senior management teams
  9. Developing leadership capacity on the job
  10. Digital strategic leadership 

Centre for Euro Asian Studies

 1. Energy economics with particular reference to oil and gas industries 


Potential academic supervisors within the area of Leadership, Organisations and Behaviour:

Continuing your career

A PhD in the area of Leadership, Organisations and Behaviour from Henley Business School can open doors to a highly successful career in academia, large multinationals, leading consulting firms and governmental and non-governmental organisations worldwide. Our PhD graduates have gone on to Post-doctoral Fellow positions at Henley Business School, lectureship positions in Portsmouth University, Hotelschool The Hague and research posts.

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Contact Us

If you have any questions, please contact Alex Baker by email at or by phone on +44 (0)118 378 8691.

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