The Sustainable Business Research Institute at Leeds Beckett University led by Professor Ralph Tench is seeking applications for up to four fully funded PhD studies from exceptional UK or overseas students with an excellent academic record and an interest in communication and responsible engagement.  The positions will start in February 2021.


This PhD studentship is focussed on the role of communication in society and can be studied from a profit or not-for-profit perspective.  Supervised by leading international scholars from strategic communication and public relations, this post is looking for a student with interest in the key role communication plays in society. Applications are invited on themes that relate to:

  • Health communication
    Past studies within the team have looked at wicked societal problems such as obesity, wellbeing in organisations, public affairs and policy formation on health issues as well as issues and crisis management on health issues and health pandemics (latterly Covid-19). We are open to ideas on research themes that explore and expand on our understanding of communication and the impact on regional, national and international health agendas and understanding.
  • Communication and technology: digital connectivity. 
    This theme explores the technologies/channels of communication and the impact of digital change communication theory and practice, as well as the behaviour of communicators, both professional and as ‘citizens’. The impact of technical change can be explored at all levels of the communication process, from individual to societal and global impacts. Critically evaluating the impact of technological developments on traditional/historical approaches to communication in the field is one avenue for this theme to explore.  This could involve consideration of the behaviour changes required by all parties in the creation and dissemination of digital communication content, at individual, local, national and global levels, as well as alternative non-digital forms; exploring the impact of impending technological/digital changes (positive and negative) on society. We are also interested in how technology is applied in the communication sphere in response to societal issues and crises.  This raises research themes on technology and risk, transparency, ethics and responsibility.
More info & applications