Funded PhD Opportunity A study of the impact of digital transformation: a human capital perspective.

This opportunity is now closed.

Subject: Business and Management Studies


Waves of technological change are shaping the economy and the nature of work.  Technologies are automating routine tasks, enabling flexible working, and increasing the demand for cognitive skills that cannot be automated by technology.  Advances in technology are radically changing the relationship between people and machines, and in turn the structure of professions and associated tasks.  The Northern Ireland Civil Service (NICS) has been implementing technology in a range of functional areas. Moreover, increasingly citizen-facing government services have been transformed through the introduction of digital technologies.  These developments have led to the elimination of tasks and the need for additional skills in the functional areas affected.  There is a need to more fully understand the impact of technology on each of the functional areas.

This study will involve analysing human capital management and development strategies for individuals at the functional level in the NICS. It will also involve considering the implications for human resource policies and practices in these functions.  Particular emphasis will be placed on assessing the change management implications for these functions.  The Ulster University Business School has already carried out research in the NICS in the area of shared services, and has developed strong contacts with the NICS.  In particular, discussions have already taken place key decision makers in Enterprise Shared Services in the NICS, and he his keen to facilitate research in the areas of digital transformation.

Essential Criteria

  • Upper Second Class Honours (2:1) Degree or equivalent from a UK institution (or overseas award deemed to be equivalent via UK NARIC)
  • Sound understanding of subject area as evidenced by a comprehensive research proposal
  • A comprehensive and articulate personal statement

Desirable Criteria

If the University receives a large number of applicants for the project, the following desirable criteria may be applied to shortlist applicants for interview.

  • First Class Honours (1st) Degree
  • Masters at 65%


    Vice Chancellors Research Scholarships (VCRS)

    The scholarships will cover tuition fees and a maintenance award of £15,009 per annum for three years (subject to satisfactory academic performance). Applications are invited from UK, European Union and overseas students.


    The scholarship will cover tuition fees at the Home rate and a maintenance allowance of £15,009 per annum for three years. EU applicants will only be eligible for the fees component of the studentship (no maintenance award is provided).  For Non EU nationals the candidate must be "settled" in the UK.

Other information

The Doctoral College at Ulster University

Launch of the Doctoral College

Current PhD researchers and an alumnus shared their experiences, career development and the social impact of their work at the launch of the Doctoral College at Ulster University.

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Key Dates

Submission Deadline
Monday 19 February 2018
Interview Date
12 March 2018

Contact Supervisor

Professor Ronan McIvor

Other Supervisors

Apply online

Visit and quote reference number #238397 when applying for this PhD opportunity