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The University of Southampton
Geography and Environmental Science

Fully Funded PhD Studentship

Published: 23 August 2011

Co-Sponsored by: The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Retail Industry Business Engagement Network (RIBEN) and Test Valley Borough Council

The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Retail Industry Business Engagement Network (RIBEN) funds PhD studentships in partnership with retail-industry and associated partners. Geography and Environment at the University of Southampton is a lead partner of RIBEN (along with units at the University of Leeds, the University of Oxford, and the University of Surrey) and invites expressions of interest for a fully-funded PhD studentship co-sponsored by Test Valley Borough Council. The studentship will be hosted by Geography and Environment at the University of Southampton under the supervision of Professor Neil Wrigley and Dr Nick Clarke. The project will focus on the following topic:

The economic impact of annual events (with a particular focus on the impact of cultural events on retailers in the Test Valley area). The objectives are: to establish the economic impact of various annual events on the towns of Andover, Romsey, and Stockbridge (including fairs, carnivals, festivals, and shows); to establish this economic impact at its broadest level, on local businesses and services, and with a particular focus on the retailing sector of the Test Valley area; and to make recommendations regarding future local economic development strategy for the Borough. Methods will include: reviews of the economic impact assessment literature (including methodological advances and case studies of successful events); analysis of secondary data provided by the Borough; and collection of primary data by way of surveys and interviews.

Eligibility: ESRC/RIBEN considers the project and student as a complete package. We have the project (including co-sponsor) and now invite expressions of interest from potential students. Successful applicants will be nominated to the ESRC/RIBEN for a fully-funded project to start on 1st October 2011 (and to finish three years later). Ideally, applicants should possess both a good undergraduate degree (2.1 or above) in a social science discipline (Geography, Sociology, Political Science, Economics etc.) and a Master’s degree from an ESRC-recognised programme. In exceptional circumstances, we may consider students with a Master’s degree from a non-recognised programme, or students with just an excellent undergraduate degree. The studentship is open to British and EU nationals only. To be eligible for the full award, EU nationals must have resided in the UK for a period of three years immediately preceding the start of the award. EU nationals who have not resided in the UK for this period may still be eligible for a ‘fees only’ award so long as they have resided in the EU for a similar period.

Initial enquiries can be made to Dr Nick Clarke (

Formal applications can be organised with Julie Drewitt (

The deadline for all applications will be 2nd September 2011.

Interviews will be held in the week beginning 5th September 2011.

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