Cardiff Business School Courses

PhD studentship: Managing Agglomeration: City-Region Dynamics in Wales

Applications are invited for a prestigious (1+3 or +3) full-time ESRC PhD Studentship to be based in Cardiff Business School, to begin late-September 2016. The award is generously supported by the ESRC Wales Doctoral Training Centre, Cardiff Business School and Cardiff University, and is associated with the £10M Economic and Social Research Council funded Wales Institute of Social & Economic Research, Data and Methods (WISERD).

We are seeking exceptional applicants with a first or very good upper second class Honours degree, and/or a Masters degree with an average mark of at least 65%.
'+3' applicants should already have the necessary Masters training in research methods from an ESRC Doctoral Training Centre.


The studentship will cover full UK/EU tuition fees as well as a stipend and an additional Research Training Support Grant (RTSG). In 2015-16 the stipend for full-time students was £14,057 and the RTSG was £750. The award levels for 2016-17 have yet to be published by the ESRC.

Project Description

The urban condition is a constant and now-pressing challenge to social science (Amin 2013). According to Storper (2013: 4) in Keys to the City, “city-regions are the principal scale at which people experience lived reality”.  The geographical churn, turbulence, and unevenness of development, combined with the sheer scale or urbanization, will make city-region development more important than ever—to economics, politics, our mood and our welfare.  And managing it will pose one of the most critical challenges to humanity.   The Welsh Government is seeking to do this through the designation of the Swansea Bay and Cardiff Capital City-Regions.

Such management though requires “insights into the drivers of changes in the geography of economic development” (Storper, 2013: 4). This PhD will consider the dynamics of city-regions in Wales and make comparisons with City Regions in England. By using the insights of cultural political economy (see Sum and Jessop 2014), and in turn developing this important approach to policy, discourse and economic development management, it will shed light on the following research questions:

  • Why have, and which, city-regions been introduced in Wales and how do they operate?
  • Can city-regions create and sustain growth in Wales?
  • What is the relationship between city-regions and their hinterland geographies and is uneven development increasing or decreasing?
  • What is the relationship of a cities material-physical structure to its economic performance?


Prof Calvin Jones at Cardiff Business School and Prof Martin Jones at University of Sheffield.


Both UK and EU citizens may apply. EU nationals who have been ordinarily resident in the UK throughout the 3-year period immediately preceding the start date of an award (including for the purpose of full-time education) are eligible for a full award. Other EU nationals are eligible for a fees-only award.

How to Apply

Applicants are strongly advised to contact the primary supervisor Prof Calvin Jones to discuss the project prior to completing an application.

Applications should be submitted via Cardiff University’s Online Application Service.  Please specify a PhD in Business Studies with a start date of October 2016.

In the ‘Funding’ section of the Online Application Form, please indicate that you are applying for the ESRC PhD Studentship “Managing Agglomeration: City-Region Dynamics in Wales”

Guidance for sending/uploading supporting documents is available via your Online Application account.

Applicants for this award do not need to submit a ‘Research Proposal’.

Please use the ‘Personal Statement’ section of the application form to explain, in approximately 500 words, why this studentship appeals to you and how it relates to your areas of study and expertise.

Academic References

All PhD admissions applications require two references to be submitted in support. Please ensure that your chosen referees are aware of the funding deadline and have submitted their references by this date as we will be using these to help us evaluate your application. (N.B. the University does not approach referees on your behalf)

Academic Transcripts

Where applicable, academic transcripts must be submitted with the online admissions application by the funding deadline. We will be using these to verify your academic qualifications.

English language

For students whose first language is not English, evidence of proficiency in the English language is required e.g. normally a score of band 7.0 on IELTS (writing scored 7.0, with no subscore less than 6.5).

Incomplete or late applications will not be considered.


Please ensure your application and all supporting documents reach us no later than Friday 4th March 2016.

Further Information

For more information please contact: or telephone: +44 (0)29 2087 6786