The Blavatnik School of Government is pleased to announce a scholarship to work under the supervision of Dr Clare Leaver, Dr Martin J. Williams, and/or other Blavatnik School faculty members on the topic of personnel management and performance in governments worldwide. The scholarship cover full tuition fees, a stipend for living expenses, and costs of travel/research for three years for students of any nationality enrolled in the DPhil programme at the Blavatnik School. The funding is linked to the School’s People Lab, an international centre for excellence in original research and knowledge-to-practice in the area of people management.
Across the world governments are failing – not because they lack good policies, but because they lack the people to frame and to implement them. Recruiting, motivating and retaining brilliant, determined, and entrepreneurial people in the public service is an urgent but difficult challenge faced by countries across the world.
The People Lab – created by the Blavatnik School of Government, in partnership with Fundação BRAVA – aims to improve the motivation, responsiveness and effectiveness of people working in government, through collaborative research, direct engagement with the public and private sectors, and teaching.
The research programme envisions that the successful candidate will undertake research linked to the People Lab’s main goals and activities, ideally in close partnership with one or more governments. This research could either be designed and executed by the student alone, co-designed and implemented through one of the People Lab’s government collaborations, or a combination of these. This research could include quantitative and/or qualitative methods, and examples of projects could include designing and experimentally evaluating personnel management policies in partnership with a government, undertaking qualitative analysis of large-scale civil service reforms, analysing administrative data to provide insight into the effects of career development or performance management structures, or exploring innovative solutions to improve people in government motivation and effectiveness.
Although it is anticipated that at least part of the DPhil will involve direct engagement in People Lab research, students will have substantial autonomy to craft the exact character of the questions posed in the DPhil within the broad outlines of the People Lab. Creativity is encouraged, including at the stage of submitting the research proposal for the DPhil project.
Applicants will be assessed through the regular DPhil application process of the Blavatnik School. Please make clear in your DPhil application that you wish to be considered for the People Lab scholarship. We welcome brilliant applicants from any relevant field of social science, including but not limited to political science, economics, public policy, management, sociology, law, behavioural science or organisational behaviour. Students are ordinarily only accepted to the Blavatnik School DPhil programme if they already possess a research master’s degree or equivalent training. For any questions, please contact the admissions team. The deadline for application is Friday 8 January 2021.