PhD Scholarship in Management - Testing the Big X of Leadership

Exeter, Devon (GB)
18 Nov 2021
End of advertisement period
21 Jan 2022
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

PhD Scholarship in Management - Testing the Big X of Leadership
University of Exeter Business School

Job reference: P78486
Location: Exeter
Salary: The starting salary will be from £27,924 up to £35,326 on Grade (E), depending on qualifications and experience.

Project Description
The University of Exeter Business School trains world-class researchers who will shape our how we understand and respond to the most important societal challenges. The University of Exeter Business School belongs to consortium of internationally leading business schools that are working to address the urgent need for better quality, scientifically validated, leadership training (see This PhD will help to establish the Big X of Leadership. Akin to the Big 5 of personality, this will summarise and integrate the past 100 years of leadership research to identify the core behaviours of effective leadership.

The PhD is likely to, among other things, focus on developing and validating high quality measurement instruments and develop assessment centre tools and situational job tests. In the process, the student will answer questions like “what does it mean to score really well versus really poorly?” and “are there differences between team- and C-level leaders?” The exact research questions will be chosen to align with the student’s interests, and at the end of the PhD the student will be an expert in leadership assessment and development.

Scholarship Description
Students are employed as full-time members of staff of the Business School and receive a (taxable) salary of between £27,924 to £35,326 that covers the 3-year PhD as well as a tuition fee waiver. Students are additionally eligible for funding to support their research, development and conference attendance. The scholarship includes a requirement that students work as teaching or research assistants for 1 day a week (330 hours per year). This is a valuable part of your training and will ensure that you graduate from the Business School as a highly skilled researcher and educator. The Programme is run on a full-time basis only and students are expected to live in Exeter.

Person Requirements

The ideal candidate

  • Will have strong psychometric/econometric skills and a relevant degree that supports these statistical skills (e.g., psychology or educational sciences)
  • Will be good at stakeholder management as they will be expected to engage with centre directors across a large consortium of international business schools.
  • Will have a keen eye for, and interest in, practical application and user-friendliness to make sure that the end products of the research are widely adopted.
  • Will be willing to travel around the world in support of this project, including spending significant time in Rotterdam with the principal investigator Hannes Leroy.

How to Apply
You need an undergraduate degree in a relevant discipline, with a final grade in the top 10% of your graduating class. You should also hold a Masters degree. You need to give details of two referees. They should be faculty members who know your work well and can judge your research potential, such as previous supervisors or academic tutors. You can also attach a CV of up to two pages long. The essay forms an important part of the application, so ensure that you give this sufficient attention. You must submit a Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) or Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) score that is no more than five years old. You are unlikely to gain admission with a GMAT score below 690. GRE quantitative and analytical scores should be above the 90th percentile.

If you apply, you will be asked to complete the application form, and to upload the documents listed below by 21 January 2022. Note, your application will not be considered if you do not upload all of the documents listed below in the specified form; please do not upload any additional documents as they will not be considered.

1.    An essay of no more than 750 words maximum explaining (1) why you are applying for the scholarship and (2) why you are a suitable recipient of the scholarship.
2.    A CV of no more than 2 pages
3.    The official transcript or certified copy of university grades from all past degrees
4.    The official statement of your GMAT / GRE scores (no more than 5 years old)
5.    Two academic reference letters (one must be from your most recent institution)
6.    If relevant, valid, original Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or Cambridge score report (if required).

Application Timeline

  • Applications are due by 21 January 2022
  • Short-listed applicants will be invited to interview in Februar
  • Students are expected to start by September 2022 (earlier starts are possible) 

For Further Information
For more information about the scholarship and informal enquiries, please contact Hannes Leroy at