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School of Events Tourism and Hospitality Management Studentships

OECD Impact Bursary (1 Post)

Seventy Years of Tourism Policy in OECD countries

We are seeking to appoint a highly capable and enthusiastic candidate to work on a unique research collaboration between the OECD and Leeds Beckett University. Within the School of Events, Tourism and Hospitality Management, PhD Impact Bursaries are differentiated from other research projects on the basis that their design should assist in the policies and practices of partners or other policy-makers and practitioners. The collaboration in question is a research project which seeks to analyse the development of tourism policy in OECD member and partner countries over the last 70 years. The basis of the collaboration will allow the project to have access to both the digital and physical records held by the OECD on tourism policy making since the formation of the OECD Tourism Committee in 1948.

The joint research project will form the basis of the candidate’s PhD thesis and will focus on the use of policy and document analysis to examine the scale and scope of the work of the OECD Tourism Committee and individual country policies on the sector as a whole. There are two key features of this research; firstly the unique access provided to 70 years of OECD records and documents; and secondly, the guidance of OECD officials on the shape and direction of the work.

Tourism policy research is now well established and has flourished in the twenty first century and the literature demonstrates that it is of both practical and theoretical significance. There is however, little research analyzing the historic development of tourism policy and its shifting focus since the second world war, from rebuilding post war Europe to the concerns of climate change, geo-political disruption and digital technologies seventy years on - hence the significance of this project. A particular focus of the project will be the historic analysis of OECD members’ tourism policy and the associated actors, agencies, influences, ideologies, values, and policy cycles.

We expect that the project will use a multi-method approach including historic document analysis, stakeholder mapping, thick description to understand particular geographic and historic contexts for policy, and a case study approach. We do not envisage a significant amount of primary data collection through interview. We expect that the outcome of the project will be to better understand the factors which have shaped public policy making and decisions in tourism over the last 70 years across OECD Member States.

The candidate’s research is therefore expected to be innovative, multi-method and interdisciplinary, aiming at an in-depth, critical analysis combining theoretical and empirical research work on policy analysis.

Professors Chris Cooper will be the lead supervisor for the project and informal enquiries should be addressed to C.P.Cooper@leedsbeckett.ac.uk.

Plus Icon Details of the Bursary and how to Apply

The Bursary

The PhD bursary is for a period of 3 years full-time study and is aimed to start on 15th January 2019. An annual stipend of £14,000 (pro-rata in 12 monthly payments) is provided. The stipend is exempt from UK Income Tax and National Insurance. Tuition fees will also be paid by the School. The successful applicant will be based full-time at our Headingley Campus, Leeds, UK and will be required to spend periods of time at the OECD Headquarters in Paris.

How to Apply

Applicants are invited to submit the following documents to researchadmissions@leedsbeckett.ac.uk and phdprogrammeETHM@leedsbeckett.ac.uk* by 2nd December: 

  1. CV/résumé: two pages highlighting academic achievements and any relevant professional experience.
  2. Research   proposal: A research proposal outlining interest in the project and the reasons why you are suitable for the position to work on the research theme. The proposal of the research can be up to four A4 pages in length (with references in addition to the 4-page proposal) using type Arial 12 point.
  3. References/letters of recommendation: Three overall, of which at least two must be academic.

The criteria listed below will contribute to selecting those applicants who will be selected for interview and those who will be successful in securing this position.

a)         Qualifications, expertise and experience relevant to undertaking study for a PhD;

b)         Knowledge of the subject area;

c)         An understanding of research methods, appropriate to undertaking a PhD in this area of research;

d)         Clarity on the original contribution that the completed PhD will make to the body of knowledge; and

e)         Scale and scope of the proposed research in terms of delivery within the three-year bursary.  


If English is not your first language, we will require evidence that you have the necessary language skills to fulfill the requirements of the award:


•          You will need to provide evidence of a minimum International English Language Testing System Grade 7.0 (IELTS 7.0) with no individual sub-score below 6.5.

•          In the instances where you do not have an IELTS, we will consider TOEFL iBT or Pearsons PTE as equivalent qualifications. IELTS, TOEFL iBT or Pearsons PTE are the only accepted English language qualifications we accept.

•          If you have successfully completed a UK Bachelors (first or 2.1) or UK Masters degree, in the two years before entry, this will suffice for the English language requirements.

•          If you completed your UK degree over two years ago, you will still need to demonstrate your English Language by taking an IELTS, TOEFL iBT or Pearsons PTE test.


*If you encounter technical difficulties submitting your application please contact h.leeming@leedsbeckett.ac.uk
Plus Icon The International Centre for Research in Events, Tourism and Hospitality

The School’s research activities are co-ordinated via the International Centre for Research in Events, Tourism and Hospitality (ICRETH).   Our Centre undertakes high quality multi- and inter-disciplinary research ethically and disseminates the findings using a range of mechanisms, including research reports, refereed papers and books, bespoke programmes of continuing professional development, consultancy, short courses and specialist events. Our priorities are to strengthen the quality of our work continuously and to make an impact on policy and practice.

The standard of our work was recognised officially in the recent national assessment of research (The Research Excellence Framework). We were ranked 2nd out of more than fifty universities in Unit 26: Sport and Exercise Sciences, Leisure and Tourism for Research Power (RP).

Our research is funded by various international, national and local agencies or businesses. In recent years, these have been as diverse as the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the European Commission, Meeting Professionals International (MPI), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the Institute of Travel and Tourism (ITT), International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA), the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), and government departments, NGOs in various European, African and Asian countries, sports governing bodies and private companies. We have more than thirty PhD students from the UK and internationally and welcome visiting scholars regularly.

Please browse our web pages to find out more about us and our current projects: www.leedsbeckett.ac.uk/icreth

Plus Icon Overseas' Applicants

Prospective students from outside of the UK and EU who wish to apply to study at Leeds Beckett University will be required to make up the difference annually between the UK/EU fees to be paid by the University of £4,121 and overseas’ fees of £11,800. The fee difference must be paid prior to starting. Overseas applicants must refer to the UKBA regulations on studying in the UK and contact Research Admissions - telephone: +44 (0)113 812 5385 before submitting.

Applicants should apply through Leeds Beckett graduate school: Researchadmissions@leedsbeckett.ac.uk.

Applicants should submit the following:

  • completed application form and a full CV
  • A two page outline of your proposed research project based the topic described above
  • Copy of Photo page from passport
  • Certificates and transcripts
  • Proof of English (for EU/international applicants only IELTS, PEARSON OR TOEFL)
  • Ensure all sections of the application are completed
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