Open PhD Positions at the University of Sydney Business School

The Discipline of International Business at the University of Sydney Business School invites applications for PhD positions to start in February 2021. We seek outstanding candidates with clear interest in conducting high quality research, with particular in the following areas:


(1)   Globalising Innovations: Understanding the Path from Laboratory to Market

How does a ground-breaking invention try to reach global markets? This has been the topic of ongoing research by a group of researchers at the University of Sydney. There is now an opportunity to join this research activity, and to build on the findings and conceptual advances that have already been made.

There is scope to craft your own project, but in particular there are two opportunities to build on existing datasets:

  1. conducting oral histories of the founders, scientists and others involved in developing and seeking to commercialize radical innovations originating in Australia. Industries of interest include renewable energy, medical devices, advanced manufacturing and agriculture;
  2. undertaking in-depth quantitative and qualitative analysis of the innovation and internationalization pathways of biotechnology firms that listed on stock markets (in Australia and elsewhere) since the emergence of the industry in the 1980s.

These research opportunities would suit people from a variety of backgrounds, but a prospective candidate would need an interest both in innovation and in history, i.e., studying how firms and industries evolve.

Supervisor: Associate Professor Catherine Welch

(2)   Micro-location of value chain activities: A multi-level analysis of global city characteristics and their effects on MNC location choice and performance

Global city theory suggests that certain international economic activities are more likely to agglomerate in particular cities – or even areas within these cities – due to global connectivity, availability of advanced services, and an overall cosmopolitan environment, which together help reduce liability of foreignness for foreign firms. This project will investigate the specific characteristics of global cities that may influence location choice for specific value chain activities – and how such activities are further embedded, governed, and ultimately producing performance – within a broader network of global value chain activities.

Data and Method: Data will be primary via survey of MNC location decisions, combined with secondary data from available databases. The project will utilize advanced quantitative methodology (e.g, multilevel and structural equation modelling) to analyze data.

Supervisor: Professor Bo Nielsen



The University of Sydney Business School

The University of Sydney Business School is a world-class business school at the forefront of global business and management education. It is ranked number 15 in the Asia-Pacific region by the Financial Times, and number 42 in the world in the 2019 QS World University Rankings by subject.


The PhD program

The program provides students with world-class training through extensive coursework and personalized supervision. Throughout the degree, students are encouraged to develop their research skills to address the most pressing business problems facing society.



All applicants will be considered for a Research Training Program (RTP) scholarship. This highly competitive scholarship provides a stipend of $35K per annum for up to 3.5 years and covers tuition fees for international students.


How to apply and more information

For more information about the PhD Program and PhD positions, please visit here. To submit an online application, please visit here. Indicate where prompted that you wish to be considered for the RTP Scholarship. Applications close on October 30, 2020.


For additional questions, please contact Professor Nielsen ([log in to unmask])




Bo Bernhard Nielsen, MBA, PhD

Professor of Business Strategy

University of Sydney

Business School, Rm 4138
H70 - Abercrombie Building
The University of Sydney
NSW 2006 Australia

Tel: +61 2 93516586


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