Co-creating a refugee entrepreneurial ecosystem: An action research agenda


College of Business and Law at the University of the West of England in Bristol invites applications for a fully funded PhD studentships offered in partnership with Malaysia Livelihood and Development Centre (Young Lives). 

Prospective candidate will conduct research exploring the co-creation of a refugee entrepreneurial ecosystem. 

Ref 2223-APR-FBL02

The closing date for applications is 27 November 2022

The start date of this studentship is 1 April 2023


About the studentship

Co-creating a refugee entrepreneurial ecosystem: An action research agenda

The studentship is offered in partnership between UWE Bristol and the Malaysia Livelihood and Development Centre (Young Lives). 

This research aims to contribute to the co-creation process of a refugee entrepreneurial ecosystem in Malaysia through an action research methodology. This will be achieved by conceptualizing 
the refugee entrepreneurial ecosystem and working with stakeholder to create a strategic plan of action.

The PhD student will be based primarily in Malaysia within the partner organisation, and regularly visit UWE Bristol Campus throughout the duration of the programme of research to work on the project, develop comparative perspectives within the UK, hold supervisor meetings and contribute to the research activities at the College.

This project will require the candidate to engage with multiple organisations in UK and Malaysia to develop and share research insights. 

Given the scope and focus of the project prior experience of research in international context, particularly in Malaysia, and engagement with NGO sector is necessary.

Prospective students will be based in the School of Business and Management, which is home to several multidisciplinary research centres and groups.

Doctoral students at the College benefit from comprehensive support and guidance from UWE Doctoral Academy, including extensive professional development programme and careers advice.



The studentship is available from 1 April 2023 for a period of three years, subject to satisfactory progress, and includes a tax-exempt stipend initially at £17,668 per annum.

In addition, full-time home/international tuition fees will be covered for up to three years.


Applicants must have at least 2.1 degree in social sciences, and a Masters degree (preferably in entrepreneurship or innovation studies; with average programme mark of no less than 65%, UK grading scale or international equivalent). 

  • Malaysian resident eligible to study in the UK. Candidate must be comfortable with travel and long periods of field work in Malaysia where the project is primarily based. 
  • At least 3 years of work experience with refugee communities within the area of livelihood and entrepreneurship programs, with understanding of social impact projects. Lived experience and hands-on work with the refugee communities is an added advantage.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of migration/refugee policies and challenges in Malaysia. 
  • As this research is also practice based, candidates are expected to have good knowledge and connections to relevant stakeholders (local organisations and communities) based in Malaysia. If not, candidates need to demonstrate a plan to develop and cultivate these relationships over the course of the PhD.
A recognised English language qualification is required. IELTS score of 7.0 overall, or equivalent.

How to apply

Submit your formal application, including research proposal and cover letter alongside relevant, supporting documents online.

When prompted use the reference number Ref 2223-APR-FBL02

Research proposal formatting: no more than 5 pages, all-inclusive; font size 11, 1.5-spacing, 2-inch margins.
Cover letter should not exceed 2 pages; formatting as above.

Supporting documentation: you will need to upload your research proposal, cover letter, all your degree certificates and transcripts and your proof of English language proficiency as attachments to your application so please have these available when you complete the application form.

References: you will need to provide details of two referees as part of your application. At least one referee must be an academic referee from the institution that conferred your highest degree. Your referee will be asked for a reference at the time you submit your application, so please ensure that your nominated referees are willing and able to provide references within 14 days of your application being submitted.  


Closing Date

The closing date for applications is 27 November 2023

Further Information

Interviews are likely to take place in January 2023, however if you have not heard from us by 23 December 2022, we thank you for your application but on this occasion you have not been successful.

For an informal discussion about the studentships, please contact Director of Doctoral Research, Dr Paweł Capik at

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