PhD Scholarship in Disruptive Technologies and Business Model (2020 Entry)
 Reference: 2003ERA_ZC
 Length of Scholarships: up to 36 months, subject to satisfactory progression
 Programme PhD Strategy
School/Department Nottingham University Business School China
 Place:  1
 Closing Date:  15 May 2020


The available PhD scholarships cover:

  • Tuition fee
  • Monthly stipend (RMB4,500)
  • Medical insurance with designate providers
  • All above items are covered for up to 36 months based on satisfactory progression
  • All regulations set out in the UNNC PGR Scholarship Policy apply

In addition to the above scholarship, successful candidates also have the opportunity to carry out paid teaching (after complete Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA) training) or research assistant duties at UNNC from second year.

Available PhD research areas:

The above scholarship is to support research projects outlined under the following theme: 

Title of the theme: Leveraging Disruptive Technologies for Business Model Reconfiguration in Business Ecosystems 

Disruptive technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain, and internet of things (IoT), bring radical changes to business ecosystems. Firms need to adjust their business model to deal with these changes and achieve competitive advantage. This project addresses this topic by investigating how firms cope with this situation by leveraging disruptive technologies to reconfigure business model, which in turn enhances their performance. In addition, a comprehensive understanding on this relationship can be attained by incorporating the moderating role of business ecosystem attributes. Theoretically, this project enriches current literature on disruptive technologies in terms of identifying their attributes (i.e., connectivity, compatibility, and modularity) and figuring out their value creation mechanism. Business model literature can be extended regarding the discussion of reconfiguration mechanisms (i.e., substitution, transformation, and evolution) and how these mechanisms can be improved by utilizing disruptive technologies. This project also provides practical suggestions to firms which intend to adjust their business model. It offers insights on how to leverage disruptive technologies to support business model reconfiguration considering different attributes of ecosystems they are embedded in.

Informal inquiries may be addressed to Dr. Zhao Cai (, or Prof. Patrick Y.K. Chau ( but formal applications should follow the instructions in ‘How to apply’ section. Please specify 2003ERA_ZC as scholarship reference code when submitting application. 

The successful applicant will undertake his/her PhD studies under the supervision of a research team comprising of Nottingham academic staff. He/she will also have opportunities to collaborate with renowned scholars from top Chinese and international universities. Except research work, he/she will receive mentoring and training on grant applications, grant management, and tertiary education teaching through Graduate Teaching Assistant scheme (subject to successful training and assessment, as well as availability of pedagogical activities). 

PhD programme structure

PhD programmes at the UNNC are composed of 3 years research and submission is expected within 3 years for full-time students. PhD supervision is undertaken jointly by academics from the University of Nottingham Ningbo China (UNNC) and the University of Nottingham UK (UNUK). On successful completion, students will be awarded the University of Nottingham PhD degree, and no reference will be made on the degree certificate as to where the degree has been completed. The University of Nottingham PhD degree will be accredited by the Chinese Ministry of Education.


  • Applicants must have a first class honours undergraduate degree or 65% and above for a Masters’ degree from a British university, or the equivalent from other institutions.
  • Applicants must meet the required English language proficiency for the relevant subject area. IELTS 6.5 (minimum 6.0 in all elements) or its equivalent is required for Faculty of Science and Engineering (FoSE) scholarship applicants.
  • More details can be found on the ‘entry requirements’ page of the website.

How to apply

No separate application is required for applying for a scholarship but please make sure you quote the scholarship reference number in your PhD application form. It normally takes 7-8 weeks for a final decision to be made after the closing date.  List of required documents can be found on the ‘how to apply’ page.