PhD Scholarship in Smart Technologies and Supply Chain Management (2020 Entry)
 Reference: 2003ITM_AP
 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: Smart Technologies and Supply Chain Management

The advent of state-of-the-art technologies such as artificial intelligence, internet-of-things, etc., have led to the start of intelligent manufacturing. In addition to incorporating intelligence into the manufacturing process, companies must also think about infusing smart technologies into their supply chains. Given that supply chains operate in an ever-changing and risky global environment, they need to be agile as well as resilient so as to attain competitive advantage and sustainable business performance. Smart technologies such as artificial intelligence, data analytics, robotics, digital platforms, social media, digital traces, blockchain, IoT and 3D printing could help supply chains to achieve this objective. 

They are expected to have significant impacts on supply chain management for various reasons. Smart technologies lead to profound transformation of the firm’s processes, the structure of the firm’s ecosystem, and even the firm’s business model. Meanwhile, those changes in the firm’s internal and external environment will also lead to a modification in the way how supply chain partners interact, collaborate and compete with each other.  

A clear understanding of the impact of smart technologies on supply chain management is still lacking and needs to be further explored. This PhD project aims to conduct research on how smart technologies influence supply chain management, reflecting on both opportunities and challenges that rise from the implementation of smart technologies.  We want to contribute to the knowledge dissemination and discussion regarding emerging issues and future horizons deriving from the adoption of smart technologies in supply chain management.

The successful candidate will be working with two specialists in Supply Chain Management in the Nottingham University of Business School (NUBS) China. Informal inquiries may be addressed to Prof. Antony Paulraj ( or Dr. Jing Dai ( but formal applications should follow the instructions in ‘How to apply’ section. Please specify 2003ITM_AP as scholarship reference code when submitting application. 

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.