PhD Studentship: 'Philosophy of work based learning in construction' - Birmingham City University (UK) - Deadline: ??

Philosophy of Work Based Learning in Construction
Centre for Environment and Society Research
School of Property Construction and Planning, Birmingham City University

Applications are invited for a 3 year PhD Research Studentship within the Centre for Environment and Society Research ( It will pay University fees at the home/EU level, and a tax free living allowance equivalent to UK Research Council level (approx £13,290). The Centre for Research in Environment and Society (CRES) studies human intervention in the physical and social environment with a strong desire to improve current and future conditions. In the latest RAE, the research centre demonstrated that 10% of its research outputs were of “world class”, and 55% were of international, quality standards.

Research project
Although work based learning has become increasing prominent, classroom based education is still the norm. The relationships between what is learnt in different situations and what is required for developing expertise in practice are complex. AHRC funded research by Professors Boyd and Addis, explored the philosophy of expertise by working in critical dialogue with tradespeople, professionals and managers to gain insight into the nature of their expertise. The philosophical foundations of this investigation lay in research by Hubert and Stuart Dreyfus but it extended other work in the construction industry on knowledge management, experiential learning, and radical education. The studentship will develop aspects of this research into the philosophy of expertise by investigating the connections between practice and theory in construction in both an industrial and an educational context. It will involve working closely with several construction companies who are seeking to improve their business practices and augment their staff development.

Education/Experience sought:
The studentship will involve working closely with individuals in businesses, authorities and communities. Applicants should have a background in philosophy or cognitive psychology but must be willing to cross disciplines and be able to communicate effectively with people at many levels. Applicants should have a Masters degree or a high-grade first degree. Familiarity with the construction industry is not essential but it is advantageous.

Interested applicants should contact Professor David Boyd of the School of Property, Construction and Planning ( for an informal discussion.

How to Apply:
1. Official application form with 2 referees; form available from
2. CV/Resume
3. A recent journal publication or a chapter from your undergraduate dissertation/ masters thesis.
4. A 1000 word (approx) fully referenced response to the topic.
Applications to be returned to Sue Witton, School of Property, Construction and Planning, Birmingham City University, Perry Barr, Birmingham, B42 2SU.

Deadline for applications is open. The studentship will begin in early 2011(negotiable).