New management and business development fellowship scheme launched

Thursday 2 April 2009

Over the past decade the growth in Business Schools has created a global market for well trained staff, who are already in short supply. In the UK, approximately 450 academics are recruited into business schools annually. But it's not enough to keep pace with increasing student demand for business education.

Through a new Fellowship scheme, the Economic and Social Research Council, together with funding from the Society for the Advancement of Management Studies, a charitable trust, will provide financial support for talented individuals in their early to mid career stage who have 5 to 15 years' experience after completing an undergraduate degree.  Such individuals must be committed to a career change to academic management and business studies from either another academic discipline or from professional practice in the private, public or voluntary sectors. The ESRC will share the costs of appointing fellows by providing a contribution of £25,000 per full-time Fellow per annum, with higher education institutions funding the remainder of the cost of employing the Fellow.

Prof Ian Diamond, Chief Executive of the ESRC commented "These new Fellowships underline our commitment to build capacity within this key area.  I am delighted that this collaboration with the British Academy of Management and the Society for the Advancement of Management Studies will revitalise this essential discipline, crucial at this economically unstable time where we need to ensure a significant contribuition to the wellbeing of the UK economy."

Prof Richard Thorpe, who chairs the capacity building steering group on behalf of the management and business community, comments "One of the most satisfying aspects of this new initiative is the way in which the community has come together, not only to diagnose the problems the profession faces but perhaps even more importantly, the way in which different stakeholders have collaborated to contribute to a solution, whether this be through funding or other forms of support."

The Fellowships will be supported by tailored training activities provided by a range of partners, including the Advanced Institute of Management Research (AIM) and the British Library.

"Management researchers and librarians have told us that the British Library's role as guardian of the literature for management research is increasingly important to them" says Sally Halper, Lead Content Specialist for Business and Management. "Researchers want to know more about our collections, both print and digital, and how they can get the best out of them, to make their own research that little bit better. They're also concerned by the flight of publications to the web, and how digital publications will be preserved and made available without boundaries. To be effective, we have to reach out to the heart of the management research community. We see working with the British Academy of Management and ESRC, in initiatives like this one, as key to our role."

A new website has been launched to provide a one-stop-shop for information about the new Fellowships, training activities and career pathways.  This resource has been developed by the British Academy of Management on behalf of the management research community. The aim is that cohorts of Fellows coming into academic management and business studies will be able to network and learn from each other as they progress.

The new fellowships are launched following three years' work led by the British Academy of Management following the publication by the ESRC of a review into the health of social science disciplines in the UK. It found that business and management was facing a crisis, with around 40 per cent of staff due to retire in the next 15 years and not enough new blood coming through from either doctoral programmes or from people moving into academia from industry and other areas to be able to sustain the field - one of the biggest within social sciences as a whole. 

Higher education institutions have until 1 June 2009 to submit proposals to host fellowships. Full details are available at the Management and Business Development Fellowship Scheme page.

For further information contact

ESRC Press Office:

Notes for editors

  1. The ESRC is the UK's largest funding agency for research and postgraduate training relating to social and economic issues. It provides independent, high-quality, relevant research to business, the public sector and Government. The ESRC invests more than £123 million every year in social science and at any time is supporting some 2,000 researchers in academic institutions and research policy institutes. It also funds postgraduate training within the social sciences to nurture the researchers of tomorrow. More at the ESRC website