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Transitioning to Circular Supply Chains: A Multi-level Perspective Approach

Eligibility: UK/EU/International graduates with the required entry requirements

Funding details: Stipend (up to 3.5 years) plus full tuition fee waiver for UK/International (including EU) candidates at international rates from Sept 2022

Duration: Full-Time – three and a half years fixed term

Application deadline: 27 May 2023

Interview date: Will be confirmed to shortlisted candidates

Start date: September 2023

For further details contact: Prof Benny Tjahjono and Dr Yuliani Dwi Lestari 

Project Details

Coventry University, UK (CU) and Institut Teknologi Bandung, Indonesia (ITB) are inviting applications from suitably qualified graduates for a fully-funded PhD studentship to research the transitioning to Circular Supply Chains with a Multi-level Perspective Approach.

A circular economy is seen as a response to improving the efficiency of the global limited resources of our current linear system. Although improving the circularity of the products is needed, there is a lack of discussion about what are the social, material, policy and economic implications, and environmental capacity needed to produce this transformation.

Recent research has discussed various efforts to potentially close resource loops and promote circular supply chains, which subsequently creates a critical pathway to environmental sustainability. However, research predominantly focuses on technical and practical questions for specific sectors. Effectively applying the concepts of circular solutions in a holistic way beyond traditional isolated applications of resource recovery and efficiency (e.g., energy, waste, water), requires concerted efforts. Indeed, a change in the system’s perceptions from isolated supply chains to networks of supply chains and multi-level actors is needed. In this context, the concepts of 'transition' are crucial behind this transformation.

This project, therefore, will use the socio-technical transition lens to understand the extant body of literature on the sustainable transition towards a circular economy, to apply the concepts of niche, regime and landscape of the transition theory and explore the use of the theory of change to describe the transition towards circular supply chains.

Details of the PhD project

Specific responsibilities include:

  • Conduct a systematic literature review to rigorously assess the existing body of literature in transition to a circular economy.
  • Apply the concepts of the niche, regime and landscape from the transition theory to conceptualise the transition to a circular economy.
  • Explore the use of the theory of change to describe the transition towards circular supply chains.
  • Design and analyse qualitative and/or quantitative methods to identify the transformation path towards circular supply chains.
  • Write papers for high-quality journals and national and international conferences.

The PhD project is expected to be completed in 3.5 years. The successful candidate will be part of the Sustainable Production and Consumption cluster of the Centre for Business in Society (CBiS) to complete the PhD project successfully.

This project and related studentship funding forms part of a dual award PhD between Coventry University and Institut Teknologi Bandung and as such the candidate will be expected to spend up to 12 months in the partner institution (usually in Year 2). On successful completion of the dual award a PhD qualification from both Coventry University and Institut Teknologi Bandung is awarded.

This project will start at Coventry University (UK), so the expectation is that Year 2 will take place at ITB (Indonesia). Year 3 onwards will be in the UK.


The successful candidate will receive comprehensive research training including technical, personal and professional skills. All researchers at Coventry University (from PhD to Professor) are part of the Doctoral College and Centre for Research Capability and Development, which provides support with high-quality training and career development activities. The candidate will be directed to self-manage the project, adhering to the Ethics approval, Research Degree Development Agreement (RDDA) and Researcher Development Activity Plan (RDAP). The candidate will operate under the Vitae Researcher Development Framework.

The candidate will be supported throughout the PhD lifecycle. A formal bi-weekly meeting will be arranged with the candidate. The PhD student will be expected to complete the mandatory doctoral research training programme and have access to regular research seminars at CBiS and academic writing sessions. The PhD student will also be expected to present at the PGR seminar series and conferences, supported by a conference allowance.

Entry Requirements

Candidates to this programme must meet the entry requirements for both Coventry University and Institut Teknologi Bandung (School of Business and Management)

  • A minimum of a 2:1 first degree in a relevant discipline/subject area with a minimum 60% mark in the project element or equivalent with a minimum 60% overall module average
  • The potential to engage in innovative research and to complete the PhD within 3.5 years
  • A minimum of English language proficiency (IELTS overall minimum score of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each component)
  • Strong interest in interdisciplinary research
  • Business & management, social science, natural science or engineering background
  • Knowledge of statistics and data analysis
  • Ability to work independently and in a team
  • Effective time management and organisation skills

How to Apply

To find out more about the project please contact Prof Benny Tjahjono or Dr Yuliani Dwi Lestari.

Candidates for this programme must apply to both Coventry University and Institut Teknology Bandung

Apply online to School of Business and Management, Institut Teknologi Bandung

All applications require full supporting documentation, and a covering letter – plus up-to 2000-word supporting statement is required showing how the applicant’s expertise and interests are relevant to the project.;

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