Whistleblowing and Whistleblower Protection

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

PhD funding award: Tuition fees only (UK/EU)

Funding details: The Centre in Financial and Corporate Integrity (CFCI) will provide full coverage of UK/EU fees

Duration: Full-Time – between 3.0 and 3.5 years fixed term

Application deadline: 9th March 2020

Interview date: Will be confirmed to shortlisted candidates

Start date: 31st March 2020

For further details contact: Professor Panagiotis Andrikopoulos

Coventry University (CU) is inviting applications from suitably-qualified graduates for two funded ( Tuition fees only) PhD studentships.

About the project

Corporate and government corruption represents one of the biggest problems globally. The global cost of corruption, according to the World Economic Forum, is estimated at $3.6trillion (5% of the global GDP) with detrimental impact on the economic stability and economic performance of the relevant countries. At the societal level, corruption is affecting everyday live of citizens, impeding national infrastructure, education opportunities and health systems resulting to a clear violation of our fundamental human rights.

Whistlebolowing is considered the first line of defense against economic crime, corruption and possible cover ups. According to the Chartered Institute of Fraud, 31.8% of fraud cases are identified by single whistleblowers/insiders within businesses (ACFE, 2016). However, such actions come at a great cost to the person involved including the significant loss of future earnings, the (usual) end of their career, as well as, considerable mental and emotional strain. Despite the problematic nature of whistleblowing and some emerging research in the area, many knowledge gaps need to be filled and there is the need for more interdisciplinary systematic research.

CFCI welcomes applications from suitable individuals that are willing to work within this field of inquiry. Suitable research proposals should investigate areas such as (i) the narrated experiences of whistleblowers; (ii) political and institutional perceptions of whistleblowing; (iii) the impact of judicial decisions on whistleblowing in the UK following. Applications from candidates willing to adopt a systematic socio-legal approach and to be flexible, confident and capable in adopting different research methods, including qualitative and quantitative research, and in integrating the finding of different disciplinary fields both within the law (criminal law, corporate law, employment law, human rights law etc.) and outside the law (criminology, sociology, psychology and behavioural sciences, business, politics etc.) are very welcome.


The successful candidates will receive comprehensive research training including technical, personal and professional skills.

The CFCI creates many opportunities for its PhD community and all PhD candidates are more than welcomed to attebd the various events designed specifically for its members, including

  • PhD Community Building events;
  • CFCI Seminar Series presentations;
  • International Networking event; and,
  • Specialised Research Workshops, i.e. occasionally, the CFCI runs specialised research workshops focusing either in the publication process and/or technical issues such as advance econometric methodologies, qualitative research approaches, etc.

Entry requirements

  • 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.
    PLUS the potential to engage in innovative research and to complete the PhD within a 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.

Read further details about making an application. 

  • Subjects include: Law, Criminology and/or other closely related fields;
  • A strong interest in Criminal Law, Financial Crime, Corporate Law and/or Human Rights Law;
  • Strong analytical skills, self-discipline, problem-solving capacity, intellectual curiosity, and creativity are essential qualities in order to successfully complete a PhD thesis

How to apply

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

Apply to Coventry University

To find out more about the project please contact Dr. Lorenzo Pasculli