Job offer in england The Role of Gender in University-Industry Knowledge Ecosystems in West Africa and UK Water Economies at Lancaster University

Lancaster University is leading a ground-breaking project to work in partnership with African researchers to address the urgent need for safe and effective water use in Africa. ‘RECIRCULATE: Driving eco-innovation in Africa: capacity-building for a safe circular water economy’ will empower African research organisations to work in, with and for their communities by strengthening their skills and capacity to deliver innovative solutions to pressing problems with water use and safety. The £6.8M project will focus on “joining up” the different ways in which water supports communities, from sewage disposal to energy generation and water used in food production.

RECIRCULATE will bring together leading researchers in the UK, Ghana and Nigeria with African entrepreneurs, policy makers and community leaders, to deliver the innovative approaches needed to integrate the different uses of water, to support sustainable, equitable development. Drawing on expertise from Lancaster University’s award-winning Centre for Global Eco-Innovation, RECIRCULATE will pilot intelligent solutions to these water-based challenges through an extensive training programme that will build long-term research-business partnerships, informed by the needs and practices of local communities. Funded by the UK’s Global Challenges Research Fund, it is part of a new £225 million raft of investment, which aims to grow research capability to meet the challenges faced by developing countries.

The Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) is a £1.5Bn fund announced by the UK Government in late 2015. It has been specially designed to stimulate research on the challenges faced by developing countries.

For more information:


  • Professor Sarah Jack (LUMS)
  • Dr Lola Dada (LUMS)
  • Dr Cynthia Forson (Lancaster University, Ghana)


This comparative study consists of two interrelated research objectives:

  1. Exploring the role of gender in University-Industry knowledge and technology exchange (KTE) ecosystems in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines with particular reference to professional and social networking.
  2. Comparison between academic engagement with industry and other non-academic groups in West Africa and the UK with particular reference to the water economy.

It is envisaged that the investigation will be qualitative in nature but with the possibility of some supportive quantitative analysis. The main activities will be:

  1. Literature review including University-Industry knowledge and technology exchange (KTE) ecosystems with reference to gender and networking and the current models of academic engagement with industry and other non-academic groups.
  2. Data collection in West Africa and data collection in the UK. These could be sequential or concurrent and involve gaining access to existing female networks in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines in both research communities and industrial supply chains. Data analysis and comparison.
  3. Academic publishing through peer-reviewed articles and thesis. Policy dissemination through publications and workshops. These activities will contribute directly to the research objectives.

Prof Sarah Jack (Professor of Entrepreneurship, LUMS and the Jacob and Marcus Wallenberg Professor in Sustainable and Innovative Business Development, Stockholm School of Economics, Sweden) and Dr Lola Dada (Senior Lecturer of Entrepreneurship, LUMS) will lead the supervision team at LUMS. Dr Cynthia Forson (Deputy Provost, Lancaster University Ghana) will co-supervise the project and support with gaining access to West African research communities and industrial supply chains. Additional members of the research team include Prof Nigel Lockett (Professor of Entrepreneurship, Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship, University of Strathclyde) and Dr Joana Zozimo (RECIRCULATE Research Associate, LUMS).

Also, both CSIR (Ghana) and UniBen (Nigeria) partners will enable access for data collection. The project will bring academics and community users together to disseminate findings and explore implications on policy and practice and enable future bids.

Academic Requirements

Candidates must have a relevant Masters degree and applications are particularly welcome from candidates with academic and professional experience in both the UK and West Africa. Awareness and experience of working in the broad domain of female STEM initiatives and gendered professional networks would be an advantage.


Applications should be made through the Lancaster University online portal: (under Programme Details please select “PhD Management (Entrepreneurship and Strategy) pathway” and the options “Full time” and “October 2019”). Applicants should also indicate in the funding section of their applications that they are “applying for the RECIRCULATE PhD scholarship”.

So that we can prioritise your application please email us at when you have submitted your application.

Closing date: Monday 6th May 2019

More information

Please contact: Sarah Patterson, Doctoral Programme Manager


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