Postgraduate research

How to lead digital change in a national context? Strategy and skills for tomorrow’s cultural and creative organisations.

Qualification: PhD

Department: School of Business

Application deadline: 25 September 2022

Start date: 9 January 2023



  • Dr Georgiana Grigore
  • Professor Ross Parry
  • Professor Peter Lunt

Project Description

The PhD in Management is based in the Business School and Institute for Digital Culture

Highlights of the project

  • Builds on the University’s established research excellence in digital cultural heritage, and specifically its leading scholarship in the areas of institutional digital transformation and digital skills development.
  • Informs an area of strategic priority for the UK culture and heritage sectors through research partnership with a leading national digital development body.
  • Draws upon the university’s network of partners to take an ambitiously international perspective on questions of digital leadership in contrasting global contexts.

Project Overview

Since 2017 the University of Leicester has led ‘One by One’ – an international consortium of academics, cultural organisations, technologists, professional agencies, funders, and policy makers that uses situated action research to help build digitally confident museums. 

This Centenary doctoral project will work within the expanding ‘One by One’ consortium to understand the importance of a situated and culturally contingent view of digital leadership and change within cultural heritage organisations, with the aim of exploring digital skills building and institutional digital transformation in a national context. 

The consortium’s previous work helped make possible the UK government’s Digital Culture Compass (DCC) launched in February 2020 – the tool to be used by cultural and heritage institutions to understand their digital capability. 'One by One’ also co-authored for DCMS and ACE the ‘Digital Charter’, which sets out the guiding principles for all digital projects across the UK culture sector

Looking out from its initial UK-US collaboration, this work is now looking to listen to, learn from and partner with other settings internationally. As it does so, the principles around digital transformation, digital leadership and digital literacy relevant to a UK and US context are being re-situated, re-imagined and re-assembled. 

Acting as a model of knowledge exchange, this research will combine supervisory insights in marketing management studies and museum studies, with the sector leadership of project partner Culture24 – an organisation funded by Arts Council England to support and develop digital skills and capacity in museums and other cultural organisations. Culture24’s ‘Let’s Get Real’ collaborative action research programme has for over a decade seen more than 150 museums and other cultural organisations work together on tackling digital challenges.

This ‘Future 100’ studentship will be one of four new doctoral projects supported by the University of Leicester’s new ‘Institute for Digital Culture’, to be launched October 2022.


This research design of the project will be shaped by the successful candidate and the talents, disciplinary insights, and career aspirations that they will bring to the work.

However, given the international focus of the project, its alignment to sector/industry strategy, and focus on both organisational management and technical development, it is likely that the research will be:

  • Practice-led: emerging from grounded, real-world institutional settings, with an intention to inform and shape future professional practice;
  • Case study based: embedded within the existing and on-going project portfolio of the external research partner (Culture24); 
  • Inter-disciplinary and multi-disciplinary: working across and at the inter-section of marketing management studies, museum studies and digital studies.


Farache, F., Grigore, G., Stancu, A., & McQueen, D. (eds.) (2020). Values and Corporate Responsibility: CSR and Sustainable Development, Palgrave Macmillan.

Imran, A., Ali., M., Grigore, G., Molesworth, M., & Zhonghi, J. (2019). The moderating role of corporate reputation and employee-company identification on work-related outcomes of job insecurity resulting from workforce localization policies. Journal of Business Research, 117, 825-838

Molesworth, M., & Grigore, G. (2019). Scripts people live in the marketplace: An application of Script Analysis to Confessions of a Shopaholic. Marketing Theory, 19(4), 467-488.

Carolyn Royston & Ross Parry (2019), 'Building a framework: The museum sector needs to rethink digital skills - from the ground up', Museum, vol. 98, issue 1, 34-39.

Sejul Malde, Anra Kennedy & Ross Parry (2019). 'Understanding the Digital Skills & Literacies of UK Museum People'. (Leicester: University of Leicester).

Parry, R., Eikhof, D. R., Barnes, S. & Kispeter, E. (2018). ‘Development, supply, deployment, demand: Balancing the museum digital skills ecosystem. First findings of the ‘One by One’ national digital literacy project.’ MW18: Museums and the Web 2018.



The Future 100 PhD Studentship

The studentship provides funding for 3.5 years to include:

  • Tuition fees at UK rate
  • Stipend at UKRI rates of £16,062
  • Access to a Research Training Support Grant of up to £1,500 pa for 3 years.

International applicants applying will need to be able to fund the difference between UK and International fees for the duration of study.  

The difference between UK and Overseas fees is £11,004 per year of study. Please explain how you will fund the fees in your personal statement.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

Applicants are required to hold a UK Bachelor Degree 2:1 or better overseas equivalent and a Masters degree with Merit both in a relevant subject.
The University of Leicester English language requirements apply.

Informal enquiries

Informal enquiries

Informal project enquiries please email the supervisor: Professor Ross Parry:
Application enquiries:

How to apply

How to apply

To apply, please use the Apply button at the bottom of the page and select January 2023

With your application, please include:

  • CV
  • Personal statement explaining, briefly, your interest in the project and your relevant experience
  • Degree Certificates and Transcripts of study already completed and if possible transcript to date of study currently being undertaken
  • Evidence of English language proficiency, if applicable
  • In the reference section please enter the contact details of your two academic referees in the boxes provided or upload letters of reference if already available.
  • In the Funding section please enter Future 100 RI-DC-Grigore
  • In the proposal section please provide the name of the project supervisors and the project title (a proposal is not required)

We are unable to consider previous unsuccessful applicants.



UK and International applicants can apply.  See below.

EU students who hold EU Settled or Pre-settled status please email a share code starting with S to so that we can verify your status for UK fees.

Applicants who do not meet the criteria for UK fees will be classed as an international student.

International students will need to be able to fund the difference between UK and International fees for the duration of study. See the funding section for further information.

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