Project code



School of Law

Start dates

October 2023

Closing date

5 May 2023

Applications are invited for a fully-funded three year PhD to commence in October 2023. 

The PhD will be based in the Faculty of Business and Law, and will be supervised by Dr Panos Kapotas, Professor Karen Johnston and Dr Xing Huang

The successful applicant will receive a bursary to cover tuition fees for three years and a stipend in line with the UKRI rate (£17,668 for 2022/23). Bursary recipients will also receive a contribution of £2,000 towards fieldwork. In addition, the Faculty supports conference costs with a contribution of £550 and training costs with a contribution of £450.

The work on this project will involve:


  • An analysis on the gender pay gap positioned within the wider scope of a European Commission funded Horizon research grant, RE-WIRING 
  • The production of research and outputs that identify company best practices in addressing the gender pay gap and which, therefore, may influence policymaking at the European level.
  • An opportunity to work across Europe to undertake a comparative analysis of the gender pay gap in three sectors: finance and enterprise, health, and sustainability and innovation

The PhD will involve research carried out in parallel to the RE-WIRING project, carried out by a Utrecht University-led consortium in which the University of Portsmouth is participating and which has secured Horizon Europe funding. The focus of the RE-WIRING project will be on the fundamental re-thinking and 're-wiring' of existing institutional approaches and systems around gender equality. It aims at contributing to effective change, considering that this can only be brought about by a re-design of existing legal, policy and institutional approaches more widely, to secure intrinsic change and behaviour towards transformative equality in all domains of society. The RE-WIRING project will go beyond existing doctrinal and policy transformative equality approaches by taking a holistic, multidisciplinary approach, the groundwork for which has been laid within the Utrecht University interdisciplinary research Gender and Diversity Hub. RE-WIRING will present a novel three-dimensional framework that builds upon the premise that effective transformation and women’s empowerment can only come about when simultaneous action is taken on the institutional, experiential and symbolical levels. 

The doctoral research will involve mixed-methods approach to research of legislation and case law, together with policy analysis of company infrastructures (policies and practices) in the three sectors of interest (finance and enterprise, health, and sustainability and innovation). It is expected that the PhD candidate will work closely with the team of RE-WIRING Post-Doctoral researchers and will take advantage of access to shared resources (e.g. company policy records etc). Data collection is expected to be completed during the first year of the PhD (August 2024), while the second year (AY 2024-2025) will be devoted to data analysis and year 3 (AY 2025-2026) to writing up.  

Entry requirements

You'll need a good first degree from an internationally recognised university (minimum upper second class or equivalent, depending on your chosen course) or a Master’s degree in an appropriate subject. In exceptional cases, we may consider equivalent professional experience and/or qualifications. English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.

Proficiency in quantitative data analysis is desirable, but not essential.


How to apply

We’d encourage you to contact Dr Panos Kapotas ( to discuss your interest before you apply, quoting the project code.

When you are ready to apply, you can use our online application form. Make sure you submit a personal statement, proof of your degrees and grades, details of two referees, proof of your English language proficiency and an up-to-date CV.  Our ‘How to Apply’ page offers further guidance on the PhD application process.

Please also include a research proposal of 1,000 words outlining the main features of your proposed research design – including how it meets the stated objectives, the challenges this project may present, and how the work will build on or challenge existing research in the above field.

If you want to be considered for this funded PhD opportunity you must quote project code LLAW8190523 when applying and submit all required documentation.