PhD-project: What drives PhD success? Extended application deadline. Please share widely.

We have a scholarship available for a PhD candidate interested in studying “PhD success factors and how it differs among candidates from emerging and western economies”. The project is a collaboration with www.researchhub.org

The aim of the PhD project is to investigate: (1) Whether the motivation in pursuing PhD education differ among candidates from the emerging and western economies?, (2) Do candidates from emerging economies do better or worse than their western peers in terms of success during and after PhD studies?, (3) What factors influence their results?, (4) Do they return to their countries? Are PhD educators contributing to brain gain or brain drainage in emerging economies?

Further information and instructions on how to apply is found here: https://researchhub.org/call-for-phd-applications-extended-deadline/

Applications should be sent to roy.mersland@uia.no by the 1st of November, 2021

Best wishes,
Roy Mersland
Professor/Director PhD program
Director Center for Research on Social Enterprises and Microfinance (CERSEM)
School of Business and Law
University of Agder
https://cersem.uia.no/

I need your help to find excellent PhD Candidates

Dear Colleagues,

As director of our PhD program I consider my main job to find excellent PhD candidates. We only want the best: Those with a strong educational background coupled with talent and motivation. Now I am nervous because we are searching for lots of candidates in 4 different fields simultaneously. Please do some efforts and present these opportunities to your most talented students and in your networks. And share the opportunities at your Linkedin profile.

Opportunities available:

  1. International Business
    1. https://www.jobbnorge.no/ledige-stillinger/stilling/208870/doktorgradsstipendiat-i-international-business
  2. Savings groups (grassroots financial organizations) in Africa
    1. https://cersem.uia.no/call-for-phd-applications-please-share-widely-in-your-networks-and-with-interested-candidates/
  3. What drives PhD success?
    1. https://researchhub.org/call-for-phd-applications-what-drives-phd-success/
  4. Health economics
    1. https://www.jobbnorge.no/en/available-jobs/job/208856/phd-research-fellow-in-health-economics

Thanks for your help!!

Best wishes,
Roy Mersland
Professor/Director PhD program
Director Center for Research on Social Enterprises and Microfinance (CERSEM)
School of Business and Law
University of Agder
https://cersem.uia.no/

Research on PhD Success – Please share widely

Dear Colleagues,

What drives PhD Success? Being program director of a large international PhD program I observe that some candidates finish their PhDs on time while others don’t. Some candidates become successful researchers already while pursuing their PhDs while others struggle even several years after graduating as PhDs. And I observe (and like) that at European PhD programs, including ours, a large share of candidates are from emerging economies. So I ask myself: What are the factors driving PhD success and does success differ among candidates from Emerging and western economies? Together with online learning platform for researchers – RESEARCH HUB – we now search for a talented PhD candidate. Are you or someone you know interested in these questions and interested in doing a fully funded PhD in Norway then you should click on this link and learn more about the opportunity: https://researchhub.org/call-for-phd-applications-what-drives-phd-success/

You may also send me an email.

Best wishes,
Roy Mersland
Professor/Director PhD program
Director Center for Research on Social Enterprises and Microfinance (CERSEM)
School of Business and Law
University of Agder
https://cersem.uia.no/

Call for PhD Applications- Please share widely in your networks and with interested candidates

Are you interested in doing a PhD on Savings groups? We are searching for two highly motivated and talented candidates for PhD studies at one of Europe’s leading PhD programs.

Savings groups are bottom of the pyramid banking systems that allow members access to basic savings and credit services. Around 20 persons are mobilized into a group where they contribute their own weekly savings and distribute these as loans to selected members as decided by the group. Several of the major international NGOs are active in mobilizing savings groups as they have proven to be efficient systems for simple banking services while at the same time they serve as generators of social capital for the members. Typically groups are trained, supervised and monitored for around one year and thereafter the groups are graduated and left alone.

Together with our sponsors, Stromme Foundation and Norwegian Association of the Disabled (NAD) in partnership with National Union of Disabled Persons in Uganda (NUDIPU), we now launch two new PhD research projects: 1) Performance of savings groups in West Africa, and 2) Disabled persons & savings groups.

Project 1: Stromme Foundation supports thousands of savings groups in Niger, Burkina Faso and Mali. They are interested in relevant research on what influences the performance of savings group in this region (open for all kinds of suggestions including for example: Resilience of groups faced with shocks; Survival of groups post graduation; Leadership of groups in relation to group performance; How “add-ons” like training in agriculture influences group performance; etc.  

Project 2: For several years NUDIPU in partnership with NAD have managed a successful project called iSAVE were disabled persons are mobilized in savings groups. Today iSAVE has around 50 thousand members whereof 30 thousand are disabled. The aim of this research is to learn more about the effectiveness of iSAVE and factors influencing the performance of iSAVE groups. Of particular relevance is to include a “disability angle” in the research questions to be addressed.

Further details of the projects have not yet been decided. Thus, we invite interested candidates to suggest relevant research topics and write up short research proposals. The proposals must be well positioned in the academic literature while at the same time they should address research questions that are of practical relevance.

If you need to know more about savings groups you can start by reading this report:https://www.researchgate.net/publication/333238735_Global_Indicators_of_Savings_Groups

To carry out the research we are searching for two highly motivated and talented persons interested in doing a PhD in Norway. All university costs will be waived and each candidate will receive a scholarship of around EURO 1000,- per month to cover living costs. To qualify for this PhD opportunity you need to have a master’s degree (5 years of university (300 ECTS) with strong grades in a business school field. The master’s should include a full thesis. Preferably the education should be from an internationally recognized business school (AACSB accredited). Further, you need to be fluent in English (plus French for option 1) and have advanced knowledge in Econometrics.

If you possess these qualifications we would very much like to receive you application.

The application should be e-mailed to roy.mersland@uia.no and should contain the following:

-Educational certificates, with grades and transcripts

-summary of the Master’s thesis (max one page)

-minimum two letters with academic references

-complete list (not full papers) of scientific publications (if you have published in peer-reviewed journals already)

-other important documents like results from tests like GMAT/GRE/TOEFL etc. (if available)

-motivation/application letter including your knowledge of English and French and whether you prefer option 1 or option 2 (max one page)

-project description of one of the two options with a maximum scope of five pages. (The outline should follow the pitching research framework by professor Faff.

The School of Business and Law at the University of Agder is a high-grade AACSB -accredited business school in Norway. Our PhD programme is one of Europe’s leading programmes in the field of International Business. We offer our candidates generous opportunities and equip them with a global mindset and modern research skills. Our graduates find prestigious jobs within and outside academia and they publish in high-ranked international journals. The programme includes around 50 candidates from across the globe working closely with their highly motivated supervisors. The PhD process is designed to take three years and we have one of Europe’s best track records when it comes to finishing a PhD on time.

The selected candidates will become part of the CERSEM research team – https://cersem.uia.no/ – which is one of Europe’s leading research centers in the field of microfinance. Moreover, you will work closely with a team of researchers from KU Leuven University in Belgium led by professor Bert D’Espallier. Together we make up the Worlds largest research group on Savings Groups.

Your application should be sent to roy.mersland@uia.no by the 1st of September. Thereafter we will carry out a careful selection process. Start-up of the PhD is planned to be in April 2022.

Best wishes,

Professor Roy Mersland

Head of PhD Education

Director of Research Center CERSEM

https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=X5TMwPUAAAAJ&hl=en

Talent Opportunity

  Dear Colleagues,

Are you looking for a very talented, young and ambitious researcher highly motivated to carry out applied development research?

Linda Nakato has been a tremendously bright PhD candidate, finishing her PhD in 3 years only. I have supervised her together with Prof Bert D’Espallier at KU Leuven in Belgium. Professor Alfredo Burlando at University of Oregon and professor Mary Kay Gugerty at University of Washington have served as external evaluators of Linda’s thesis. They were both highly satisfied and impressed by her work.

Linda has great interest in applied research in development issues. She prefers working in Africa but is open for suggestions from across the globe. Linda is a talent that should be grabbed immediately by a Research institute, a Think Tank, a development organization, an NGO or a university. I can guarantee that you will get a smart. likeable and passionate researcher willing to go the extra mile whenever needed. In particular you will get a very skilled person in statistics, data analyses and writing of reports. Linda is an expert, not only academically but also in practice, on grassroot organizations like savings groups, and she has a good understanding of development in general.


If you want more information don’t hesitate to contact me or Linda. You find her profile here: https://www.uia.no/en/kk/profil/lindan


Best wishes,
Roy Mersland
Professor/Director PhD program
Director Center for Research on Social Enterprises and Microfinance (CERSEM)
School of Business and Law
University of Agder
https://cersem.uia.no/
            

Welcome to Norway: Call for Papers-World Finance Conference

Dear Colleagues,

Great news: Recent information about vaccinations in Europe indicates that it is now very likely that the World Finance Conference will take place and that we can meet face-to-face here at Agder.
So please read the information below and submit your papers:

https://www.world-finance-conference.com/conference.php?id=21

Notice that we will have a special track on microfinance. This is therefore an unique opportunity to present microfinance papers at a high profiled high quality finance conference.
Please submit your papers via the general conference submission link. Only high quality papers will be accepted.
Welcome to Norway.
 
Best wishes,
Roy Mersland
Professor/Director PhD program
Director Center for Research on Social Enterprises and Microfinance (CERSEM)
School of Business and Law
University of Agder
https://cersem.uia.no/
     

Is employee-client matching good for firms targeting the bottom of the pyramid?

Dear Colleagues,

I have for long been thinking about the two following questions: Who should a firm hire when targeting clients at the bottom of the pyramid? Should it hire employees from the same social strata as its clients or would it be beneficial to have employees from higher or lower social strata than its clients? Of course I have always wanted to hire employees from the same or lower social strata, but is my preference supported with performance data? Finally we have found time to study these questions and unfortunately I am not so happy about our empirical results: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/349283370_Is_employee-client_matching_good_for_firms_targeting_the_bottom_of_the_pyramid_A_study_of_microfinance_institutions

Best wishes,
Roy Mersland,
Professor/Director PhD program,
Director Center for Research on Social Enterprises and Microfinance (CERSEM)
School of Business and Law
University of Agder

Excess Focus on Risk? Non-performing loans and efficiency of microfinance institutions

Dear Colleagues

For more than 25 years I have been involved in microfinance, as a manager, consultant and researcher. What has always been a puzzle to me is why observers always have a lot of focus on assuring low loan default while the focus on the high operational costs is negligible. After all, it is the high operational costs that drives the high lending rates in this industry. Remember, keeping default levels low is costly (screening, monitoring etc.). So I have asked myself this question for long: What is the optimal level of default in microfinance and how is a low default level impacting the operational cost of an MFI? Finally, together with my colleagues Stephen Zamore and Leif Atle Beisland, I found the time (and data) to study this important question in this recently published paper. Check it out.

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ijfe.2477

Best wishes,
Roy Mersland
Professor/Director PhD program
Director Center for Research on Social Enterprises and Microfinance (CERSEM)
School of Business and Law
University of Agder
https://cersem.uia.no/
 

2020 Winner of the EMERALD/EFMD Outstanding Doctoral Research Award

Dear Colleagues

Today I am tremendously proud of my former PhD student Stephen Zamore who I supervised together with Professor Leif Atle Beisland.
He is the 2020 winner of the EMERALD/EFMD Outstanding Doctoral Research Award in the field of Finance https://www.emeraldgrouppublishing.com/about/our-awards/outstanding-doctoral-research-awards-odra/emeraldefmd-outstanding-doctoral?utm_source=smc_email_awards&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=ace_2020%20EFMD%20ODRA_20200921#f

I am not surprised. Stephen is one of my best PhD students ever. At the moment he is a Postdoc here at Agder, but he will soon be looking for a new job.
If you are hiring this is a unique opportunity. Check out Stephen’s profile here: https://www.uia.no/en/kk/profil/stephenz

You should also read our joint paper published in Journal of Banking and Finance on Geographical diversification and credit risk: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/336539379_Geographic_diversification_and_credit_risk_in_microfinance

If you want more information about Stephen and his talent don’t hesitate to get in touch with me.

Best wishes,
Roy Mersland
Professor/Director PhD program
Director Center for Research on Social Enterprises and Microfinance (CERSEM)
School of Business and Law
University of Agder
https://cersem.uia.no/
 

Call for PhD Applications

Dear Colleagues,

Do you know of anyone interested in getting a PhD while researching Savings Groups? We are searching for two highly motivated and talented candidates for PhD studies.

Please share widely the call below.

CALL FOR PhD APPLICATIONS

Are  you interested in doing a PhD on Savings Groups? Savings groups are bottom of the pyramid banking systems that allow members access to basic savings and credit services by conducting financial transactions among themselves. Around 20 persons are organized into a group where they mobilize their own regular savings and distribute these as loans to selected members as decided by the group. Several of the major international NGOs are active in mobilizing savings groups as they have proven to be efficient systems for simple banking services while at the same time they serve as generators of social capital for the members. Typically groups are trained, supervised and monitored for around one year and thereafter the groups are graduated and left alone.

Research on savings groups is still in its infancy. Particularly two areas need more research: 1) What happens with savings groups after they graduate and are left on their own? And 2) What is the situation for disabled persons participating in savings groups? We now search for two PhD candidates to cover these two areas.

Option 1: What happens with savings groups after they graduate? Do they survive? Do they expand? Do they change their membership and/or their savings and borrowing conditions? Do they initiate other operations? Do they become civil society organizations? To answer these and many similar questions we are partnering with the Norwegian international NGO Strømme Foundation who will sponsor the study together with the University of Agder. With the help of our local partners in West Africa, we will track graduated groups and find out whether they are still operating, how they are performing and what activities they are currently doing. We will also have the chance to compare performance data from the initial year with current data. Further details need to be worked out. Thus, your initial task is to develop a research proposal within this framework. Considering existing literature on savings groups we would like you to answer the following questions (plus other you find relevant) in your proposal: “What type of research questions could be interesting” and “what type of data do you suggest that we collect”? “How will you position the research in the literature” and “what type of research methodology do you consider should be applied”? These are questions we want you to address in the research proposal, which is a mandatory part of the application documents (see below).  Since the research will take place in West Africa fluency in French is required.

Option 2: Disabled persons typically struggle in being integrated in social networks, including savings groups. For several years the National Union of Disabled Persons in Uganda (NUDIPU) in partnership with the Norwegian Association of the Disabled (NAD) have managed a successful project called iSAVE. In this project disabled persons are mobilized in savings groups. Today, iSAVE has around 50 thousand members whereof 30 thousand are disabled. The model is that savings groups are mobilized, trained and supervised for around one year. Thereafter the groups are graduated and left alone, though they are still part of the “NUDIPU umbrella”. The aim of this research project is to learn more about the effectiveness of iSAVE; whether members find participating in the groups useful; whether the group members experience improvement of life quality; and whether the iSAVE model is well designed. Further details need to be made out. Thus, your initial task is to make up a research proposal within this framework. Considering existing literature on savings groups: “What kind of research questions could be interesting” and “what kind of data do you suggest that we collect”? “How will you position the research in the literature” and “what kind of research methodology do you consider should be applied”? These are questions we want you to address in the research proposal, which is a mandatory part of application documents (see below). The research will take place in Uganda and will be carried out in partnership with NUDIPU and NAD who is sponsoring the project together with the University of Agder.

If you need to know more about savings groups, you can start by reading this report: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/333238735_Global_Indicators_of_Savings_Groups

To carry out the research, we are searching for two highly motivated and talented persons interested in doing a PhD in Norway. All university costs will be waived and each candidate will receive a scholarship of around EURO 1000,- per month to cover living costs. To qualify for this PhD opportunity you need to have a master’s degree (5 years of university (300 ECTS), including a master thesis) in a business school field. Preferably the education should be from an internationally recognized university. Further, you need to be fluent in English (plus French for option 1) and have advanced knowledge in Econometrics.

If you possess these qualifications we would very much like to receive you application.

The application should be e-mailed to roy.mersland@uia.no and should contain the following:

  • Educational certificates with grades and transcripts
  • summary of the master’s thesis (max one page)
  • minimum two letters with academic references
  • complete list of scientific publications (if you have published in peer-reviewed journals already)
  • up to three scientific publications in international peer-reviewed journals in full text (this is not a requirement but only if you have published some articles already)
  • other important documentation like results from tests like GMAT/GRE/TOEFL etc. (if you possess such already)
  • motivation/application letter including whether you prefer option 1 or option 2 (max one page)
  • Research proposal for the selected option with a maximum length of five pages, plus the reference list. The outline should present and discuss possible research questions, the relevance of the research, theory perspectives, positioning in the literature, data you suggest to be collected and relevant methods you suggest to apply. It is expected that the method suggested should, if possible, go beyond traditional simple surveys and be of a type that at least to some degree takes endogeneity into account.

The School of Business and Law at the University of Agder is a high-grade AACSB -accredited business school in Norway. Our PhD programme is one of Europe’s leading programmes in the field of International Business. We offer our candidates generous opportunities and equip them with a global mindset and modern research skills. Our graduates find prestigious jobs within and outside academia and they publish in high ranked international journals. The programme includes around 50 candidates from across the globe working closely with their highly motivated supervisors. The PhD process is designed to take three years. We have one of Europe’s best track records when it comes to finishing a PhD on time.

The selected candidates will become part of the CERSEM research team – https://cersem.uia.no/ – which is one of Europe’s leading research centers in the field of microfinance. In CERSEM you will be part of a team of around eight researchers actively involved in research on savings groups. In addition, the CERSEM team on savings groups works closely with a similar research group at KU Leuven University in Belgium where you will stay during part of your PhD process.

Your application should be sent by the 31st of March. Thereafter we will carry out a selection process. Start-up of the PhD is planned to be in September.

Best wishes,

Roy Mersland

Professor/Director PhD program

Director Center for Research on Social Enterprises and Microfinance (CERSEM)

School of Business and Law

University of Agder