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Conflict of interest in infrastructure projects

PGR-P-287

Key facts

Type of research degree
PhD
Application deadline
Ongoing deadline
Country eligibility
International (open to all nationalities, including the UK)
Funding
Non-funded
Supervisors
Mr Tristano Sainati
Schools
School of Civil Engineering
<h2 class="heading hide-accessible">Summary</h2>

A general definition of conflict of interests is &amp;ldquo;a situation in which someone&amp;rsquo;s private interests are opposed to that person&#039;s responsibilities to other people&amp;rdquo;. Conflict of interest is an under-researched concept in project management.<br /> <br /> Traditionally, project management scholars focused on other aspects of project governance, including the agency problem and transaction costs. However, conflict of interest can be critical in specific project transactions, such as in project financing and Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs). For example, in project financing, a newly incorporated organisation is normally created to handle the financing and the governance of the infrastructure during its lifecycle, including the construction and the operation.<br /> <br /> This new organisation is called Special Purpose Entity or Vehicle (SPE/SPV). SPEs are also widely involved in PPP transactions. Often, the directors at the board of the SPEs risk to be in conflict of interest. Typically, the members of the board are elected by the critical project stakeholders, such as critical contractor, suppliers, offtakes, financial and institutional investors, public bodies, etc.<br /> <br /> The elected members of the board could be in conflict of interest. From one hand, they are appointed to serve the best interest for the SPEs, in line with their code of conduct and their responsibilities. To the other hand, they have been appointed by a specific stakeholder, which often has the power to replace them. In practice, the director is appointed to represent the (appointing) stakeholder in the decision-making that takes place within the SPE.<br /> <br /> This research project will address questions such as:<br /> <br /> Which conflicts of interest apply to the procurement and the governance of infrastructure projects?<br /> Which remedies reduce the risks of conflict in-trust in infrastructure projects?<br /> <br /> There are a number of examples of types of conflict of interest that can apply during the procurement and the governance of infrastructure projects. The student would have some flexibility to develop the aims an objectives accordingly.

<h2 class="heading">How to apply</h2>

<p>Formal applications for research degree study should be made online through the&nbsp;<a href="https://www.leeds.ac.uk/info/130206/applying/91/applying_for_research_degrees">University&#39;s website</a>. Please state clearly in the research information section&nbsp;that the research degree you wish to be considered for is &lsquo;Conflict of interest in infrastructure projects&rsquo; as well as&nbsp;<a href="https://engineering.leeds.ac.uk/staff/747/Tristano_Sainati">Dr Tristano Sainati</a>&nbsp;as your proposed supervisor.</p> <p>If English is not your first language, you must provide evidence that you meet the University&#39;s minimum English language requirements (below).</p> <p><em>We welcome applications from all suitably-qualified candidates, but UK black and minority ethnic (BME) researchers are currently under-represented in our Postgraduate Research community, and we would therefore particularly encourage applications from UK BME candidates. All scholarships will be awarded on the basis of merit.</em></p>

<h2 class="heading heading--sm">Entry requirements</h2>

Applicants to research degree programmes should normally have at least a first class or an upper second class British Bachelors Honours degree (or equivalent) in an appropriate discipline. The criteria for entry for some research degrees may be higher, for example, several faculties, also require a Masters degree. Applicants are advised to check with the relevant School prior to making an application. Applicants who are uncertain about the requirements for a particular research degree are advised to contact the School or Graduate School prior to making an application.

<h2 class="heading heading--sm">English language requirements</h2>

The minimum English language entry requirement for research postgraduate research study is an IELTS of 6.0 overall with at least 5.5 in each component (reading, writing, listening and speaking) or equivalent. The test must be dated within two years of the start date of the course in order to be valid. Some schools and faculties have a higher requirement.

<h2 class="heading">Funding on offer</h2>

<p><strong>Self-Funding Students are welcome to apply.</strong></p> <p><strong>UK&nbsp;students</strong>&nbsp;&ndash;&nbsp;The&nbsp;<a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk/funding/138-leeds-doctoral-scholarships-2021-january-deadline">Leeds Doctoral Scholarship (January deadline)</a>&nbsp;is available to UK applicants. &nbsp;<a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk/funding/60-alumni-bursary">Alumni Bursary</a> is available to graduates of the University of Leeds.</p> <p><strong>Non-UK students</strong>&nbsp;&ndash;The&nbsp;<a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk/funding/48-china-scholarship-council-university-of-leeds-scholarships-2021">China Scholarship Council - University of Leeds Scholarship</a>&nbsp;is available to nationals of China. The&nbsp;<a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk/funding/73-leeds-marshall-scholarship">Leeds Marshall Scholarship</a>&nbsp;is available to support US citizens. &nbsp;<a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk/funding/60-alumni-bursary">Alumni Bursary</a> is available to graduates of the University of Leeds.</p>

<h2 class="heading">Contact details</h2>

<p>For further information regarding your application, please contact Doctoral College Admissions by email:&nbsp;<a href="mailto:EMAIL@leeds.ac.uk">p</a><a href="mailto:phd@engineering.leeds.ac.uk">hd@engineering.leeds.ac.uk,</a>&nbsp;or by telephone: +44 (0)113 343 5057</p> <p>For further information regarding the project, please contact Dr Tristano Sainati by email:&nbsp;&nbsp;<a href="mailto:T.Sainati@leeds.ac.uk">T.Sainati@leeds.ac.uk</a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p>


<h3 class="heading heading--sm">Linked research areas</h3>