Prof Kieron Flanagan

Professor of Science and Technology Policy

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Supervision information

I am currently co-supervising a small group of research students on a range of 'science diplomacy' topics (e.g. the governance of Antarctic science, China's space programmes as instruments of 'soft power', and the historic role of the British Council in UK science diplomacy) all jointly with my colleague Simone Turchetti in Manchester's Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine). I also currently supervise a number of PhD students working on other topics in science, technology and innovation policy, including one on creative industry clusters, one comparing the regional innovation systems of two Chinese citie, and another on discourses and change in STI policies.


Interested in applying for a PhD? Read this:

In common with most of my colleagues I unfortunately receive a large number of poorly targeted PhD inquiries, which in many cases have been mass mailed to many colleagues with no personalisation, and without acknowledgement that it is a mass mailout.

Doing the necessary research on potential supervisors is not only the first step in the PhD journey but a strong indication about your research skills and suitability for doctoral research. If you are contacting more than one prospective supervisor with the same project idea that is fine but please just say so.

My main supervisory interest is in the broad area of science and technology policy, especially where the focus is on the policy-making process or policy dynamics (for example the role of scientists, expertise and evidence in policy making, and more generally how the agency of actors, including policy and institutional entrepreneurs but also policy targets and implementers, affects public policy and its outcomes). I am also interested in critical work on 'foundational' and often taken-for-granted concepts in the area of S&T and innovation policy (for instance the 'systems of innovations' concept).

I am also interested in supervising work on sub-national (regional and local) science and innovation policies, especially as they relate to the kinds of dynamics described above.

Again, I am also interested in supervising work on scientific research careers and the international mobility of researchers, and work on the international dimensions of science more generally (including science and diplomacy) and in work on the public communication of science and technology policies (e.g. by journalists and commentators).

Finally, on the innovation studies side I am interested in supervising doctoral research on innovation dynamics in non technology based or creative service sectors, although prospective students should be warned that I am no longer an active researcher in these areas. If you wanted to propose a project on innovation policies for these sectors I would be particularly interested!  



I am honestly not qualified to supervise research projects in general areas of business and management, or in IT systems implementation studies - please do not get in touch to propose such projects. My many colleagues in the rest of the business school would make much more appropriate potential supervisors.

I am currently supervising 6 postgraduate research students and one ESRC post-doctoral fellow. I am not actively seeking additional students at the moment - but will always be open to strong applicants with an interesting project idea. If you've read this far and you have a genuinely strong project idea that is genuinely relevant to my interests then by all means do get in touch. It is a good idea to always copy in the departmental PhD programme co-ordinator to any such correspondence. The current PhD co-ordinator for this division is Dr Oliver Laasch.  

Student Theses

  1. 2021

    Author: Koranteng-Acquah, J., 31 Dec 2021

    Supervisor: Flanagan, K. (Supervisor) & Turchetti, S. (Supervisor)

    UoM administered thesis: Master of Philosophy

  3. 2017

    Author: Franco Jiménez, F., 31 Dec 2017

    Supervisor: Flanagan, K. (Supervisor) & Gilmore, A. (Supervisor)

    UoM administered thesis: Master of Philosophy

  5. 2016
  6. The Platform Business Model and Strategy:A Dynamic Analysis of the Value Chain and Platform Business

    Author: Kim, J., 1 Aug 2016

    Supervisor: Flanagan, K. (Supervisor) & Miles, I. D. (Supervisor)

    UoM administered thesis: Phd

  7. 2013
  8. Public policy in (re)building national innovation capabilities: a comparison of S andT transitions in China and Russia

    Author: Klochikhin, E., 1 Aug 2013

    Supervisor: Shapira, P. (Supervisor) & Flanagan, K. (Supervisor)

    UoM administered thesis: Phd