De Montfort University PhD Scholarships

Securing improvements in passenger satisfaction and employee wellbeing with respect to airport security

This is a Future Aviation Security Solutions (FASS) funded 3-year industrial PhD studentship with Manchester Airports Group (MAG). The successful candidate will start their studies on  1st April 2023.  The scholarship comes with a stipend of £15,609, and is open to Home (UK) students only. 

Project Description

­­­­Delivering robust, effective and efficient airport security in the face of evolving and increasingly complex security threats, enhanced passenger service expectations, changing airline business models and competing business priorities is a key challenge for UK airports. 

The aim of this research is to support MAG in securing improvements in passenger satisfaction, and employee wellbeing with respect to airport security. The successful student will work in collaboration with MAG, who operate Manchester, Stansted and East Midlands airports, to understand the current situation and explore future requirements and conduct empirical research at MAG-owned airports in the UK.  

Academic Supervisors

Professor Lucy Budd (, Professor of Air Transport Management; and Professor Stephen Ison (, Professor of Air Transport Policy, Leicester Castle Business School. 

Industrial Supervisors

Anni Stores, Head of Business Architecture and CI, Airports; and

Ian Furness, Continuous Improvement Specialist. 

Eligibility Criteria

Applicants must:

  • possess a relevant UK honours degree, with at least a high upper second class (2:1) or equivalent, and ideally a Master's Degree, with at least a high merit (65%) or equivalent. Relevant professional experience will also be considered on an individual basis.
  • demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the UK commercial air transport industry, gained either through relevant academic study or through academic study and relevant industry experience.
  • hold a valid UK passport for the duration of the research. Some overseas travel may be required.
  • Fulfil UK government requirements with respect to holding an airside pass and remain compliant with airside security requirements for the full 3-year period of the studentship. 
  • Successfully pass a 5-year background check with no gaps of more than 28 days.
  • Hold no criminal convictions that could be seen as disqualifying under the National Aviation Security Programme. You can view the list of disqualifying convictions at

Frequent trips to Manchester Airport and infrequent visits to the other MAG airports at East Midlands and London Stansted will be required.


How to apply

If you are interested in applying, please submit an application via our application portal which can be accessed here. When applying, please ensure that you identify FASS PhD studentship under the Proposed Programme of Study tab. Please also provide the following:

  • A statement of interest of 200 words in which you say why you are interested in studying for a PhD and how you believe you have the desired qualities and experiences for this research project.

PLEASE NOTE: Though the application portal asks for a research proposal, for this PhD project, you need to provide the 200-word statement instead.

  • Two recent references (preferably 2 academic references or one academic and one professional reference) 

Deadline: 5pm GMT on 31st January 2023. 

Informal inquiries may be directed to Professor Lucy Budd ( or Professor Stephen Ison (   

Shortlisted candidates will be interviewed remotely via MS Teams in February 2023.

Alumni Discounts

De Montfort University offers alumni discounts for students that have previously studied with us at undergraduate or taught masters degree level. This discount is available to Home and International Students. This discount is only available to new starters and will be automatically applied if you are eligible.

Home alumni discount is £500 per year (full-time equivalent).

International alumni discount is £2,000 per year (full-time equivalent).