Kent-Lille Postgraduate Scholarship in Open Innovation and Collaboration in Healthcare

Postgraduates can apply for this scholarship:

Scholarship value

Tuition fees and stipend at the standard Research Council rate (Home rate only: £4,500 (fees) and £15,609 (stipend) in 2021/22).


Sunday 18 April 2021, 23:59 BST


  • Successful candidates will demonstrate excellent research potential and will have obtained a First or 2:1 Undergraduate degree, along with a Master’s with Merit or Distinction, in a relevant subject (current Masters Students can submit a partial transcript).
  • Candidates must have strong analytical and statistical skills (demonstrated within CV and cover letter).
  • Applicants must have a minimum overall score of 7.0 in an IELTS test. This requirement is waived, if an applicant is a national of a majority English-speaking country, or has completed a qualification equivalent to a UK Bachelor’s degree in a majority English-speaking country.

Open to overseas/home/EU fee paying students.Scholarships are available on a cotutelle (dual award) basis only.

Students have to spend at least 12 months at Kent and Lille.

Further details

Open Innovation and Collaboration in Healthcare
  • Professor Marian Garcia (Kent Business School – University of Kent)
  • Professor Faridah Djellal (Faculte des Sciences Economiques Sociales et des Territoires – University of Lille)
  • Dr Benoît Desmarchelier (Faculte des Sciences Economiques Sociales et des Territoires – University of Lille)


Healthcare, like many other fields, is an increasingly collaborative industry, with most organisations looking outside their internal silos for new ideas, innovations, and expertise. The breadth and depth of patient needs means that new technological developments require contributions from a large number of diverse research areas and specialties before becoming viable market products. With this complexity in mind, open innovation is no longer an optional exercise, but a requirement for doing business.

The strict regulatory requirements in healthcare and the high-cost nature of R&D means that purely internal efforts are naturally high risk. As such, open innovation allows healthcare innovators to pool risk in order to cut costs and increase the time-to-market. By engaging in collaborations between government, industry partners, and academia, organizations can avoid technological dead-ends and quickly identify viable research areas.

The project aims to identify and explore how technological innovations and innovative business models in healthcare can foster increased collaboration between different healthcare actors – biotechnology, pharmaceutical and diagnostic industries. In particular, it will explore how the disruptions brought by precision medicine require an open model of cooperation in R&D and innovation, which is increasingly associated with user-led innovation (i.e., empowerment of patients to build communities to take action and control of their health) and value co-creation in distributed networks (i.e., enabling more effective and efficient interactions between health systems and industries).

Forming collaborative networks in healthcare however is not easy and significant barriers remain to adopting new practices and methods of working. Successful open innovation partnerships function symbiotically, with all partners benefiting from the arrangement and filling critical knowledge gaps. To be effective, there needs to be a move towards a more holistic social model of healthcare involving the integration of users in health and social research supported by digitisation, information technologies and big data.

Further information