Prestigious doctoral scholarship benefits PhD students Stefanie Beninger and Karen Robson

Jun 12, 2015

Beedie School of Business PhD candidates Stefanie Beninger (left) and Karen Robson are both recipients of the Joseph-Armand Bombardier Doctoral Scholarship.

As a leading research-focused school, the Beedie School of Business has a renowned PhD program. The program is so strong in fact, that it can currently boast two PhD students who are the recipients of a prestigious doctoral scholarship awarded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC).

Third-year PhD candidates Stefanie Beninger and Karen Robson are both holders of the Joseph-Armand Bombardier Doctoral Scholarships. Worth $105,000 over three years, the scholarship is awarded to candidates based on their achievements prior to and during their PhD program. Award winners are chosen based on their academic excellence, communication skills, and their research potential and achievements.

That the Beedie School of Business has two PhD students at the same time who are recipients of the scholarship is an indication of the quality of the PhD program. Even more remarkable, however, is that both Beninger and Robson study the same subject, marketing, and have collaborated on research.

Robson, who works under the supervision of Beedie Professor Leyland Pitt, was awarded the scholarship in 2013. Her research predominantly investigates consumer innovation and the impact it has on companies and consumers, including in relation to intellectual property rights.

Beninger, under the supervision of Beedie Associate Professor June Francis, received her scholarship in 2014. Her research focuses on marketing in impoverished contexts, including marketing decisions made by entrepreneurs, and ethical issues in marketing.

Together, Beninger and Robson have published two peer-reviewed journal articles, with another peer reviewed journal article forthcoming. Their first collaborations were about creative consumers in impoverished situations, as well as on marketing changes before, during, and after the global financial crisis.

Beninger and Robson have a forthcoming article in the respected journal Business Horizons, where they discuss issues concerning marketing in impoverished markets, supported by survey research with mangers active in those contexts.

In addition to these peer-reviewed journal articles, they have published two case studies for use in classrooms and boardrooms. Their first case, in collaboration with Beedie associate professor Dr. Sudheer Gupta, focuses on the entry of Wal-Mart into South Africa. Their second teaching case focuses on a myriad of issues facing Vancouver-based Lululemon Athletica, and is co-authored by two other Beedie PhD students, Adam J. Mills and Simon Pek.

“These research achievements are made possible in part through the financial support of the Bombardier scholarship from SSHRC, which is quite an honour, and the excellent education I am receiving here at Beedie,” says Beninger. “As well, Karen is an excellent colleague with which to collaborate. That Beedie has two PhD students holding Bombardier scholarships is truly a testament to the program.”

For more information on the PhD program at Beedie School of Business, please visit

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