The organisations are looking for an "exceptional voluntary sector manager" to study existing practice in performance management and develop new tools to help organisations manage their performance.
The PhD will be supervised by Cranfield's Centre for Business Performance, which specialises in performance measurement and management systems.
Amanda Tincknell, chief executive of the Cranfield Trust, which offers pro-bono management consultancy to charities, said: "Demonstrating the effectiveness of your organisation is vital as competition in the sector and between voluntary sector and private sector service providers continues to grow."
The successful candidate will be funded as a full-time PhD student for four years from September, including course fees and an annual bursary of £13,500 a year to cover living expenses.
Candidates should ideally have been senior voluntary sector managers, with experience of reporting to funders. CVs and cover letters should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org by 28 May. For an informal discussion, contact Professor Mike Bourne on 01234 754 514.