This opportunity is now closed.

Funded PhD Opportunity

The Incredible Shrinking Woman: Sport, Leadership and Gender

Subjects: Sport and Exercise Sciences, Leisure and Tourism and Sport and Exercise Sciences, Leisure and Tourism


Summary

Research examining the sport-gender nexus is now well established, focusing variously on participation, coaching, governance, visibility and role modelling as well as the various challenges/barriers (structural, psychological, cultural and so on) that might mediate women’s increasing involvement in sport. Though the business case is generally accepted for diversity, a paradoxical situation pervades in which women are less visible in leadership and decision-making positions. Internationally, it is suggested that social capital and role modelling are useful tools/concepts through which to address this gender gradient, but gaps also exist in understanding whether/how this translates into actions that redress social inequities and/or bring about social justice. The importance of values and a ‘sense of place’ are also cited as factors in shaping women’s leadership behaviour. Yet, we know very little regarding the actual dynamics of bonding and bridging capital for women in sports leadership and/or the ways in which political or institutional barriers (‘deep structures’) might limit women. Pertinent questions are whether/how women may/may not exercise leadership, and how they are/might be empowered to create and sustain broader connections that can lead to their ‘getting ahead’ in male preserves. Thus, leadership remains a matter of debate.

This project permits the researcher the opportunity to unravel some of the hidden crevasses of women, sport and leadership at macro-, meso- or micro-levels; to examine institutional/organisational cultures; to explore the views and experiences of sports leaders on the island of Ireland (male/female) with regard to sports leadership; to examine power relations and their connections to ‘doing gender’, and; to consider human/social capital and any connections with self-limiting behaviours, including the impact of gender roles and stereotyping in sports leadership.

Research Objectives:

*To understand how and why sports have been contoured by gendered identity politics on the island of Ireland;

*To examine the views and experiences of (male/female) sports leaders themselves;

*To consider the implications of this for understanding diversity in sports leadership policy and programmes on the island of Ireland.

Methods:

The strengths and interests of the particular doctoral candidate will inform research design once research objectives are agreed. No research methods will have primacy per se over the research objectives.

Applicants should, in consultation with the lead supervisor, propose a research design that enables him/her to meet the objectives.

References

Burton, L. 2015. ‘Underrepresentation of women in sport leadership: a review of research’, Sport Management Review. 18: 155-165.

Burton, L. and Leberman, S. (eds) 2017. Women in Sport Leadership: Research and Practice for Change. London: Routledge.

Cunningham, G. (2008) ‘Creating and sustaining gender diversity in sport organizations’, Sex Roles, 58: 136-145.

Katasarova, I. (2019) Gender Equality in Sport: Getting Closer Every Day. EU: European Parliamentary Research Service.

Hall, R. and Oglesby, C. 2016. ‘Stepping through the Looking Glass: The Future for Women in Sport’, Sex Roles. 74: (7-8): 271-274.

Shaw, S. and Penney, D. (2003) ‘Gender equity policies in national governing bodies: an oxymoron or vehicle for change?’, European Sport Management Quarterly. 3 (2): 78-102. Women on Boards. 2016. Gender Balance in Global Sport Report.


Essential criteria

  • To hold, or expect to achieve by 15 August, an Upper Second Class Honours (2:1) Degree or equivalent from a UK institution (or overseas award deemed to be equivalent via UK NARIC) in a related or cognate field.
  • Sound understanding of subject area as evidenced by a comprehensive research proposal
  • A comprehensive and articulate personal statement

Desirable Criteria

If the University receives a large number of applicants for the project, the following desirable criteria may be applied to shortlist applicants for interview.

  • First Class Honours (1st) Degree
  • Masters at 65%
  • Completion of Masters at a level equivalent to commendation or distinction at Ulster
  • Practice-based research experience and/or dissemination
  • Experience using research methods or other approaches relevant to the subject domain
  • Work experience relevant to the proposed project
  • Publications - peer-reviewed
  • Experience of presentation of research findings
  • Use of personal initiative as evidenced by record of work above that normally expected at career stage.

Funding

    The University offers the following awards to support PhD study and applications are invited from UK, EU and overseas for the following levels of support:

    Vice Chancellors Research Studentship (VCRS)

    Full award (full-time PhD fees + DfE level of maintenance grant + RTSG for 3 years).

    This scholarship will cover full-time PhD tuition fees and provide the recipient with £15,000 maintenance grant per annum for three years (subject to satisfactory academic performance). This scholarship also comes with £900 per annum for three years as a research training support grant (RTSG) allocation to help support the PhD researcher.

    Vice-Chancellor’s Research Bursary (VCRB)

    Part award (full-time PhD fees + 50% DfE level of maintenance grant + RTSG for 3 years).

    This scholarship will cover full-time PhD tuition fees and provide the recipient with £7,500 maintenance grant per annum for three years (subject to satisfactory academic performance). This scholarship also comes with £900 per annum for three years as a research training support grant (RTSG) allocation to help support the PhD researcher.

    Vice-Chancellor’s Research Fees Bursary (VCRFB)

    Fees only award (PhD fees + RTSG for 3 years).

    This scholarship will cover full-time PhD tuition fees for three years (subject to satisfactory academic performance). This scholarship also comes with £900 per annum for three years as a research training support grant (RTSG) allocation to help support the PhD researcher.

    Department for the Economy (DFE)

    The scholarship will cover tuition fees at the Home rate and a maintenance allowance of £ 15,009 per annum for three years. EU applicants will only be eligible for the fee’s component of the studentship (no maintenance award is provided). For Non-EU nationals the candidate must be "settled" in the UK. This scholarship also comes with £900 per annum for three years as a research training support grant (RTSG) allocation to help support the PhD researcher.

    Due consideration should be given to financing your studies; for further information on cost of living etc. please refer to: www.ulster.ac.uk/doctoralcollege/postgraduate-research/fees-and-funding/financing-your-studies


Other information


The Doctoral College at Ulster University

Key dates

Submission deadline
Friday 7 February 2020

Interview Date
March 2020


Applying

Apply Online  


Campus

Jordanstown campus

Jordanstown campus
The largest of Ulster's campuses


Contact supervisor

Dr Katie Liston


Other supervisors

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