PhD student positions announced at GIH: Early specialization and healthy engagement in aesthetic sports and dance. Apply before December 31, 2017

The Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences, GIH, is the oldest sport university in the World. The school is located next to Stockholm Stadium and is Sweden’s leading centre of knowledge for sport, physical activity and health. We educate teachers in sport and health, trainers, health pedagogs, sport managers, sport experts and researchers. GIH conducts sport science research, often in close collaboration with other universities and societal partners both nationally and internationally. Today GIH has 140 employees and about 1000 students.

The Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences, GIH, announces positions as PhD students in the field of sports sciences with the following topic.

Early specialization and healthy engagement in aesthetic sports and dance: Exploring perfectionism, motivation and parental involvement

Description of the research directions

GIH is the only university in Sweden with the topic of sports, physical activity and health as a research field. GIH has a tradition of prominent multidisciplinary research with excellence in a wide spectrum of research questions. GIH:s education and research activity is divided into the three directions of physical activity and health, culture and learning and performance and training.

Early specialization is a contentious issue, yet in female-dominated aesthetic activities such as gymnastics and dance it is practically the norm. In the present project, the aim is to put a spotlight on whether (and if so, how) early specialization among aesthetic performers is related to healthy sport engagement: an umbrella term comprising perfectionism, motivation, and parental involvement. Other aspects (e.g., well-being, dropout intentions) could also feature, depending on the applicant’s interests.

It is suggested that the PhD project will comprise 3-4 studies and a mixture of methods including quantitative (questionnaire-based assessments of the above noted variables) and qualitative (in-depth interviews about experiences of early specialization). Finally, an intervention could be conducted with parents of young aesthetic performers, aiming to optimize parental support and, indirectly, supporting healthy sport engagement.

If you have questions, please contact supervisor Sanna Nordin-Bates

Prerequisites for PhD studies

Prerequisites for acceptance into the PhD program in sport science are:

    • That the applicant has an advanced level degree with at least 240 credits completed of which at least 60 credits must be from advanced level, or by other means attained a comparable education either in Sweden or internationally.
    • That the applicant has the required additional capacities to succeed with PhD studies.


The application for acceptance into the program shall include the following attested documents:

    • Examination certificate or other documents proving that the prerequisites are satisfied,
    • Advanced level thesis (magister or masters thesis),
    • Application form for: Ansökan till utbildning på forskarnivå,
    • Short description (up to 7000 characters incl blanks) of the applicant’s interests, experiences and suggestions within the area. It is desirable that the applicant outlines a possible sequence of 3-4 studies (short background and methods), and whether s/he intends to focus particularly on certain variables, add some variable, or similar. Scientific references (papers) should be used to justify suggestions and choices.
    • CV with at least two references.

Swedish description of application to the PhD program

Enrollment and employment

The rules for employing PhD students are in the regulations SFS 1998:80. In order to be employed as PhD student one must have been enrolled in a PhD program. The level of likelihood of completion of the education is prioritised for employment.


A selection is made from the applicants based upon their capacity for successfully completing the PhD program. An important selection criteria is the research field and quality of the advanced level thesis (magister or masters thesis) and the short research plan included in the application.

Additional conditions

We assume you will be present at the university to complete courses and seminars and that you actively participate in our research environment. Apart from the requirement of working on your own education, the PhD student is also encouraged to use a part of the position in teaching, research and administrative work in accordance with specific rules in the “högskoleförordningen”. In order to prepare the PhD student for a continued career within academia, GIH encourages them to plan their PhD program over five years with 20% so-called institute service. The institute shall provide teaching experience and courses in the pedagogical development area can be accredited.

Further, Swedish information concerning employment as a PhD student and the PhD program at GIH can be found here: våra webbsidor om utbildning på forskarnivå vid GIH.

GIH works towards diversity and equality and encourages applicants with different backgrounds and experiences.

Duration/working time

Time limited position for four years full-time according to the Higher Education Ordinance 5 ch. 1-7§ with employment starting according to agreements.


Salary is regulated according to a local settlement for a salary progression for PhD students.

Additional information

Further information can be provided by:

  • Toni Arndt (Dean of Research and Doctoral Education) 08-120 537 39
  • Anna Ekenberg (SACO-S) 08-120 538 02
  • Marjan Pontén (OFR/S) 08-120 538 17


The application, identified with GIH 2017/456 shall be sent to and must be at GIH at the latest on the 31 december 2017. The application shall be converted to one pdf file. Please follow the instructions for the application and to have all documents attested.

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