PhD Studentship in Sport and Citizenship @ Loughborough University | Physical Citizens: Positive youth development, ‘life skills’ and outdoor learning

outdoor-learningFollowing the establishment of a ‘mini Centre for Doctoral Training’ (mini-CDT) in Sport and Citizenship at Loughborough University, applications are invited for a PhD studentship funded by the University’s Graduate School to start on October 1st 2015. The Sport and Citizenship mini-CDT is a joint initiative of the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences and the School of Social, Political and Geographical Sciences. This mini-CDT seeks to research the diverse ways in which active citizenship is pursued by different individuals and social groups in and through sport.

The focus of this PhD is in the broad area of young people’s development through outdoor learning experiences. Specifically, it seeks to critically examine how outdoor learning and ‘wild’ environments are used by the Outward Bound Trust to facilitate the promotion of ‘active citizenship’ and the development of wide-ranging ‘life skills’ for young people. In this way, it aims to contribute to recent inter-disciplinary debates on youth, informal education and active citizenship. Furthermore, the project seeks to engage with concepts of embodiment, adventure and identity in the performance of citizenship through physical activity. We anticipate the project will utilise a predominantly qualitative research methodology and include an element of participatory and/or creative methods.

The PhD supervisors will be Dr Sarah Mills (Department of Geography) and Dr Rachel Sandford (School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences), and the PhD student will be based in the Department of Geography, School of Social, Political and Geographical Sciences. The research will benefit substantially from our external links with the Outward Bound Trust as the non-academic project partner.

The studentship is for 3 years and is intended to start on October 1st 2015. The studentship provides a tax-free stipend of £13,863 per annum, plus tuition fees at the UK/EU rate, for the duration of the studentship. International (non-EU) students may apply for this studentship, but will need to find the difference in fees between those for a ‘UK/EU’ and ‘international’ student themselves. For more information on fees, please see:

Applicants will normally need to hold at least an upper 2:1 degree (or equivalent) in a pertinent Social Science subject e.g. Geography or Physical Education/Sport Pedagogy. A relevant Master’s degree and/or experience working with young people and community/third sector organisations would be an advantage. Applicants should also have excellent written and oral communication skills.

General information about the Department of Geography and the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences can be found at: For informal enquiries about the project, please contact Dr Sarah Mills ( or for queries on the application process please contact Susan Clarke (

To apply, please complete the online application using the following link:

The closing date for applications is 27 February 2015

Interviews will take place in March

Please quote the following reference when applying: GS15SSEHS/M4

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