PhD Studentship in Sport and Citizenship @ Loughborough University: Supporters’ activism, nostalgia and the governance of modern football

supporters-activismFollowing 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. It will research the diverse ways in which active citizenship is pursued by different individuals and social groups in and through sport.

The specific focus of this PhD is the area of football governance and supporters’ activism, with attention to the role of nostalgia and the communication networks of supporters. This PhD explores the extent to which football fans develop and articulate specific forms of social, cultural (and football) citizenship by participating in the activities of supporters groups at local, national or European level. This project will explore the motivations, strategies and outcomes of supporter activism in Europe. This PhD will explore the concept of ‘modern football’ and question the extent to which nostalgia for ‘older football’ is a motivator for supporters’ activism. The project will adopt an interdisciplinary approach with a threefold social scientific theoretical framework, comprised of theories of collective and cultural memory, communication networks, and approaches to sports governance.

This PhD will adopt a case study design, with a qualitative methodology for data collection and analysis. The research will benefit substantially from our external links with Football Supporters Europe (FSE) as the non-academic project partner. The PhD supervisors will be Dr Borja García, (Lecturer in Sport Policy and Management in the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences), and Dr Emily Keightley (Senior Lecturer in Communication and Media Studies in the Department of Social Sciences). The PhD student will be based in the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences.

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 need to hold at least an upper 2:1 degree (or equivalent) in the areas of the social sciences related to the study, such as Communication, Media Studies, Sport Management/Policy or the social sciences of sport. Knowledge and/or strong experience of football governance and supporter activism will be considered an essential pre-requisite as well. A relevant Master’s degree and/or strong experience in the relevant areas will be an advantage. Applicants should also have excellent qualitative research skills. Finally, speaking a second European language will be an advantage.

General information about the school of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences can be found at:

For informal enquiries about the project, please contact Dr Borja García (b.garcia-

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

The closing date for applications is 27th February 2015

Interviews will take place in week commencing 27th April 2015.

Please quote the following reference when applying: GS15SSEHS/M1

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