PhD Scholarship


Canterbury Christ Church University







Practice Area:

Athlete's Rights


United Kingdom

Canterbury Chris Church

Safe Sport and Athletes’ Human Rights: Towards an International Safeguarding Policy

The power of sport as a tool for health, education and social justice has long been recognised. However, recently there has been a rise of concerns regarding athletes’ welfare following scandals of sexual abuse and disclosures of emotional harassment, neglect, bullying and microaggressions. Although many initiatives are implemented worldwide to foster a safer, more ethical, and positive environment that recognises the role of sport in safeguarding and promoting an athlete’s welfare, there are key gaps that need urgently addressing, including:

• Lack of consistency (and communication in most cases) between regions and sport organisations in implementing safeguarding principles, standards, and guidelines.
• Paucity of empirical evidence examining whether current safeguarding programmes are effective in achieving their goal of protecting athlete welfare and preventing maltreatment.
• Limited understanding of the human rights of athletes and athlete perceptions of maltreatment in sport and support within their national and international sport organisation.
• Narrow knowledge about how Olympians and Paralympians, especially the survivors of an abuse, can negotiate the sport ethic and affect the design and delivery of sport.

The PhD scholar will work on a doctoral study aiming to fill in these gaps and influence international and national athlete welfare education, policy, and practice. The disciplines of sociology and policy are expected to feature in the design, alongside appropriate aspects of other disciplines such as psychology and public health.

Supervision will be provided from Dr. Chatziefstathiou and Dr. Hurst, world-leading experts on Olympic Studies, athlete welfare and deviance. For more info please email

How to apply

Please submit your application using the online admissions portal. As part of your application you will be required to submit a research proposal. Please tick the appropriate box on the proposal form to indicate that you are applying for a PhD scholarship alongside a place on the PhD programme. Please specify which project area you are interested in.

To be eligible for consideration for a scholarship you must have applied for both a place on the PhD programme as well as a scholarship by the scholarship application deadline of 11 June 2021.

For any queries about the application and admissions process please contact Postgraduate Admissions


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