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ESRC DTP Joint Studentship: Project Safety Net: The Risks and Opportunities for Safeguarding Adolescents on Social Media in Relation to Organised Sport

Midlands Graduate School Doctoral Training Partnership

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Birmingham
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students, International Students
Funding amount: ESRC studentships
Hours: Full Time, Part Time
Placed On: 19th January 2023
Closes: 22nd February 2023

University of Birmingham and Loughborough University 

The Midlands Graduate School is an accredited Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP). One of 14 such partnerships in the UK, the Midlands Graduate School is a collaboration between the University of Warwick, Aston University, University of Birmingham, University of Leicester, Loughborough University and the University of Nottingham. 

We are now inviting applications for an ESRC Doctoral Joint Studentship between the University of Birmingham (where the student will be registered) and Loughborough University to commence in October 2023. 

Study Overview

Social media use is prevalent in adolescents who participate in organised sport. Emerging evidence suggests that social media can positively influence sport engagement, through providing a space to socialise and learn, and to develop ‘sporting’ identities. At the same time, the prevalence of problematic social media use tends to be greater in adolescents who participate in sport. Athletes/players who use social media can also experience abuse and discrimination (e.g. gender, racial), and be exposed to a high volume of potentially harmful (e.g. advice on supplements/training) and/or inappropriate content (e.g. sexualised images).

This studentship aims to develop a novel evidence-base that details the benefits and risk-based impacts of social media for adolescents (age 11-18) who participate in organised sport, and identify actions and support to address concerns. This is a multi- and mixed method study (using qualitative and quantitative techniques), and data will be generated from: focus group interviews with adolescents, a national survey with adolescents and workshops and interviews with key stakeholders (e.g. coaches, practitioners, and volunteers). The data will be reported in peer-review journal articles and the evidence will be used to produce new guidelines targeted at sport clubs and organisations on safeguarding principles of social media for adolescents who participate in organised sport. This joint studentship integrates the expertise of Dr Victoria Goodyear in social media use in adolescents, with the expertise of Dr Daniel Rhind in safeguarding children in sport. The student will receive extensive training from both supervisors to deliver this study.

We are looking for a highly talented and dedicated PhD student with a 1st class or 2:1 degree in the field of sport pedagogy/psychology/exercise sciences/public health/or similar subject. Experience working with adolescents and in sport/coaching contexts is favourable. The candidate will need to work well independently and as part of a team, have excellent communication skills, proficient knowledge of qualitative and quantitative methods, and possess an ability to learn research skills quickly and efficiently.

Application Process

To be considered for this PhD, please complete the Joint Studentship application form available online here. Please upload an anonymised CV and cover letter as part of the online application process. Shortlisted applicants will also be required to provide transcripts and two references.

Application deadline: 22nd February 2023

Midlands Graduate School ESRC

Our ESRC studentships cover fees at the home rate, a maintenance stipend, and extensive support for research training, as well as research activity support grants. Support is available to both home and international applicants. For further details, visit: www.mgsdtp.ac.uk/studentships/eligibility/.

Informal enquiries about the research or School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences prior to application can be directed to Dr Victoria Goodyear – v.a.goodyear@bham.ac.uk

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