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Pain, injury and sport medicine: the emergence of the modern female sporting body

Project Description

Project reference number: GSBS-2019-008


This project would explore critically whether and how developments in sport medicine in the last 150 years have enabled the emergence of the modern female sporting body by focusing on the management of risk, pain and injury. This responds to the relatively recent acceptance of women in competitive sport following several decades of exclusion, supported by scientific narratives legitimising representations of female physiology and physical function as inherently fragile. The development of women’s elite sport has been accompanied by transformations in sport medicine as well as new anxieties about women’s athletic capital and the normative female body. The project would engage with these issues via a case study of the management of risk, pain and injury in track and field athletics with three strands: 1. Archival research to chart the emergence of the contemporary female sporting body in sport medicine through the lens of risk, pain and injury, 2. Archival research and text-based analysis of the regulatory framework regulating the prevention of injury and maximisation of athletic competence for women athletes, and 3. qualitative research documenting the experiences of injured athletes and their support teams (coach and physical therapists).

The project is interdisciplinary - combining insights and methods from the history and sociology of sport and sporting embodiment. The project has public engagement and impact potential: 1. Contributing to public debates about gender and normative embodiment, 2. Informing consensus statements on the management of athletic bodies and 3. Enhancing gender-based awareness among athletes and their support teams.

You would join a multi-disciplinary team of scholars, able to tap into a wider network of PhD students through the Scottish Graduate School of Social Sciences, the Scottish Graduate School of the Arts and Humanities and the Centre for the Social History of Health and Health Care.

Supervisor Research Profiles

Director of Studies: Prof Emmanuelle Tulle
GCU Research Online URL: [email protected]

2nd Supervisor: Dr Fiona Skillen
GCU Research Online URL: [email protected]

This project is available as a 3 years full-time PhD study programme with expected start date of 1 October 2019

Candidates are encouraged to contact the research supervisors for the project before applying.

To apply for this project, use the following link to access the online application form, as well as further information on how to apply:

Applicants shortlisted for the PhD project will be contacted for an interview within four weeks from the closing date.

Please send any other enquires regarding your application to:

Funding Notes

Exceptional candidates will be put forward for the scholarship competition. The Scholarship packages available include fully funded studentships and fees only scholarships. The fully funded studentships are worth £19,300 per year for 3 years, subject to satisfactory progress. They cover payment of tuition fees at the UK/EU rate and an annual stipend of £14,800.

For further details on funding see View Website

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