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The critical issue of gender and sport in a changing world: understanding the effects of cross-sex hormone treatment (CHT) on sporting ability and participation

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  • Full or part time
    Dr G Witcomb
    Dr HJ McDermott
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

Application details

Reference number: CDT/SSEHS/GW
Start date of studentship: 1st October 2018
Closing date for applications: 15th June
Interview date: 25th June – 6th July

This project will contribute to our understanding of the effects of cross-sex hormone treatment (CHT) on sporting ability and participation. It will seek to document, using qualitative and quantitative methodologies, the impact of hormone use on (real and perceived) strength, ability, opportunity and ease of sport participation. Crucially, this project represents the first attempt to track how changing levels of testosterone (the hormone invariably cited as causing unfair sporting advantages) impacts on performance – both subjectively and objectively. Students may work with the Nottingham Centre for Transgender Health to recruit participants.

Loughborough University

Loughborough University is a top-ten rated university in England for research intensity (REF2014). The newly formed Gender and Sport Centre for Doctoral Training, led by Dr Gemma Witcomb, is recruiting 5 highly motivated PhD students to explore the current and changing landscape of sports participation for transgender adults and children and recommend changes to promote inclusive participation.

One of the most influential, powerful and visible institutions upholding the gender binary is sport – where participation is predominantly segregated by biological sex, rooted in the widely-held beliefs about fairness and the biological advantages associated with being male. Such beliefs are over-simplistic, legitimise discrimination, and hinder the sports participation of transgender (intersex, trans, non-binary) individuals. With the rapidly growing societal visibility of transgender people, there is an unprecedented need to address areas where discrimination may arise.

The Gender and Sport CDT is part of Loughborough’s Adventure Research Programme, and part of CALIBRE research framework and the Sport and Exercise Beacon. It is a Loughborough Doctoral College initiative. All students receive a structured programme of support and guidance.

Find out more:

Entry requirements

Applicants should have (or be near completion of) a Master’s degree and have a First or 2:1 Honours degree (or equivalent) in a relevant subject (Psychology, Social Psychology, Sport and Exercise Science or other related disciplines). In addition, applicants should have excellent oral and written communication skills, as well as confidence in qualitative and quantitative research methods. Applicants will be working with transgender individuals and need to be aware of the difficulties faced by this population and be respectful whilst demonstrating sensitivity at all times. As this is a competitive position, applicants will be asked to write an essay on their understanding of the studentship for which they are applying.

Contact details

Informal enquiries can be made to Dr Gemma Witcomb ([Email Address Removed]) or Dr Hilary McDermott ([Email Address Removed]).
For general enquiries, please contact Joanne Bebb.
Email address: [Email Address Removed] Telephone number: 01509 226323.

How to apply

Apply online at Under programme name, select School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences. Please mark your application with the reference number CDT/SSEHS/GW.

Funding Notes

The studentship provides a tax free stipend of £14,777 per year for three years and covers tuition fees at the UK/EU rate. International students may apply: the total value of the studentship will be used towards the cost of the International tuition fee. You will be expected to register for 1st October 2018.

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