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The Social Impact of Sport


Project Description

Funding is available for: UK Students, EU Students AND, part funding for International Students

The scholarship covers home/EU tuition fees plus a generous stipend equivalent to the full UKRI rate.
Funding amount: A generous and comprehensive package is offered. This includes a stipend of £14,773 per annum (2018/19) plus Home/EU tuition fees (£4,260 in 2018/19). For international students, a top up tuition fee of approximately £8,200 per year is required.


There is a growing consensus in the academic and policy community that sport and physical activity create societal impacts, including but not limited to health, subjective wellbeing, crime, education and social capital. However, research on measuring and valuing these non-market benefits is underdeveloped.

In 2014, researchers in the Sport Industry Research Centre (SIRC) at SHU developed a national model to measure the Social Return of Investment (SROI) for Sport in England. The PhD will use this work as a starting point, and draw on economic theory to advance knowledge and understanding on the social impact of sport. The PhD may focus on the social impact and value of sport at the population level across all outcomes, or specifically on one outcome area (for example education). We envisage that this work will be multidisciplinary, drawing upon evidence from health, economics and other social sciences.

We are offering the opportunity to work with one of the UKs leading research centres in the field of sports economics, as well as in an area of cutting-edge policy development. There will be opportunities to work with real world clients as part of your study and to gain teaching experience if you are interested in developing a rounded academic career.

Entry requirements
Successful applicants will have all of the attributes listed below.
• A good undergraduate degree (2:1 or higher) in a relevant subject (e.g. Economics, Sport Management, Health Economics, Statistics, Geography).
• A Master’s degree in a relevant area, or equivalent professional research experience.
• Where English is your second language you will have a strong proficiency in English (IELTS minimum overall score of 7.0 with at least 6.5 in each component).

The successful candidate will also have excellent interpersonal skills and confidence in communication. You will have experience in literature searching and reviewing, quantitative analysis and report writing. Desirable attributes would include professional or research experience in econometrics, economics, statistical modelling or financial accounting. A strong commitment to investigating the wider contribution of sport to society is essential.

Research Training
Throughout your programme of study you will be expected to undertake a programme of training in research skills that is appropriate to your needs.

Funding Notes

Apply to SHU via the University application form, including a 1500 word research proposal (section 9) demonstrating your background reading on the topic of the PhD and your plans for how you would undertake this programme of research.

An application form can be accessed at:

View Website

Enquiries on the application process e-mail:

For informal enquiries about the project contact Dr. Larissa Davies at .


This studentship is advertised for an October 2019 start.

Application deadline: Friday 7th June 2019
Interviews: w/c 08 July 2019

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