PhD Sport provision and public health ethics

August 9, 2023

(ref. BAP-2023-564)

Last modification : Friday, August 4, 2023

The Center for Biomedical Ethics and Law (Department of Public Health and Primary Care, KU Leuven) and the Department of Sport and Social Science, Norwegian School of Sport Science are seeking a doctoral student to conduct research on the ethics of imposing restrictions on sports activities in order to promote individual wellbeing and/or prevent the spread of the disease and safeguard public health. The project is part of DAISI, a doctoral training network in Sport Ethics and Integrity ( ), in which 17 researchers are being recruited. The Center for Biomedical Ethics and Law at KU Leuven ( is an interdisciplinary research center that analyzes ethical and societal questions regarding innovations in biomedical research and healthcare. The research groups collaborate closely with researchers from KU Leuven and UZ Leuven, as well as various external partners such as healthcare providers, patient organizations, government representatives, regulatory agencies, reimbursement agencies, and the pharmaceutical industry at national, European, and international levels. Staff members publish research in international academic journals, participate in national and international research projects, disseminate their findings through participation in national and international conferences, and are involved in providing advice to academic and professional organizations. The Norwegian School of Sport Sciences (NSSS) is a specialized university with a national responsibility for research and education in the field of physical education and sport sciences. The university has four academic departments (Sport and Social Sciences, Teacher Education and Outdoor Studies, Physical Performance, and Sports Medicine) and two research centers (Norwegian Research Centre for Children and Youth Sports and Oslo Sports Trauma Research Centre), providing high quality research that covers a wide range of topics (e.g., physical performance, physical activity and health, sport management, sport and social issues including sport psychology, philosophy and ethics, children and youth sport, physical and outdoor education, etc.)
The DoctorAl Training Network in Sport Ethics and Integrity (DAiSI) has established an interdisciplinary network of research institutions and non-governmental organisations in the field of sport ethics and integrity. It will produce a cohort of doctoral candidates (DCs) that are capable of understanding, developing, and critiquing the complex ethico-legal challenges in sporting contexts around the globe. The DAiSI Doctoral Training Network (DTN) will form a new generation of experts and sport officials equipped with the necessary theoretical and methodological skills to identify, prevent, and manage current and future threats to sport integrity in both sport ruling and sport-related government bodies. 
Each of the 17 research projects is an interdisciplinary combination of ethical, legal, and social dimensions. Joint degree PhDs will be awarded to the successful candidates by two of the consortium partners. Moreover, each project is characterised by joint supervision reflecting this philosophy and is supported by one or more prestigious sport or sport-related institutions: Athletics Integrity Unit; Biathlon Integrity Unit; Federation of International Football Associations; International Olympic Committee, Union of European Football Associations; United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime; and the World Anti Doping Agency.
This specific advertised PhD research project aims to identify and evaluate the ethics of imposing restrictions on sports activities in order to promote individual wellbeing and safeguard public health.
The deliverables in this project will (1) identify citizens’ rights to engage in sport; (2) identify duties of public authorities in relation to such provision; (3) develop a framework to balance public health objectives and individual well-being concerns; (4) critically evaluate recent guidelines and approaches of federations and regulatory agencies.
• You will conduct research (literature review, qualitative and quantitative surveys) in the described research domain. You will be involved in the design, setup, and execution of the research, and you will report on the results in scientific publications. This research aims to lead to a doctoral degree (PhD). 
• You will work with other PhD candidates and colleagues within the research team and network. 
• You will supervise master’s students in carrying out their master’s theses. 
• You will contribute to collective activities of the research group (such as educational services, lab meetings, research proposals, etc.).
• You have completed a Master’s degree in Law, Biomedical Sciences, Medicine, Bioethics, Social Sciences, Sport Sciences, Sport Integrity or another relevant degree (Master’s level) with a pronounced interest in area of research. 
• You are enthusiastic, ambitious, dynamic, flexible, and open to challenges and developments. 
• You have good organizational skills and can work independently and make decisions. 
• You have excellent social and written communication skills in English.
• You can work in an international multidisciplinary team. 
• You have experience with social scientific methods, such as qualitative methods. 
• You have not resided or carried out your main activity (e.g. work, studies) in Belgium for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the start of his/her assignment.Offer
A PhD position within an internationally leading multidisciplinary team with relevant experience and expertise. The research will take place at KU Leuven under supervision of Professor Pascal Borry and co-supervision of Professor Sigmund Loland (from the Norwegian School of Sport Sciences).
The applicant will be able to participate in an international doctoral training network focused on sport ethics and integrity. At the conclusion of the PhD a joint doctorate from two universities will be provided. The start date will be determined in consultation with the candidate (with the ambition to start no later than 1 January 2024)

For more information please contact Prof. dr. Pascal Borry, tel.: +32 16 37 95 17, mail:
You can apply for this job no later than September 11, 2023 via the online application tool
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