Joint PhD project “Measuring ethics and integrity in sport organisations” at KU Leuven and Norwegian School of Sport Sciences

Katholieke Universiteit Leuven
October 01, 2023
Offerd Salary:Negotiation
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Contract Type:Other
Working Time:Negotigation
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Joint PhD project “Measuring ethics and integrity in sport organisations”

at KU Leuven and Norwegian School of Sport Sciences

(ref. BAP-2023-572)

Last modification : Monday, August 28, 2023

The PhD project for which a researcher will be recruited is part of the DoctorAl Training Network in Sport Ethics and Integrity (DAiSI). DAiSI is an EU-funded joint doctoral training network in Sport Ethics and Integrity (https: // www., for which a total of 17 PhD researchers will be recruited. The successful applicant for this specific PhD project will pursue a joint PhD degree at the Department of Movement Sciences of KU Leuven (KUL) and the Norwegian School of Sport Sciences (NSSS) and will be supervised by Prof. Dr. Thomas Könecke (KUL) and Prof. Dr. Chris Horbel (NSSS). The main place of work will in Leuven at KUL, but regular travel abroad is an integral part of the PhD trajectory. KU Leuven (founded in 1425) is a traditional full university and an intellectually challenging international environment for over 60.000 students, almost 7.000 of them PhD students. It ranks among the leading universities worldwide (for instance, rank 42 in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2023 and rank 61 in the QS World University Rankings 2024). Moreover, KU Leuven has constantly been selected as Europe's most innovative university in Thompson Reuters' yearly ranking since 2016. The university is a member of several international networks, such as LERU, the League of European Research Universities, CELSA, the Central Europe Leuven Strategic Alliance and the Coimbra Group. 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.).

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DAiSI is 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 such as 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.

As part of DAiSI, this specific PhD project seeks to develop standardised/standardisable academically and empirically grounded systems for managing, i.e. measuring and controlling, ethically desired and integer behaviour in sport organisations. These systems will be adaptable to different organisations types (e.g., sizes, purposes) and different aspects of ethical behaviour (e.g., protection of athlete rights,fighting unwanted behaviour).


• You will conduct research (literature review, mainly quantitative data collection and analysis) 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, meetings,research proposals, support of other researchers, etc.).

• You hold a Master's Degree in (Sport) Management, (Sport) Economics, SocialSciences, Sport Sciences, Sport Integrity or another degree (Master's level) ina related area with a pronounced interest in the mentioned area of research.

• You are enthusiastic, ambitious, dynamic, flexible, and open to challenges and developments.

• You have good organizational skills and can work independently.

• You have excellent social and written communication skills in English. A good working knowledge of Dutch can be an advantage but is not a requirement at all.

• You can work in an international multidisciplinary team.

• You have extensive experience with social scientific methods, primarily with quantitative research methods.

• Due to the mobility rule of the project funder(European Union), 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 the assignment.


A PhD position for three years in an international and multidisciplinary team with relevant experience and expertise. The research will be conducted at KU Leuven under supervision of Prof. Dr. Thomas Könecke and the co-supervision of Prof. Dr. Chris Horbel (Norwegian School of Sport Sciences), stays abroad are an integral part of the PhD trajectory. Upon successful completion of the requirements, a joint PhD degree will be awarded to the candidate by KUL andNSSS.

The candidate can start from January 1, 2024. The specific start date will be determined in consultation with the candidate.

Interviews with short-listed candidates will be scheduled online in October 2023. If you have not been contacted until the end of October, you have not been short-listed.

More information on the DAiSI Joint Doctoral Network


For more information, please contact Prof. Dr. Thomas Könecke, tel.: +3216 19 33 38, email: [email protected].

KU Leuven seeks to foster an environment where all talents can flourish, regardless of gender, age, cultural background, nationality or impairments. If you have any questions relating to accessibility or support, please contact us at [email protected].

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