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Scholarship open to investigate LGBTQ+ visibility in sport impact View all news

Applications are now open for a fully-funded PhD scholarship with The University of Hull to investigate the impact of publicly out Olympic athletes on the attitudes towards sports among LGBTQ+ youth.

Applications are open until January 30th, 2023 and the scholarship can be completed over three years full-time or five years part-time.

More information about the scholarship, which will begin in May 2023, can be found on The University of Hull website.

There are also scholarships on sustainability and net zero, which you can find out more about here.

The university recently established a research centre for the study of Sustainability and Olympic Legacy (HCSOL), officially recognised by the International Olympic Committee, and is launching a project to study the impact of LGBTQ+ representation in sport.

Led by senior lecturer Dr David Eldridge, the project requires scholarship applicants with a good Masters degree in any relevant field such as the Humanities, History, Cultural Studies, Gender or Sexuality Studies, Sociology, Media and Journalism, Sport Science or Sports Psychology, with a track record of working in areas relating to LGBTQ+ inclusion.

As assessing the impact of athletes like Tom Daley, Gus Kenworthy, Laurel Hubbard and Markus Thormeyer will involve talking to different communities of LGBTQ+ youth – and potentially the athletes themselves – about their personal experiences, they’re seeking candidates with well-honed interviewing skills and the ability to qualitatively analyse and interpret the evidence produced from such interviews.

"At the time Tom shared his news, I didn’t feel surprise any more than my own mother did when I came out, but I did feel happy that he had found love and I was relieved that he had come out on his own terms."

Dr Eldridge will be taking part in a webinar Q&A on Thursday 12th January at 18:00 GMT. If you’re interested, register to join now!

Writing for Sports Media LGBT+, Eldridge said: “I felt for Tom Daley when he came out 10 years ago.

“The British diver was 19 when he published his famous YouTube video titled ‘Something I want to say…’ back in December 2013.

“‘My life changed massively when I met someone, and they make me feel so happy, so safe and everything just feels great,’ said Tom. ‘That someone is a guy.’”

“The video has been watched over 13 million times and in the last decade, Tom has added three more Olympic medals to the bronze he won at London 2012, including a gold from Tokyo 2020.

“At the time Tom shared his news, I didn’t feel surprise any more than my own mother did when I came out, but I did feel happy that he had found love and I was relieved that he had come out on his own terms, rather than being outed by the British tabloids.

“I reacted much more viscerally to Gus Kenworthy when he kissed his boyfriend on live television at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang in 2018.

“Because I had been skiing (a grand total of two times!), I could still recall the overwhelming exhilaration felt when I scooted down a mountainside for the first time without falling down – and I certainly would have kissed my boyfriend in that moment, if I’d had one around!

“As I’ve become immersed in this beautiful world of queer people finding a love for sports that they often never expected to experience when growing up, it has unexpectedly transformed my own path as an academic.

“Because of research work I’ve recently been doing in partnership with the [rugby club Hull] Roundheads, investigating how inclusive clubs can better overcome the barriers to participation in sports that LGBTQ+ individuals have experienced, I leapt at the opportunity HCSOL offered to compare and contrast the experiences of local LGBTQ+ grassroots sports players and international elite athletes.”

Sound like something you could support? You can join Dr Eldridge and contribute to a pioneering project by applying here.

The BEAA offers a supportive space for LGBTQ+ athletes and allies to get advice and share their experiences in our LGBTQ+ network. You can find out more by emailing

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