Launch of the Advanced Olympic Research Grant Programme 2022/2023

The IOC Olympic Studies Centre (OSC) has launched a new edition of the Advanced Olympic Research Grant Programme intended for established researchers engaged in Olympic-related research.

Main objective

To promote advanced research with a humanities or social sciences perspective by established researchers in priority fields of research, which are identified annually by the IOC. For the 2022/2023 edition, the following list of nineteen priority fields of research has been identified dealing with key IOC activity areas:

  1. Safe Sporting Environments – Research into athletes’, coaches’ and sports organisations’ experiences to determine evidence-based interventions to safeguard athletes of all ages from all forms of violence, harassment, discrimination and abuse in sport. Particular interest in vulnerable populations; adult athletes; using observational and ethnographic studies; research into prevalence and incidence of violence, harassment, discrimination and/or abuse in different sports across understudied regions; and interventions that follow an athlete-centred approach.
  1. Elite Athlete Mental Health and Well-being – Research that identifies good practices and/or leads to recommendations about improving mental health literacy among athletes, entourage members and/or sports organisations. Particular interest in cross-cultural case studies including female and male athletes from different sports.
  1. Elite Athlete Mental Health – Research that explores the implementation of elite athlete mental health support services at international and/or national events and/or in daily training environments, and evaluates these for effectiveness.
  1. Olympians’ livelihoods – Research aimed at assessing average levels of physical and financial assets through a comparison of different low-, middle- and high-income countries, including different individual and team sports.
  1. Coaching and mentoring Generation Z athletes – How to coach young elite athletes (age range: 15-18), understand their expectations, develop constructive relationships with them, include values in their training, and identify challenges, skills and strategies to be favoured based on case studies, including various summer and winter sports on different continents.
  1. Olympic legacy evaluation – Examining legacies using empirical, data-driven approaches. Priority will be given to studies looking at under-researched Olympic Games editions – Summer Games in the period from 1972 to 2004, and Winter Games in the period from 1968 to 2006 – and to Olympic candidatures. Candidates interested in the topic will find in the Olympic World Library a systematic review of academic publications on the legacy of the Olympic Games from 1896 to 2016 (see here).
  1. Post-Games use of Olympic venues – Monitoring and evaluating the long-term uses of Olympic venues through a data-driven approach. The IOC has just completed a full inventory on the post-Games use of Olympic venues, identifying a need for further research on: a) capital investment and operational costs/revenues of venues or clusters of venues which hosted Olympic Games competitions, for long periods of time; and b) primary data on how often the venue is in use (expressed as occupation rate, number of events per year, and number of users/visitors).
  2. Development of a methodology for comprehensive longitudinal research on OCOG-led Olympic education programmes; their role and potential impact in promoting Olympism locally (in the host country) and globally; and their contribution to the success of the Games and to creating lasting benefits for young people in the host territory.
  1. Analysis of the NOCs’ contribution through programmes and activities to create a better world through sport (please refer to the Olympic Values World Programme in the Olympic Solidarity 2021-2024 Plan) – Trends, opportunities and challenges based on the study of a selection of NOCs of a range of sizes and cultures and from different continents.
  1. Research that presents evidence of the contribution of the Olympic Movement, the sports sector and/or the sports for development sector to the Sustainable Development Goals – Case studies and analysis of the impact of sports initiatives, especially those organised at local level, and of their inclusion in a human rights-based approach.
  1. Investigations of the role that safe sport can play in humanitarian crises and the impact of safe sport on refugees, asylum seekers, internally displaced young people and host communities (impact on psychosocial well-being, mental health, social cohesion and social inclusion) – How safe spaces and safe sport contribute to protecting girls and boys. (For more information, please refer to the “Sport for Protection Toolkit: Programming with Young People in Forced Displacement Settings” created by UNHCR, the IOC and Terre des hommes).
  1. Sports organisations’ initiatives to improve women’s actual attainment of roles and positions, in particular leadership, across the organisations’ administration and governance – Analysis of good practices/policies that include empirical evidence of change/improvements within NOCs and national sports federations in the Global South.
  1. Analysis of sociodemographic factors impacting the retention and/or the dropout rate of vulnerable groups in sports at grassroots level (e.g. women/girls, LGBTQI+, BAME, etc.) to suggest evidence-based interventions and measurable outcomes in an inclusive and safe environment.
  2. Origins of the differentiated uniforms for male and female athletes at the Olympic Games – Sociological, cultural and ethical considerations.
  1. Research on the place of sport and physical activity in the health sector – and/or in collaboration with the health sector – as both prevention and primary healthcare tools against non-communicable diseases, based on the analysis of the trends in the political/policy discourse of national governments’ strategies and programmes as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, with a particular interest in future Olympic Games host countries.
  1. The extent to which governments of recent and future Olympic Games host countries have sought to develop and make use of sport and physical activity programmes with multiple public and private stakeholders for public health purposes. Research into how these programmes are developed and the degree of collaboration between the relevant stakeholders in the sport and health sectors in this context, as both a prevention and a primary healthcare tool against non-communicable diseases.
  1. Analysis of the means and methods (including evaluation) implemented by the International Sports Federations and the NOCs to convey and apply the ethics and integrity rules established by the Olympic Movement, namely the Code of Ethics, the Basic Universal Principles of Good Governance and the Olympic Movement Code on the Prevention of the Manipulation of Competitions.
  1. Historical, sociological and/or psychological analysis of the relationship between sports practice and sports viewership based on a series of cross-cultural case studies including different sporting contexts.
  1. The economic dimension of the sports sector – Meta-analysis of studies already conducted assessing sport-related GDP and sport-related economic activity and employment.


Who is eligible to apply?

All university professors, lecturers and research fellows who have completed their doctorate and who currently hold an academic/research appointment/affiliation covering the period of the grant.

Selection Committee

The Grant Programme Selection Committee is composed of academic experts who are world-renowned for their involvement in Olympic studies. The relevant IOC departments and a selection of Peer reviewers are also involved in the selection process.

To find a detailed description of the evaluation and selection process and the pool of Peer reviewers who have contributed to the programme in the past, please consult our website.

Application files

Application files, and any related correspondence, should be sent to the OSC before 31 January 2022. The complete explanatory document and the application form are available on our website.

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The Advanced Olympic Research Grant Programme is one of the two research programmes

run by The IOC Olympic Studies Centre. To learn more about the other research opportunities, please click here.

Find out more about The Olympic Studies Centre’s services and programmes on our website. Discover the Olympic World Library (OWL), our library catalogue dedicated to Olympic knowledge with 36,000 official and academic titles, of which over 10,500 documents are accessible in digital format. 

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