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22 Jan 2016
Olympic Studies Centre

2016 academic research grants awarded

In the framework of the PhD Students Research Grant Programme, The Olympic Studies Centre (OSC) has selected seven research projects based on their academic quality and link with Olympic studies.

The 2016 PhD Students Grant winners

The seven selected candidates and their chosen projects are:

  1. CERVIN, Georgia (New-Zealand): “Women’s artistic gymnastics during the Cold War and its aftermath: Western responses to Soviet domination 1952-2000” - University of Western Australia, Australia
  2. PAPE, Madeleine (Australia): “Governing difference in global sport: Women in the Olympic and Paralympic Movements” - University of Wisconsin-Madison,USA
  3. ERIKAINEN, Sonja (Finland): ” Negotiating Sexed Embodiment: A Genealogy of the Female Category in Olympic Sport” - University of Leeds, Great Britain
  4. BERG, Adam (USA): “The Olympic spirit of 1976: How Denver won and lost the Winter Games” - Pennsylvania State University, USA
  5. GIRGINOVA, Katerina (Great Britain): “Competing narratives: Analysing digital productions of the Olympic Games” - University of Pennsylvania, USA
  6. ELIAS JIMENEZ, Axel German (Mexico): “Mega-events in Latin America: Opposition and critique in the 20th century” - King’s College London, Great Britain
  7. ARAGÓN PÉREZ, Alberto (Spain): “The origins of the environmental dimensions of the Olympic Movement : A legacy of Barcelona 1992” - Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain


The chosen students benefit from a grant which allow them to carry out their research project and, if relevant, to consult The Olympic Studies Centre’s resources in Lausanne (Switzerland) (including the document and imagery archives of the International Olympic Committee, its official publications and an large collection of reference publications related to Olympism and the Olympic Movement). The results of their research must be submitted to the OSC at the end of 2016.  

Background of the programme

The PhD Programme is one of the research programmes organised by the OSC since 1999, aiming to support academic research related to Olympism, the Olympic Movement and the Olympic Games. It serves as a link between the IOC and the universities of the world by reaching out to the next generation of professors, who are now graduate students in the humanities and social sciences. As in the previous edition of the programme, this year’s edition featured, in collaboration with Olympic Solidarity, a second category of grants aimed especially at PhD students whose research addresses subjects of interest to the National Olympic Committees of their countries. 

What is the selection process?

The winners were selected by a committee of academic experts renowned for the quality of their research linked to Olympism and/or their involvement in Olympic studies. The selection committee for the 2016 edition of the programme comprised the following members: Gudrun Doll-Tepper (Freie Universität Berlin, Germany), Ian Henry (Loughborough University, Great Britain), Sigmund Loland (Norwegian School of Sport Sciences, Norway), Ana Maria Miragaya (Universidade Estàcio de Sà, Brazil), Françoise Papa (Université Grenoble Alpes, France), Cesar Torres (State University of New York, United States), Thierry Zintz (Université Catholique de Louvain, Belgium) as well as OSC representatives.

When is the next edition?

The 2017 edition of the PhD Grant Programme will be launched in April 2016. Related documents will be available here.  

Other research opportunities

University professors, lecturers and research fellows who have completed their doctorate and who currently hold an academic/research appointment covering the period of the grant are eligible to apply to the Advanced Olympic Research Grant Programme. This programme aims to promote advanced research by established researchers with a humanities or social sciences perspective in priority fields of research, which are identified annually by the IOC. See here for additional information.

For more information on The Olympic Studies Centre, its resources, services and research grant programmes, visit our website ( or contact

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