PhD-candidate - Present Heroes: Sporting role models and mediated meaning making amongst urban adolescents

PhD-candidate - Present Heroes: Sporting role models and mediated meaning making amongst urban adolescents

Published Deadline Location
13 Jul 1 Sep Rotterdam

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Job description

The Erasmus Research Centre for Media, Communication and Culture (ERMeCC) and the Mulier Institute are looking for a PhD-candidate in a research project on Diversity in Sport within the NWA-ORC funded project Re/Presenting Europe: Popular Representations of Diversity and Belonging. This project is a collaboration amongst several universities and societal and grassroots organizations in the Netherlands and Curaçao. The full project consists of work packages that will address dominant and more countercultural spaces of ethnic/racial representation and belonging, in different (institutional) practices like education, healing, sport, popular culture, and urban arts. The goal of the project is a more inclusive understanding of the Netherlands and Europe.

The PhD project forms the contemporary component of a work package on diversity in sport with the title Arenas of Belonging: Sport Heroes as Models of Aspiration, Inspiration, and Participation. It focuses on the way in which (dominant) popular representations of sport heroes function as mechanisms of belonging and exclusion for ethnic/racially diverse youth in the Netherlands. We want to analyze how representations of sport heroes are at work amongst youth in contemporary communities. How do sports heroes impact young people’s personal and collective ethnic/racial and (trans)national identity, sense of belonging, and their future aspirations? Community-based participatory research will be applied, together with quantitative methods, to deliver an in-depth understanding of contemporary adolescents’ heroes and their personal and intersocial meanings in terms of identification, representations (including mediated stereotypes), and feelings of belonging. The PhD will work closely together with a postdoc and with a PhD-candidate from the second part of the work package titled Past Heroes: Historical analysis of representations of black athletes and constructions of ‘Dutchness’ and belonging, 1950s-present.

The PhD-candidate will collaborate closely with the work package team and the researchers of other work packages in the project that focus on popular music, urban arts and education. You will also have the opportunity to work with societal and scientific partners in the Netherlands and Curaçao.


Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR)


  • A Master’s degree in Anthropology, Social Sciences or Media Studies, preferably a research master;
  • You have excellent oral and writing skills in Dutch and English, as demonstrated in an excellent thesis and/or other publications; Non-English speakers have to meet the C1-standards of the Common European Framework (CEF). Experience in other languages, particularly Spanish or Papiamento, is considered a plus;
  • Wide ranging knowledge of and affinity with working with adolescents and ethnic minority groups. Having a migration background yourself is considered a plus;
  • Proven affinity for empirical research, as evidenced by your master’s thesis, publications, research plans and other projects;
  • You have experience with qualitative research methods;
  • Organisational experience and skills;
  • You have affinity with sports;
  • You are able to work independently and flexibly, taking initiative where needed;
  • You are able to communicate and collaborate effectively in a team setting;
  • You are interested in and committed to teaching and supervising students.

Conditions of employment

Employment would commence in January 2023. The initial contract will be running for a term of 1,5 years, which - depending on performance – will be extended with a second term of 2,5 years.

The conditions of employment correspond with the “CAO Nederlandse Universiteiten” (CAO NU). For the job of PhD Candidate (Promovendus) the salary amounts to a maximum of € 3.247,- (grade P) gross per month on a 38 hour per week contract.

The EUR has attractive employment conditions, which include a holiday allowance of 8.0%, an end-of-year bonus of 8.3% and 41 annual vacation days in case of a full workweek. 

The candidate will have access to invaluable academic and professional development experiences (e.g., mentoring, collaborative research opportunities). At the end of the appointment they will have acquired the skills to pursue a career in academia or organizations that tackle issues of race and inclusion in sport and/or media.


Erasmus University Rotterdam

An internationally oriented melting-pot of talent with a high level of social engagement. That is Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR). A Rotterdam-based university with 25,000 students and close to 2700 staff members, developing academic knowledge and skills which are infinitely applicable. Working at Erasmus University Rotterdam means working at an ambitious university that offers many opportunities for personal development and initiative. For more information about Erasmus University Rotterdam, visit


The Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication

The Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication (ESHCC) offers education and research in the fields of Media and Communication, History, and Arts and Culture Studies. The faculty has approximately 1700 students and 130 employees.

Erasmus Research Centre for Media, Communication and Culture (ERMeCC)

You will be working with Prof. dr. Jacco van Sterkenburg and his team who are with the Erasmus Research Centre for Media, Communication and Culture (ERMeCC). ERMeCC is a vibrant, internationally oriented research centre within the Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication which serves as the main base for researchers in Media, Communication and Culture at Erasmus. Within ERMeCC, Jacco van Sterkenburg holds the Endowed Chair ‘Race’, Inclusion and Communication, specifically in relation to Football and Media (

Mulier Institute

You will be working within the team Diversity, specifically with Agnes Elling and Manou Anselma. The Mulier Institute was founded in 2002 and is the only independent, non-profit, scientific sport-research institute in the Netherlands. As such, it is engaged in fundamental, practice-focused and policy relevant social-scientific sport research. Apart from an institutional grant from the Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport, contract research for third parties (municipalities, ministries, sport unions and umbrella organizations) as well as subsidies for scientific research form the main financial resources for the conducted research projects by the institute. The institute is located in the Galgenwaard stadium in Utrecht. For more information please visit

Additional information
Additional information can be obtained through the following links:

About the Erasmus University Rotterdam

About the Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication

About the Erasmus Research Centre in Media, Communication and Culture

About the Media and Communication Department

About the research of dr. Jacco van Sterkenburg

About the Mulier Institute


  • PhD
  • Language and culture
  • 38—40 hours per week
  • €2541—€3247 per month
  • University graduate
  • ESHCC/220713


Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR)

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Burgemeester Oudlaan 50, 3062 PA, Rotterdam

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