UEFA's research grant jury has announced the successful candidates who have been awarded grants to undertake research work over the next year for the overall benefit of European football.
From the various proposals received, the following projects were chosen for 2011/12 at the jury's meeting at the House of European Football in Nyon – and range from medical sciences to history.
• Effects of hot/cold temperatures on referees' ability to perform
John Brewer, University of Bedfordshire, UK
• Protect her knee: exploring the role of football-specific fatigue on dynamic knee stability in female youth football players
Mark De Ste Croix, University of Gloucestershire, UK
• Anti-violence supporter groups in Serbian football: an ethnology case study
John Hughson, University of Central Lancashire, UK
• Wie viele Wettbewerb braucht Fussball? Eine Untersuchung zur Bedeutung der Wettbewerbsintensität aus Sicht Zuschauer
Tim Pawlowski, Deustche Sporthochschule Köln, Germany
• Les élites européennes du football Durant l'entre-deux-guerres et les prémices d'un champ footballistique
Grégory Quin, Université de Lausanne, Switzerland
• How can former successful European football teams capitalise on the UEFA Europa League in order to (re-)establish their brands?
André Richelieu, Laval University, Canada
The UEFA research grant jury comprises William Gaillard (chairman, UEFA), Nodar Akhalkatsi (UEFA National Team Competitions Committee member), Michel D'Hooghe (UEFA Medical Committee chairman), Per Ravn Omdal (UEFA honorary member), Giangiorgio Spiess (UEFA honorary member), Paul Downward (professor, University of Loughborough), Jan Ekstrand (professor, Linköping University and UEFA Medical Committee first vice-chairman), Mikkel Draebye (professor, SDA Bocconi, Milan) and Gérald Simon (professor, University of Burgundy, Dijon).
In recent years, UEFA has become increasingly involved with the academic community by launching initiatives aiming to generate research that produces findings that help the European football family in its decision-making process.
The UEFA research grant programme emphasises UEFA's commitment to supporting the work undertaken by doctoral and post-doctoral researchers investigating European football. UEFA has a core mission to develop European football and promote principles such as unity and solidarity.
High-quality research helps shed new light on various issues and specialist areas within the European game, and provides UEFA with key support in fulfilling its mission. The research grant programme is open to both social science and medical research, while the jury comprises a chairman, four representatives of the European football family and four academics known internationally for their work in European football or sport.
"This year's candidates were very much oriented towards elite football and professional football and the related economic and business aspects," said William Gaillard. "This year we have had the first medical projects after introducing grants for medical research. We have had some interesting submissions. We found the proposals to be of a good level altogether and it was quite difficult to make a choice."
Candidates are required to have obtained a doctorate and currently hold a research position at a university or equivalent institution, or to be enrolled as a doctoral student at a university or equivalent institution and currently be preparing a doctoral thesis.
Research grant proposals may be submitted to the UEFA research grant jury from disciplines such as economics, history, law, management, political science, sociology and medical sciences. Priority topics include governance and regulation in European football, sports' autonomy and specific nature, challenges facing the European game such as illegal betting, doping and corruption, women's football, grassroots football and youth development.
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