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Martí i Franquès MSCA-COFUND DP. Call for 1 PhD candidate within the project "Female travelers in the age of social media"

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    Universitat Rovira i Virgili
    EconomicsManagement studies
    First Stage Researcher (R1)
    15/11/2020 12:00 - Europe/Brussels
    Spain › Reus
    H2020 / Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions



The Martí i Franquès COFUND Doctoral Fellowships Programme (MFP) is a redesign of the existing MF programme, offering 100 doctoral contracts (in four editions: 2017, 2018 and 2020, 2021) at the Universitat Rovira i Virgili (URV). The programme is uniquely shaped to offer the best training stemming from the "triple i" principles of the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions: international, interdisciplinary and intersectoral.

In order to achieve these goals, we combine leading research groups at URV with scientific partners from world-class institutions, such that the candidates are be exposed to interdisciplinary training as well as mentoring from the industrial sector.

Through MFP, URV is in a unique position to offer the best conditions for doctoral training, based on the principles of the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers (guaranteed by the HR award that URV has received in 2014), as well as the EU Principles for Innovative Doctorate Training.

Description of the research project (reference: 2020MFP-COFUND-9)

Historically, people tend to narrate their travel stories, and the emergence of social media has provided a new space for them to share their experiences for a wider range of their network (Sigala, 2016). People with different backgrounds reflect what they perceive from tourism destinations on their social media pages, and these contents affect themselves, their audiences, destinations, and tourism services (Lund, Cohen & Scarles, 2018; McWha, Frost, & Laing, 2018). As a prominent group of travelers and users of social media, women have some specific travel motivations, aims, and needs (Mirehie, Gibson, Khoo-Lattimore, & Prayag, 2018), and share specific aspects of their travel experiences on their social media pages.

Despite the growing influence of social media on all aspects of our life, tourism destinations, and tourism enterprises, the studies on its different dimensions and effects are insufficient yet. Through Netnography, big data, and in-depth interviews, the present research aims to contribute to the realm of female studies, social media, destination marketing, and service marketing. The following objectives represent how this research can advance to these fields of study.

  1. Although some scholars (i.e. McWha et al., 2018) undertook primary researches showing the effects of audiences on those who share their travel experiences on social media, it still needs further studies. This study aims to show how women are influenced by their followers` feedbacks in the communicative space of social media.
  2. The present research also tries to explore how female travelers influence their audience by the contents they share on their social media pages, and how these contents affect societies, travel styles, and tourism trends.
  3. Since social media pages provides spaces of self-expression and personal branding for people, the present research aims to show how tourism enterprises and destination management organizations can marketing their services and destinations through the potential of these shared contents and photos by travelers in a nuanced and authentic way.


  • Lund, N. F., Cohen, S. A., & Scarles, C. (2018). The power of social media storytelling in destination branding. Journal of destination marketing & management, 8, 271-280.
  • McWha, M., Frost, W., & Laing, J. (2018). Travel writers and the nature of self: Essentialism, transformation and (online) construction. Annals of Tourism Research, 70, 14-24.
  • Mirehie, M., Gibson, H. J., Khoo-Lattimore, C., & Prayag, G. (2018). An exploratory study of hospitality needs and preferences of US Girlfriend Getaways. Journal of Hospitality Marketing & Management, 27(7), 811-832.
  • Sigala, M. (2016). Social media and the co-creation of tourism experiences. In The Handbook of Managing and Marketing Tourism Experiences (pp. 85-111). Emerald Group Publishing Limited

More Information


The successful candidates will be offered the following:

  • medium term contract (up to 36 months, co-funded by MSCA COFUND grant), full time position
  • a very attractive salary, on par with European offerings (see more details below)
  • 3-6 months secondments to international (and in some cases intersectoral) partner organizations
  • access to a comprehensive training package, with a strong interdisciplinary focus, together with an attractive transversal skills programme
  • contribution to research and training activities: A yearly allowance (up to €7500) will be granted to the research group to carry out training or scientific activities of the fellow

Main package

Candidates will receive a gross monthly salary of approximately €2200.


Upon signing the contract, the fellows will automatically be registered under the general regime of the Spanish Social Security System, which stipulates the following benefits:

  • Healthcare: covers hospitalization at home, in a health centre or a hospital, for both the fellow and his family (if applies)
  • Sickness cash benefits: starts from the 4th day (employer pays days 4-15 (60% of salary), social security system pays days 15-365 (75% of salary), which can be extended up to 180 days)
  • Maternity/paternity leave: 16 weeks (maternity) or 4 weeks (paternity). Possibility of reduction of working hours for 12 months, after the 16 weeks of maternity leave provided by social security. The reduction of working hours can also be compacted, translating into a 4 weeks break, that can be added to the 16 weeks of maternity leave
  • Working Mothers: 1.200€ /year Personal Income Tax reduction if the mother is working and has a child under the age of 3 and an additional reduction of 1.000 €/year euros to cover expenses if the child goes to an authorised nursery or child education center.
  • Unemployment benefits: for a 3 year contact, the fellow will have the right to 12 months of unemployment, and receive an average of 65% of its salary per month

The employment contract with URV also specifies a series of specific benefits that might differ from other public administration positions:

  • Vacation: 22 working days per year, plus 3 days of personal days off
  • Health Checks: all URV employees have the option of a medical check every year, paid by URV

Eligibility criteria

In order to be eligible for any of the MFP fellowships, candidates must meet the following criteria:

  • Comply with the MSCA mobility rule:
    • The candidate must not have resided or carried out their main activity in Spain for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately before call deadline.
  • ESR eligibility criteria: Early-stage researchers (ESR) shall at call deadline be in the first 4 years (full-time equivalent research experience) of their research careers and have not been awarded a doctoral degree.
    • Full-time equivalent research experience is measured from the date when a researcher obtained the degree which would formally entitle him or her to embark on a doctorate, either in the country in which the degree was obtained or in the country in which the researcher is recruited or seconded, irrespective of whether or not a doctorate is or was ever envisaged.
  • Comply with the conditions for PhD enrolment at URV
    • Hold a Spanish Bachelor's degree, or equivalent, and a Master's degree, or equivalent, and have achieved a minimum of 300 ECTS summing up both degrees
    • OR Hold a degree from another country in the EEES which grants access to a Master's degree and have achieved a minimum of 300 ECTS credits in university studies of which at least 60 must be at Master's level
    • OR Hold of a qualification obtained in accordance with foreign educational systems without the need for official recognition, having previously confirmed with the university that this qualification accredits a level of training equivalent to the official Spanish university Master's degree and that it would serve as a means of access to a PhD in the country in which it was awarded.

Selection process

The evaluation of the candidates will be done by independent Evaluation Committees, formed by experts external to the URV, in order to avoid any conflict of interests and ensure a fair and equitable evaluation process.

The experts will evaluate the applications according to the following criteria:

  1. Academic profile: Weight - 40%
  2. Other merits (including research and previous professional experience): Weight - 30 %
  3. Reference letters: Weight - 10%
  4. Motivation letter, detailing the reasons why the candidate believes s/he is a good fit for the position: Weight - 20 %

The scoring will be given on a scale from 1 to 5, with 0.1 increments, and the minimum threshold is 3 in both criteria.

The final selection will be done by internal Selection Committees, through interviews of the (at least) best 3 candidates for each position. The interviews will be performed either online (via Skype) or in person. At the interviews, the Commission will evaluate the candidates based on the following criteria:

  1. Academic profile: Weight - 30%
  2. Professional profile: Weight - 30%
  3. Personal profile: Weight - 30%
  4. Knowledge about the PhD position and the university environment: Weight - 10%

The scoring in the interview will be given on a scale from 1 to 5, with 0.1 increments.

The final scoring for each candidate will be given by:

  1. The evaluation report from the Evaluation Committees: Weight - 50%
  2. The individual scoring of the interviews: Weight - 50%

Web site for additional job details

Required Research Experiences

    EconomicsManagement studies
    1 - 4

Offer Requirements

    Economics: Master Degree or equivalent
    ENGLISH: Excellent
Work location(s)
1 position(s) available at
Universitat Rovira i Virgili. Campus Bellissens
Avinguda de la Universitat, 1

EURAXESS offer ID: 565668


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