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MSCA-COFUND-CLEAR-Doc - PhD Position #CD22-54: A Long Term Perspective of Major Sporting Venues


Job Information

Université Gustave Eiffel
Research Field
History » Other
Researcher Profile
First Stage Researcher (R1)
Application Deadline
Type of Contract
Job Status
Hours Per Week
Is the job funded through the EU Research Framework Programme?
H2020 / Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions COFUND
Marie Curie Grant Agreement Number
Is the Job related to staff position within a Research Infrastructure?

Offer Description

Sport and cultural events are key factors in the growth of a city. They are an attraction and a tourism development issue, however their ephemeral nature remains a challenge for the city. These events are part of permanent urban developments in the centre or the outskirts of cities and remain distinctive, even emblematic, elements for them. The largest sporting competitions have a strong transformative impact on cities, even though they are intended to be organised on a one-off basis, since the host cities/countries change with each edition. This sometimes results in "white elephants" – large-scale sports facilities that are abandoned in the years following the event, even though the investment required was considerable and often came from public funds.

This phenomenon is widely described in scientific literature and the International Olympic Committee is working hard to reduce its consequences. Indeed, a recent report from the IOC shows that almost 85% of the permanent sports facilities used for the Olympic Games are still in use today. Nevertheless, to limit new construction works, the body that awards the Olympic Games is increasingly turning to cities such as Paris and Los Angeles which already have sports facilities that meet the requirements of international competitions. Thus, the risk of creating more “white elephants” is reduced and the environmental balance is healthier. However, in the case of Paris, which will host the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2024, several facilities which were deemed to exist actually had only just been inaugurated, like the Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines national velodrome, or were about to be built, like the Vaires-Torcy water sports stadium. The aim of this research project is to analyse the long-term economic, social and environmental viability of the major sports facilities created on the occasion of Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Several hypotheses will be explored: the facility should continue to host international events on a regular basis; the facility should be adaptable in order to meet the needs of local populations (reducing its capacity or totally restructuring it for a different use); the facility should be managed by private actors who would ensure its commercialization; the facility should host a professional sports club to maintain a regular activity. For each of these hypotheses, the sustainability of the facility over time will have to be evaluated.

The economic aspects will be central to the analysis, but governance and public policy issues should also be important factors. The architectural study of the facilities will complete the analysis in order to characterise the buildings in their monumental dimension and the builders' anticipation for the use of the facilities in the short and medium term.

Unlike existing works that have stigmatised abandoned facilities, the point here is to study, in the long term, facilities whose maintenance, valuation or revaluation has been a challenge met with varying degrees of success. The investment risk is therefore examined in the light of its long-term resilience. The implicit aim is to investigate the different ways in which an international sports facility is maintained in the city for the benefit or at the expense of its inhabitants.

This study is part of a research project which combines the history of sport, economic history and urban history. It is mainly based on an analysis of archives, possibly supplemented by interviews with the decision-makers who built the development project of the structure or steered its management. The approach is firmly based within an international framework, targeting case studies in different countries and comparing them. For example, one could study the case of the water sports stadiums in Atlanta, London or Paris, the biathlon stadium in Canmore, the ski jump in Lillehammer, the Olympic stadium in Los Angeles or the Tourelles swimming pool in Paris. This list is not exhaustive and candidates are expected to make their own propositions.


Research Field
Education Level
Bachelor Degree or equivalent
  • At the time of the deadline, applicants must be in possession or finalizing their Master’s degree or equivalent/postgraduate degree.
  • At the time of recruitment, applicants must be in possession of their Master’s degree or equivalent/postgraduate degree which would formally entitle to embark on a doctorate.

Additional Information

  • High-quality doctoral training rewarded by a PhD degree, delivered by Université Gustave Eiffel
  • Access to cutting-edge infrastructures for research & innovation.
  • Appointment for a period of 36 months based on a salary of 2 700 € (gross salary per month).
  • Job contract under the French labour legislation in force, respecting health and safety, and social security: 35 hours per week contract, 25 days of annual leave per year.
  • International mobility will be mandatory
  • An international environment supported by the adherence to the European Charter & Code.
  • Access to dedicated CLEAR-Doc trainings with a strong interdisciplinary focus, together with a Career development Plan.
Eligibility criteria

Applicants must fulfil the following eligibility criteria:

  • At the time of the deadline, applicants must be in possession or finalizing their Master’s degree or equivalent/postgraduate degree.
  • At the time of recruitment, applicants must be in possession of their Master’s degree or equivalent/postgraduate degree which would formally entitle to embark on a doctorate.
  • At the time of the deadline, applicants must be in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of their research career (career breaks excluded) and not yet been awarded a doctoral degree. Career breaks refer to periods of time where the candidate was not active in research, regardless of his/her employment status (sick leave, maternity leave etc). Short stays such as holidays and/or compulsory national service are not taken into account.
  • At the time of the deadline, applicants must fulfil the transnational mobility rule: incoming applicants must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in France for more than 12 months in the 3 previous years.

One application per call per year is allowed.

Applicants must be available full-time to start the programme on schedule (November 1st 2023).

Application rules are enforced by the French doctoral system which specifies a standard duration of 3 years for a full-time PhD together with the MSCA standards and the OTM-R European rules as follows.

Citizens of any nationality may apply to the programme.

There is no age limit.

Selection process

Please refer to the Guide for Applicants available on the CLEAR-Doc website.

Additional comments
  • The First step before applying is contacting the PhD supervisor. You will not be able to apply without an acceptation letter from the PhD supervisor.
  • International Mobility: Please contact the PhD supervisor for any additional detail on job offer and the international Mobility
  • Please contact the PhD supervisor for any additional detail on job offer.
  • There are no restrictions concerning the age, gender or nationality of the candidates. Applicants with career breaks or variations in the chronological sequence of their career, with mobility experience or with interdisciplinary background or private sector experience are welcome to apply.
  • Support service is available during every step of the application process by email:
Website for additional job details

Work Location(s)

Number of offers available
Université Gustave Eiffel
Île de France
Postal Code
5, Boulevard Descartes


5, Boulevard Descartes
Postal Code