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UC makes $1 million investment in sport

Elly Mackay

16 August 2022: The University of Canberra is committing $1 million in new funding, as the next step in implementing its Sport Strategy.

The strategy, which launched in 2021, outlines the University’s vision to become Australia’s leading university for women in sport and in the top three sports universities in Australia.

Central to the funding is a commitment to awarding ten new PhD scholarships focused on promoting women in sport.

“This investment will promote women in the various sport-related disciplines that are offered across the breadth of the University’s faculties. They will further support sport development and advancement in Canberra, Australia and globally,” said the University’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research and Enterprise, Professor Lucy Johnston.

“The University is seeking to partner with like-minded organisations on the award of these scholarships, as we address meaningful and progressive research and education that will facilitate and promote women in sport.”

The scholarships will provide up to ten co-funded PhD stipends in 2023, with the intention of addressing the gaps in knowledge about women in high-performance sport, community sport, coaching, officiating, leading sports organisations, the media, sports integrity, and sports law.

“Promoting women in sport isn’t just about performance, but also developing leadership skills and the scope of research in that space,” Professor Johnston said.

Professor Michelle Lincoln, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Health, said the University is seeking to develop and support a cohort of industry embedded professionals and researchers who will be the next generation of leaders in women’s sport.

“Here at UC, we already have a history of supporting and championing women in sport,” Professor Lincoln said.

“What we want to do now is make real change in the women’s sporting industry and ensure that equal research and funding is put into growing the knowledge around women in the sport industry, as there is for men.”

The program will engage industry partners to co-fund each scholarship, and work with recipients on an ongoing basis to provide real-world experience throughout their degrees.

In return, recipients will help develop answers to the questions the partner organisation is pursuing, and help to translate research outcomes into real-world applications.

“UC is embedded in Canberra’s sporting community – with students, alumni, professional and community athletes and researchers working together,” Professor Lincoln said.

“These scholarships will allow that relationship to continue to thrive, with a focus on growing our contribution to women in all areas of sport.”

In addition to the ten PhD scholarships, the University will be funding additional sport development initiatives that include 50 student Sports Scholarships per year for the next three years, the introduction of 12-month academic High Performance Sport Fellowships, outreach programs across the ACT and region, and the continued support of the University’s Elite Athlete Program.

“We will continue to progress and develop new partnerships and programs as we address the imperatives outlined in our Sport Strategy,” said Professor Johnston.

Further information on the University of Canberra Sport Strategy can be found here.