Fully funded PhD position in social and cultural anthropology at the University of Leuven (Belgium)

Fully funded PhD position in social and cultural anthropology at the University of Leuven (Belgium)


The abundant media commentaries surrounding the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, remind us that global sports events are about so much more than mere sports. While full attention is given to the intense mobilities during the actual events (in terms of athletes and their support teams, spectators, journalists and service providers), there is a different type of human activity and mobility involved during the preparations of these mega events, particularly in relation to the construction of the necessary infrastructure to host all the activities. Are you interested in finding out more about this, together with a dedicated team of people sharing this curiosity? Then this is your unique opportunity…


Fully funded PhD position in social and cultural anthropology at the University of Leuven (Belgium)

A Critical Analysis of Domestic Labour Mobility in the Context of Global Sports Events in Brazil


This research project analyses the domestic labour mobility in the context of the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It investigates these mobilities within a broader framework of national and regional migration policies and processes. Methodologically, the project draws on local-to-global perspectives and deploys a mixed-method approach, combining ethnographic fieldwork (direct and participant observation and in-depth interviews), semi-structured interviews with key stakeholders and a broader contextual analysis based on secondary data.

By focusing on labour mobility, the project addresses pertinent research gaps and provides empirical evidence on domestic mobilities in South America in general and Brazil in particular. It will lead to novel insights into the socioeconomic effects of large-scale sporting events in developing countries, a research field that remains unexplored. In brief, this study will provide innovative empirical and conceptual contributions to sociocultural anthropology and the social sciences at large.


This PhD position in anthropology is part of a larger interdisciplinary project funded by the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO). The research team will consist of the to-be-appointed PhD student, Dr. Noel B. Salazar (Supervisor, Leuven), Dr. Johan Wets (Leuven), Dr. Christiane Temmerman (Antwerp) and Lieselot Vanduynslager (PhD student working on international labour mobility in Brazil), in close collaboration with Brazilian scholars in Rio and elsewhere. The research project will be embedded within the Cultural Mobilities Research (CuMoRe) cluster of the Faculty of Social Sciences of the University of Leuven, Belgium.


  • Conducting ethnographic fieldwork in Brazil for a period of minimum 12 months (this can be split up in multiple periods, but with a major concentration in 2016).
  • Writing and completing a PhD dissertation within four years.
  • Actively participating in the PhD program in Social and Cultural Anthropology.
  • Collaborating with the team in research and publications.
  • Participating in conferences, workshops, seminars and other scholarly activities.


  • A Master’s degree in anthropology (preferably with distinction).
  • Interest in social scientific research and ability to work both independently and in team.
  • A high standard of spoken and written English is required and knowledge of Portuguese (or Spanish) is a must.
  • Relevant experience in/with Brazil and strong qualitative research skills will be considered a plus.


We offer you a full-time PhD scholarship starting on 1 October 2014. The appointment is initially for one year, but renewable for three years after a positive evaluation, leading to the completion of a PhD in anthropology. 


For more information please contact Dr. Noel B. Salazar (noel.salazar@soc.kuleuven.be).
In addition to the online application, we require one recommendation letter, sent to Dr. Salazar by email before 7 March 2014.
Interviews with shortlisted candidates will be scheduled between 10 and 28 March 2014.

You can apply for this job no later than March 01, 2014 via the online application tool.



Noel B. Salazar, PhD
President, EASA (2013-2014)
Vice-President, IUAES (2013-2018)
Board member, Young Academy of Belgium
Author of Envisioning Eden, Editor of Tourism Imaginaries
Cultural Mobilities Research (CuMoRe)
IMMRC, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Leuven
Parkstraat 45, BE-3000 Leuven, Belgium
Tel: +32 16 320159, Fax: +32 16 325902

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