Ecology of Dual Careers

Welcome to the official website of the Ecology of Dual Careers – exploring dual career development environments across Europe

Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union logoThis website provides information on the project, findings which emerge from the project as and when they become available, and allows you to contact the project team if you have any further questions.

Project overview

It has been suggested that, in addition to individual attributes and knowledge, the environment athletes are in can also have an effect on their development (Henriksen & Stambulova, 2017; Henriksen, Stambulova, & Roessler, 2010a, 2010b, 2011). This research indicates that, independent of athletes having the pre-requisite key competencies to be successful, they may encounter challenges with the environment which they cannot control.

As a result, to advance current knowledge and supplement the work which has already been carried out, the mission of the current work is to 1. develop a comprehensive understanding of the dual career development environments (DCDEs) across Europe, and 2. provide guidelines for the development and optimization of DCDEs supporting talented and elite athletes’ in their pursuit of sporting and academic excellence.

To achieve the project mission, there are four aims: 1. to identify and classify different types of DCDEs across Europe and define criteria of their effectiveness and efficiency, 2. to identify factors contributing to the effectiveness and efficiency of DCDEs through exploration of selected DCDEs in participating countries by exploration of their structure, dual career arrangements, organizational culture, and the role of dual career service providers, 3. to develop and test a DCDE monitoring tool (DCDEM) aimed at assisting stakeholders when checking the current status of their DCDE in relation to their structure, dual career arrangements, organizational culture, and the role of dual career service providers and helping them develop strategies to optimize their environments, and 4. to disseminate the project findings and provide implementation guidelines to national governing bodies, DCDE stakeholders, dual career service providers, and dual career researchers on the development and optimization of the DCDEs.

For a more comprehensive outline, please refer to this presentation of the project which outlines the key work packages and the methods which will be used to achieve the overall aims of the work.

Our project team

Robert Morris
Project Lead and Senior Lecturer at Stirling University

Emily Cartigny
Research Assistant for Eco-DC Erasmus Project and LJMU

Guy Taylor
Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme (TASS) National Director

Colin Allen
National Lead - Operations for the Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme (TASS)

Paul Wylleman
Professor and Head of Department Topsport and Study at Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB)

Koen De Brandt
Postdoctoral Researcher and Co-ordinator of Department Topsport and Study at Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB)

Kristel Taelman
Co-ordinator at Sport Vlaanderen

Kristoffer Henriksen
Associate Professor in Sport and Exercise Psychology at USD

Magnus Wonsyld
Manager of Dual Career Provision at Team Denmark

Tatiana Ryba
Senior Researcher at University of Jyväskylä

Milla Saarinen
PhD Student at University of Jyväskylä

Saša Cecić Erpič
Associate Professor at Univeristy of Ljubljana

Mojca Doupona Topič
Professor at University of Ljubljana

Miquel Torregrossa
Assistant Professor at Universitat Autonòma de Barcelona (UAB)

Yago Ramis
Postdoctoral Researcher at Universitat Autonòma de Barcelona (UAB)

Natalia Stambulova
Professor in Sport and Exercise at Halmstad University

Lukas Linnér
PhD Student at Halmstad University

Kent Lindahl
Manager of Dual Career Provision and Higher Coaching Programme at Swedish Sports Federation

Our partners

Project findings

Reports

Work Package 1 - To identify and classify different types of dual career development environments across Europe and define criteria of their effectiveness and efficiency

Read the final report which outlines the results of work package 1 of the project.

This report provides a summary of work package 1 which covers aim 1 of the Ecology of Dual Career ERASMUS+ project - to identify and classify difference types of Dual Career Development Environments (DCDEs) across Europe and define criteria of their effectiveness and efficiency.

Work Package 2 - To identify factors contributing to the effectiveness and efficiency of dual career development environments (DCDEs)

Read the final report which outlines the results of work package 2 of the project.

This report provides a summary of work package 2 of the Ecology of Dual Career ERASMUS+ project, which aims to: identify factors contributing to the effectiveness and efficiency of dual career development environments (DCDEs) through the exploration of selected DCDEs in participating countries by exploration of their structure, dual career arrangements, organisational culture, and the role of dual career service providers.

Work Package 3 - To develop and test a DCDE monitoring tool (DCDEM)

Read the final report which outlines the results of work package 3 of the project.

This report provides a summary of work package 3 which covers aim 3 of the Ecology of Dual Career ERASMUS+ project - to develop and test a DCDE monitoring tool (DCDEM) aimed at assisting stakeholders when checking the current status of their DCDE in relation to their structure, dual career arrangements, organizational culture, and the role of dual career service providers and helping them develop strategies to optimise their environments.

Download the evaluation tool which can be used by environments to evaluate their current status.

Work Package 4 - To disseminate the project findings and provide implementation guidelines

Read the final report which outlines the results of work package 4 of the project.

This report provides a summary of work package 4 which covers aim 4 of the Ecology of Dual Career ERASMUS+ project - To disseminate the project findings and provide implementation guidelines to national governing bodies, DCDE stakeholders, dual career service providers, and dual career researchers on the development and optimisation of the DCDEs.

Research articles

The first of the Project’s case studies has recently been published in the journal of Psychology of Sport and Exercise.

This Danish case study presents a sports-friendly university’s approach to supporting dual careers and includes some areas for strengthening practice.

Read the article.

The second research article from the project has now been published. This article, which (a) identifies and classifies different types of dual career development environments (DCDEs) and (b) provides outlines of the key features of the environments identifies, is available online.

For those who are interested in researching more into our research project, below are a selection of research papers you may find of interest. Do let us know your thoughts on them via our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Kuettel, Christensen, Zysko, & Hansen, 2018.

Read the article.

The purpose of this qualitative research is to explore and compare the beliefs and values of the stakeholders working in different national dual career environments. Interviews were conducted with key dual career informants from Switzerland, Denmark, and Poland. The research recognises the importance of culture as a factor in the development of dual career environments.

Pink, Brooke, Lonie, & Saunders, 2018.

Read the article.

The article outlines case study research of a semi-professional Australian rules football club, with a specific focus on supporting dual career. Time management, the demanding nature of non-athletic occupations and inconsistent training schedules were the most common challenges. Whereas, the ability to negotiate flexible arrangements with the football club, and opportunities for mentoring by senior players were processes that helped athletes manage the demands of sport and education or vocation.

De Brandt, Wylleman, Torregrossa, Schipper-Van Veldhoven, Minelli, Defruyt, & De Knop, (2018).

Read the tweet from Koen De Brandt

Read the article.

This research developed the first Dual Career Competency Questionnaire for Athletes (DCCQ-A). A questionnaire which measures athletes’ possession of 29 dual career skills on a 5-point Likert-type scale. The questionnaire covers skills such as: dual career management, career planning, emotional awareness, and social intelligence & adaptability. This tool can be used by practitioners to support dual career athletes in their development.

Stambulova & Wylleman, (2018).

Read the article.

This article, authored by our colleagues, provides a critical review of the research across Europe that has been in recent years. Hence, it is a good place to start of anyone wanting to get up to speed with the dual career literature. The review highlights several areas for future study that have not, yet, been adequately addresses: dual career in sport and work, dual career “costs”, dual career development environments, dual career athletes’ mental health and well-being, dual career support and training of the support providers.

Dissemination

In November, the project was presented by Dr Robert Morris at the Talented Athlete Dual Career Forum which took place in the National Library in London.

The consortium partners were excited to return to the TASS research forum in London to share the work that has been conducted on the project. Dr Emily Cartigny presented the shared features of successful dual career environments and how these might be integrated into practice within the UK.

Read the full presentation.

Brussels Mulitpier Sports Events - Dual Career Day

In November, the Eco-DC consortium concluded the project with a Dual Career Day, hosted by Vrije University Brussels. Over 100 practitioners and academics attended the event where the overall project findings were disseminated through presentations and workshops.

Download the programme.

Download the presentations and workshops from the day:

Odense Multiplier Event

In August, the first multiplier sport event took place in Odense. Over 60 practitioners and academics with an interest and expertise in dual careers attended the event where the current project findings were disseminated.

Read more about further key events that have taken place throughout the course of the project

Contact us

If you would like to contact the research team, please email Dr Robert Morris.