Thilo Kunkel, Ph.D.

EASM New Researcher Award

Istanbul at night

The European Association for Sport Management (EASM) holds a “New Researcher Award” (NRA) competition every year.  The NRA is for “the best original theoretical or conceptual advance and significant unpublished contribution in sport management.”  In 2008, the inaugural year of the NRA, my ‘Diplomarbeit’ (engl. Honours) supervisor, Dr. Joerg Koenigstorfer won the award based on an article that we wrote together based on my ‘Diplomarbeit’ research.  The article was later published in the European Sport Management Quarterly.

The competition was a valuable experience.  The need for a thorough preparation and the need to ‘defend’ my research was also higher than at a ‘normal’ conference.

Five years later, I applied to the NRA with research findings of my Ph.D. thesis.  A three stage process is used to determine the recipient of the NRA.  In the first round, a five page abstract of the research is evaluated.  Out of 30 applicants, ten make it to the second round.  In the second round, a full article (max. 40 pages) is evaluated.  Out of the ten applicants, three are invited to present their research at the EASM conference.  The winner is then chosen by a panel of six members.

The bridge that spans two continents.

The conference was held in Istanbul, Turkey, which is an amazing city to visit (even during the day).  I was able to connect with old friends and colleagues, and met new people with who I will definitely stay in contact.  I guess these are the main reasons why we attend conferences anyway.

While I always strive to be the best, coming second is a good result. Congratulations to the winner Christos Anagnostopoulos.