First United Against Online Abuse Scholarship recipients announced

Tuesday 27 February 2024

The FIA-led United Against Online Abuse (UAOA) campaign has announced the first recipients of its Global Research Scholarship with Scotland’s Kimberley Wyllie among those selected.  

The four scholars will carry out Masters by Research Programmes at Dublin College University with full funding from the FIA Foundation. Their work will help to improve understanding of online abuse against athletes and officials, providing a strong basis for the UAOA coalition’s ongoing efforts to drive behavioural and regulatory change.  

The new scholars are established researchers within their respective fields and bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the UAOA Research Centre.   

Wyllie joins the programme following Psychology Masters and Bachelor’s degrees at the University of Stirling and Heriot Watt University. She currently works as a Managing Editor of the Women in a Man’s Race Magazine and actively participates in the UK Girls on Track programme. 

She said, “This opportunity from the FIA and DCU is something I genuinely didn’t think I’d be able to participate in. It was one of the things I read about, thought I’d pop in an application anyways, but ultimately thought that there would be someone better out there. It’s helped my confidence hugely and shown me that it’s amazing what a little bit of self-belief can do. I can’t wait to get started and join the United Against Online Abuse family. The only limit is yourself.” 

Ana Rodríguez Armendariz (Mexico), Roshni Gajjar (South Africa) and Maria Iuliano (Italy) are the three further recipients of the scholarship.  

FIA President, and Founding Partner of UAOA, Mohammed Ben Sulayem, said: “I am delighted to welcome our diverse scholarship group. United Against Online Abuse is a knowledge-led campaign, which puts research and insights at the heart of all its activities. Our scholars’ research will be key in helping us build a strong knowledge base in this historically under-researched area.” 

The UAOA Research Centre is partnered with the FIA University programme which promotes knowledge and research sharing across the international FIA network. The Research Centre is committed to driving inclusive global scholarships, which upskills researchers from around the world, particularly those outside the EU.

The scholars will begin their studies this month. 

About the FIA United Against Online Abuse campaign 

The ‘United Against Online Abuse’ campaign (UAOA), pioneered by FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem, is a research-led coalition aiming to tackle the growing epidemic of online abuse and hate speech in sport. The campaign unites Sports Federations, National Governments, Regulatory Institutions and Technological Platforms, with the aim of driving regulatory and behavioural change.  

To date, the UAOA coalition has welcomed endorsement from the Governments of France, Greece, Albania, and Slovenia, FIM, the International Esports Federation, ASETEK Sim Sports, and Peace and Sport Monaco.  We expect to welcome a further 17 federations and international sports organisations, including FIFA, the IOC, the ITF, World Athletics, World Netball and World Squash, to the coalition in due course.  

The campaign is supported by the FIA Foundation.