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Research Chairs

Chair in Leisure and Knowledge

The production of knowledge, based on the above research areas, is conducted by two chairs: the Chair in Leisure and Disability and the Chair in Leisure and Knowledge. They act as catalysts of research within the "Leisure and Human Development" Team, both as regards project design and implementation and external fund raising.

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Chair in Leisure and Knowledge

The Chair in Leisure and Knowledge was born with the clear intention of addressing the lack of an actor concerned about bringing together and providing researchers, lecturers and professionals within the Spanish-speaking world with the information and knowledge available in this field. Its main purpose is to attract, manage, generate and disseminate knowledge on the leisure phenomenon, in general, and on the wide range of fields in which it manifests itself (culture, tourism, sport and recreation). Taking ADOZ Documentation Centre as a starting point (which has been operating since 1994 within the Institute of Leisure Studies), the Chair’s activity is developed around four main action lines:

1. Acquiring knowledge on the leisure phenomenon;
2. Managing knowledge on the leisure phenomenon;
3. Generating knowledge on the leisure phenomenon; and
4. Disseminating knowledge on the leisure phenomenon.

The Chair has a stable funding agreement with Grupo Santander (SCH) from its inception until today.

Interdisciplinary Research Permanent Seminars (SEPII)

The Research Group coordinates the so-called Interdisciplinary Research Permanent Seminars through the Chair in Leisure and Knowledge. To this end, it holds a number of continuing education activities for researchers to share and update scientific methodologies and tools, exchange good practices, develop case studies and conduct advanced analysis of positioning strategies in new areas related to European calls. A number of subject areas have been addressed over the last academic years including "“Science Festivals as promoters of valuable leisure experiences” delivered by Dr. Elspeth Frew (La Trobe University. Melbourne, Australia) and Dr. Amaia Makua (University of Deusto), “Paseos por la ciudad de las fábricas vacías”, delivered by architects Ibai Etxezarraga and Beñat Guarrotxena, “Bilbao glocal case study” taught by Dr. Roberto San Salvador del Valle (University ofDeusto), “Philosophy of imagineering” by Dr. Marco Van Leeuwen (Breda University), and “Metodologías cualitativas en la investigación sobre ocio y ciudadanía: algunos ejemplos en Portugal” by Dr. María Manuel Rocha (University of Aveiro), which were attended by over 60 people.

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Chair in Leisure and Disability

The Chair is a project developed by the Institute of Leisure Studies focused on research, training and knowledge management to ensure and defend the Right to Leisure of people with disabilities. The Chair aims to improve the quality of life and well-being of people with disabilities through the development of a comprehensive leisure human experience by means of a political, management and educational intervention of an inclusive nature. The project is a forum to promote new proposals based on social inclusion and related to the enjoyment of free leisure time by people with disabilities, in its many contexts, culture, tourism, sport and recreation. To this end, it works jointly with all the social stakeholders involved to promote and develop research, teaching and knowledge transfer activities in academic and social contexts, supporting the work they carry out and generating new initiatives

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Director: Since 2010:
Dr Aurora Madariaga Ortuzar
Created in 1994

  • Stable funding agreement with ONCE and ONCE Foundation from 1994 to 2004. From 2004 to date, diversification of the funding sources for research projects (public aid - TURESPAÑA, IMSERSO, Basque Government, Biscay Regional Council, Bilbao City Council – and private aid - Fundación Vodafone, Fundación Micrópolix, Edeka, Fundación Yuste).
  • Completed research projects: 45
  • PhD theses defended and in-progress: 12 (four of them international)
  • Supervision of 12 doctoral projects and 55 Master’s final projects.
  • Publications: 22 books and 60 book chapters published by the Institute and other entities, 75 papers, 2 monographic journals, 4 bibliographical databases on CD Rom on Leisure and Disability.
  • Participation in 220 conferences: 150 papers, 70 communications and 25 scientific committees.
  • Active involvement in local, regional and state-level forums related to leisure and people with disabilities.
  • Delivery of 100 courses on leisure and disability in a wide range of entities and participation in 45 teaching activities held at the University of Deusto.
  • Drawing up of the Manifesto for inclusive leisure in 2003, and updated in 2014, with the participation of all the stakeholders involved. Manifesto for Inclusive Leisure / Aisia inklusiboaren aldeko manifestua available at:
  • Meetings and Congresses: 1st Chair Meetings, Bilbao 1994. 2nd Chair Meetings, Bilbao, 1995. 3rd Chair Meetings, Bilbao, 1997. 4th Chair Meetings, Madrid, 1999. 6th World Leisure Congress WLRA, Bilbao, 2000. 5th Chair Meetings, Seville, 2001. Leisure, Inclusion and Disability Conference, Bilbao, 2003. Thematic participation in Ociogune: Research forum, Bilbao, held annually since 2006 until today. Meeting to Commemorate the 20th Anniversary, Bilbao, 2014.
  • Received awards and prizes: 6
  • PREMIO ONCE SOLIDARIO 2015, award received by the Chair in Leisure and Disability for its entire track record in the institution-entity-organisation category, awarded by ONCE D.T. Basque Country, San Sebastian 10/6/2015.
  • TELEFONICA ABILITY AWARDS 2012 (2012 Finalist. 50 out of 430 submitted projects), Fundación Telefónica, Madrid, 20/10/2012. A Club Ability member since then.
  • FEKOOR 2014 PRIZE, awarded by FEKOOR, for its entire track record on the 20th anniversary of the project, Bilbao 3/12/2014.
  • PREMIO ACCESIBILIDAD 2008, awarded by FEKOOR,for promoting access to leisure by people with disabilities, Bilbao 3/12/2008.
  • PREMIO CERMI.ES 2006, awarded by the state-level Cermi for promoting access to leisure by people with disabilities in the social research category, Madrid, 30 11/ 2006.
  • PREMIO CASCABEL DE ORO 2005, awarded by the Basque Country ONCE territorial branch for defending the right to leisure of people with disabilities, Bilbao, 13/12/2005.

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