Sport Research Degrees

Biomechanics student looking at a computer screen

With around 30 current PhD students, we have a vibrant and diverse postgraduate community conducting research in a wide range of sport disciplines.

A recent Postgraduate Research Experience Survey (PRES) revealed that 90% of students were satisfied with their programme and 100% of students were satisfied with the development of their research skills as a result of their supervision.

Our research in the Institute of Sport spans 6 broad themes and these encompass a range of research interests and approaches.

If you have a research idea you would like to pursue or just want to find out more about PhD research please do get in touch with our Research Lead Iain Greenlees on or our Research Degrees Co-ordinator Jason Lake on Please also feel free to contact potential supervisors to arrange preliminary discussions about PhD research with us.

Our Supervisors

Browse our staff and their fields of study

Dr Phil Birch

Think aloud protocols in sport; Mental toughness in sport; Psychometric testing

Dr Sam Blacker

Occupational physiology, sports and exercise nutrition, exercise induced muscle damage

Dr Naomi Datson

Physiology of women’s soccer; Optimising preparation and recovery in team sport athletes; Performance analysis of team sports

Dr Melissa Day

Stress and coping, injury, disability and narrative research methods

Dr Sarah Edmunds

Physical activity and wellbeing, physical activity behaviour change, peer support interventions

Dr Suzanne Everley

Children’s experiences of physical education and physical activity

Professor Iain Greenlees

Psychological predictors of sporting performance, Person perception in sport, Confidence

Dr Mandy Gault

Aging and exercise, health promotion and exercise

Professor Beverley Hale

Unusual methods of data analysis for sport. Medical and health statistics

Dr Chris Hodgson

Psychophysiology and adventure sport

Dr Henriette Hogh

Dyslexia in adults, fluid intelligence and working memory, physical activity and age-related cognitive decline

Dr Penny Hudson

Gymnastics, biomechanics and sprint performance in both animals and humans

Dr Jason Lake

Resistance exercise biomechanics, movement asymmetry, and measures of mechanical power output

Professor Mike Lauder

Water-based sports technique analysis, resistance exercise biomechanics, movement asymmetry, and measurement of mechanical power output

Dr Ben Lee

Human adaptation to extreme environments, role of heat shock proteins in insulin resistance and diabetes

Dr Melissa Mantle

Educational research in pedagogical strategies to enhance reflection

Dr Jordan Matthews

Social movements, women, and sport, women’s sport leadership, socio-historical development of women’s, sport

Dr David Muggleton

Subcultures and youth culture, social and oral history of sport and leisure

Professor Steve Myers

Physiological demands of high-speed boat racing and altitude and exercise

Dr Sarah Needham-Bech

Physiological demands of dance, fitness testing methodologies, training and workload monitoring

Dr Julia Potter

Children’s exercise and health and stress physiology

Dr Matt Robins

Performance analysis in sport

Dr Carla Rue

Obesity/Disordered Eating and Physiological Responses to Hypoxia

Dr Andy Siddall

Physical training, injury risk and physiological employment standards in arduous occupations. Exercise physiology in environmental extremes. Lifestyle factors (smoking, physical activity, sleep) and their effect on chronic disease and injury risk

Dr Jenny Smith

Decision making, hazard perception, and perception in relation to expertise. Perceptual training. Measures of and factors influencing cognitive load

Dr Marcus Smith

Decision making, hazard perception, and perception in relation to expertise. Perceptual training. Measures of and factors influencing cognitive load

Dr Neal Smith

Non-linear movement analysis and biomechanics of soccer and racket sports

Professor Mark Willems

Muscle physiology, occupational physiology, ageing and exercise

Our PhD Students

Meet our PhD students

Toby Richards

Part-time PhD Student

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Dr Tilly Spurr

Senior Lecturer Sports and Exercise Nutrition

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Stefano Montanari

PhD Researcher

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Simon Federer

Part-time PhD Student

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Guillermo Martinez-Arastey

Part-time PhD Student

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Sport Research

Explore our research themes and centres as we research sports development, performance and more.

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