The quality of research conducted in Universities is subject to intensive examination by the UK Government approximately every seven years. The results from the most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014) assessment showed that we were:
- 1st in Wales / 7th in the UK for research in Sport Science; with 100% of research either world leading or at an international level (Research Excellence Framework, 2014)
In addition to this impressive government ranking
- we were placed 5th in the UK for Research Quality (Complete University Guide 2021).
These achievements are not down to ‘luck’. In fact, our excellent performance in REF 2014 and the Complete University Guide 2021 are not a one-off result. The School of Sport, Health and Exercise Sciences is one of handful of sports science schools in the UK to consistently appear in the top 10 for research (we were 5th and 8th in the two previous UK government led research examinations) a characteristic of a pedigree academic unit. Uniquely, all our staff are research active and we aim to provide the very best research training for our PhD researchers. Staff genuinely value the impactful contribution our PhD researchers make to the school which makes for a thriving PhD researcher community. All are housed in offices in our Grade II listed, George Building situated on the banks of the beautiful Menai Strait. Collectively, they help to create a unique research culture. This research culture means you will be supported by:
- experienced PhD supervisors (typically two per student!)
- supervisors who have been recognised for their mentoring and supervisory competencies
- world-leading or internationally recognised staff
The quality of research training we offer our PhD researchers is endorsed when they win awards for their research presentations at international conferences and when the quality of their PhD thesis is recognised by relevant organisations. We recently won PhD thesis of the year in the 2019 British Psychological Society awards. We have graduated over 200 PhD researchers who have gone on to become lecturers and professors in universities all around the world as well as work in elite sport (e.g., UK Sport, English Institute of Sport, Rugby Football Union).
Our research and impact activity is shaped by three constitute research groups – each housing world leading staff and PhD researchers
- The Institute for the Psychology of Elite Performance (IPEP) is concerned with developing and applying psychological principles to high performance contexts be it sport, military, or business. To this end IPEP places an emphasis on the interaction between individuals and situations they encounter; uniquely, a psychophysiology perspective is commonly drawn upon to better inform the researchers and in turn, its clients. IPEP has had significant research grant capture including the fulfilment of its commitment to establish impact beyond academia by extending its collaborative research links with the Ministry of Defence (e.g., RAF Cranwell pilot training) and national sport organisations (e.g., England and Wales Cricket Board, Manchester City FC, RFU, UK Sport).
- The Extremes Research Group (ERG) places importance on multi-disciplinary understanding of human performance and health in extreme environments. This group has achieved considerable grant capture, mainly from the MoD as well as with other external agencies (European Hydration Institute) and has co-authored recent international consensus statements on nutrition and exercise, and altitude illness (e.g., International Olympic Committee).
- The Physical Activity for Health and Well Being group (PAWB) is concerned with the influence of exercise and nutrition on life-long wellbeing and health, particularly linked to ageing, disease and recovery from illness. This research is housed in a newly refurbished Centre (a University investment of £1.4 million supporting the School’s ambitions) that builds on PAWB’s international renown in exercise prescription for chronic disease. With strong research collaborations with other schools (e.g., Psychology, Health Sciences) and Higher Education Institutions (e.g., University of British Columbia), this group has helped to capture significant funding.
During your research studies, you will become a valued and active member of at least one of these exciting, supportive, and leading research groups. This not only allows you to develop your research skills under the mentorship of your direct supervisors but provides a strong environment to foster both within and across discipline collaboration.