Research in the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences

We are a research-informed department which houses the Research Institute for Sport and Exercise Sciences (RISES). Our research in Sport and Exercise Sciences is ranked 2nd in the UK for research quality power, with 100% of the research environment assessed as world-leading. Overall, 90% of research in Sport and Exercise Sciences is classed as world-leading or internationally excellent (REF 2021).

RISES is the home of broad-based, multidisciplinary, fundamental and applied research in the following areas:

  • Tackling unhealthy lifestyles and obesity in children by adapting play areas and schools
  • Working with Premiership football clubs, locally and across the country for performance analysis and injury prevention strategies
  • Cardiac screening and cardiovascular health of athletes
  • Nutritional support for elite athletes, stem cell biology in ageing and muscle wasting
  • Learning via imitation in autism
  • Muscle control in cerebral palsy via interactive video games

RISES staff interrogate the ‘exercise response’ from the cell to the community; from the elite athlete to multiple clinical groups; from the youngest to the oldest members of society.

Public engagement

We embrace our moral and civic responsibility to translate our world-leading research and practice to local, national and international communities. We are committed to public engagement and the translation of our work to a range of diverse populations, demonstrating the positive impact that sport and exercise sciences can have on our communities.

Our expertise

  • Applied Sport Psychology: examining the daily existence of athletes, coaches and associated support staff and how they understand themselves and others
  • Biomechanics: making an impact at the end-user level with applications in clinical and sport and exercise biomechanics through collaboration locally, nationally and internationally
  • Brain and Behaviour: looking at motor behaviour and learning, we're developing an understanding from the neural level through to perception and cognition, and culminating in the final human motor behaviour
  • Cardiovascular Health Sciences: understanding the impact and importance of exercise training and physical activity for promoting and maintaining cardiorespiratory health and the prevention of cardiovascular diseases
  • Exercise Metabolism and Adaptation: understanding how skeletal muscle adapts to acute exercise and sustained training. This research is applicable to the design of interventions to improve human health, wellbeing, recovery and sporting performance.


In addition to our research groups, we have two themed ‘Exchanges’ which are oriented toward areas of staff expertise, consultancy, service delivery and funding opportunities, as well as an opportunity for us to demonstrate our external impact and end-user translation:

  • The Football Exchange: working with the Premier League and football governing bodies including Manchester United, Liverpool Football Club, The FA and Real Madrid, we deliver high quality research-informed solutions to real-world problems in football
  • Physical Activity Exchange: conducts applied research focused on physical activity, exercise and health

Want to know more?

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