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Research Themes

The Sport, Health and Exercise Science Research Group seeks to produce applied and impactful research that benefits individuals, groups and organisations at a local, national and international level. 


  • 96% of research is world leading or internationally excellent (4* / 3*) - an increase of 45% since 2014 
  • Joint ninth in the UK overall out of 61 universities - based on 4* / 3* research 
  • 100% of our research impact is world leading or internationally excellent (4* / 3*) 
  • 100% of our outputs are world leading or internationally excellent (4* / 3*) 
  • USW is joint first in the UK for impact and for outputs out of 61 universities - based on 4* / 3*  

REF 2021


The group is centred around two main themes, Vascular Health and Sports Performance.

The Vascular Health Group, led by Professor Damian Bailey, has six members (Bailey, Ainslie, Fall, Marley, New, Rose), a biomedical theme, and focuses on the vascular benefits of exercise throughout life. 

The Sports Performance Group, led by Professor Brendan Cropley and Professor David Shearer, also has six members (Cropley, Mullen, Rainer, Shearer, M Williams, T Williams), an applied theme, and takes a practical approach to improving elite athlete performance and promoting physical activity among adolescent performers. 

These two main themes are strategically supported by subgroups with more focused research activities, specifically: 

Centre for Football Research

Direct end-user engagement is promoted by a themed Centre for Football Research in Wales. The Centre has a broad membership from all areas of the group and provides a direct link to a key external partner, the Football Association of Wales Trust to ensure that focused research outputs are translational and have impact.

Work with us

We collaborate locally, nationally and internationally with partners from industry and academia to provide world-leading knowledge and impact. Contact us for more information: