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  Investigating the Provision of Mental Ill/Well-Being Support to Athletes: Contemporary Issues Experienced by Applied Sport Psychology Practitioners

   Faculty of Life Sciences and Education

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  Dr Lee Baldock, Prof Sheldon Hanton, Dr Ross Hall, Prof Brendan Cropley  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

The mental ill- and well-being of athletes has recently received increased research attention, is now often a topic of media interest (e.g., high profile athletes sharing their own personal mental ill/well-being experiences across various media outlets), and has even been a focal point of contemporary national governing body/organisational policy change across sports. As a result of this, athletes’ awareness of these concepts, and their understanding of the necessity to experience mental well-being and avoid experiencing mental ill-being has arguably been heightened. While applied sport psychology practitioners (ASPPs) have traditionally worked with athletes on issues related to performance enhancement, providing athletes with mental ill/well-being support has been suggested to be an important feature of their modern-day practice partly due to mental well-being now being understood as key to athletes thriving in performance contexts and functioning in other aspects of their lives. The evolution of service provision in this way has led to recent discussions concerning the often-blurred lines of appropriate applied sport psychology practice (e.g., providing mental ill/well-being support arguably pushes the boundaries of competent and ethical practice for ASPPs), resulting in calls for changes to ASPP’s education and training to ensure they are able to meet the welfare needs of athletes. Despite such calls, there is a dearth of literature exploring how ASPPs are currently providing athletes with mental ill/well-being support, meaning little is known about the contemporary challenges they are facing in practice. 

The aim of this project will be to comprehensively investigate the experiences of, and challenges faced by, ASPPs across the world in relation to providing mental ill/well-being support to high performance athletes. 

Supervisory Team: Dr Lee Baldock (Director of Studies), Professor Sheldon Hanton, Dr Ross Hall, and Professor Brendan Cropley (Supervisors/Advisors) 

Scholarship details

The studentship includes tuition fees at the UK home student rate (£4712 per year, full-time) and a stipend of £18,622 per annum for three years.


Applicants must: 

  • Hold a relevant undergraduate (2:1 or higher) and master’s degree e.g., Sport and Exercise Psychology 
  • Possess a sound understanding of sport and exercise psychology practice literature and research methods
  • Be highly self-motivated, with a capacity to learn and develop new research skills 
  • Have well-developed interpersonal skills for collaborative work  
  • Have an ability to produce technical reports and communicate findings 
  • Be UK resident   
  • A professional sport and exercise psychology accreditation/chartership (e.g., BASES, BPS) is desirable.

How to Apply

Please visit the Graduate School webpages 

You will need to select MPhil / PhD (Sport) from the drop-down course list in the online application form. Please indicate in your personal statement that you are applying for this studentship. Please note: A research proposal is not required. 

You may contact Jane MacCuish [Email Address Removed] for advice on the application process.  

For informal discussions about the research, please contact Dr Lee Baldock [Email Address Removed]

Closing date: Wednesday 30th August.  

Interview date: TBC.  

Start date: 1st October 2023. 

Psychology (31) Sport & Exercise Science (33)

 About the Project