Research Group


Dr Ian Boardley

Dr Ian Boardley

Ian’s career in sport psychology was stimulated through lifelong sport participation. His sport activities have included experience as an athlete and as a coach in sports such as hockey and endurance running. It was experiences such as these that led to him initiating a career that incorporated sport within it. A particular interest in sport psychology that developed during undergraduate studies for a Bachelor’s degree in Sport Science at the University of Leeds led to subsequent study for a PhD in Sport Psychology at the University of Birmingham. Here Ian focussed on his main research interest which centres on the investigation of prosocial and antisocial behaviour in sport, and the psychological processes involved in promoting such behaviours. More recently Ian has developed a particular interest in how such processes may influence use of performance enhancing drugs in sport and exercise participants. Ian has further research interests in coaching efficacy and effectiveness and how athletes’ perceptions of these may affect athletes’ cognitions, emotions, and behaviour.

Dr Neil Chester

Dr Neil Chester

Neil Chester lectures in exercise physiology at Liverpool John Moores University and has research interests focusing on many aspects of drug use in sport. Recent and current projects include herbal supplement use, supplement use in Rugby League and WADA- funded projects examining the use of over-the-counter drugs amongst elite athletes and the issues surrounding asthma medication in sport. With Prof David Mottram, Neil has co-edited the textbook, ‘Drugs in Sport’, now in its sixth edition. Neil is also a member of the UK Anti- Doping Research Advisory Group and has provided consultancy for UK Sport and the FA.

Dr Jonathan Grix

Dr Jonathan Grix

Jonathan is one of very few political scientists who have turned their attention to sport. His recent work has highlighted the political nature of sport and how the study of sport – while worthwhile in its own right – can also be used to understand wider machinations in the political system, ranging from governance of the public sector, through the use of sport in international relations and national identity formation. Jonathan’s key area of focus is on government involvement in sport and the use of sport by governments.

Dr John Mills

Dr John Mills

John achieved his PhD from the University of Birmingham in 2015 and is currently a senior lecturer within the Institute of Sport at the University of Chichester. At the most general level, John’s research focuses on the indirect investigation of individual differences in implicit social cognition (i.e., attitudes, self-concept, and stereotypes) and behaviour. More specifically, his research revolves around three interconnected themes: (1) leadership and moral identity, (2) racial stereotyping and its influence on discriminatory behaviour, and (3) athletes attitudes towards performance enhancing drug use.

Prof. Andrea Petroczi

Prof. Andrea Petroczi

After obtaining a BSc in Sport Management and an MSc in Marketing in Hungary, Andrea continued her studies in the U.S. where she received a PhD in Sport & Exercise Science (Administration) with a doctoral minor in Applied Statistics & Research Methods in 2002. Following a Lecturer post at the Semmelweis University (Hungary) and full time PhD (U.S.), Andrea joined Kingston University as a Senior Lecturer in 2001. Over the years she progressed her career to a Principal Lecturer in 2005 and Reader in 2008, leading to appointment as Professor of Public Health in 2010. In 2015, she also completed a PhD (part time) in Psychology.

Dr Elisabeth Julie Vargo

Dr Elisabeth Julie Vargo

Elisabeth Julie Vargo achieved her PhD at Kingston University London in October 2015. In broad terms, her research involves the exploration of “functional” drug use among young people. She is interested in the psycho-social aspects of the phenomenon and combines quantitative (self-reports, IATs) and qualitative (interviews, focus groups) research processes to explore and predict behaviours related to using and misusing drugs. Topics investigated in her research include drug and youth cultures, drug policy and harm reduction interventions related to prescription drug, doping, and recreational drug use. She is also interested in developing implicit measures to identify drug use related behaviours.

Miss Alexandria Olton

Miss Alexandria Olton

PhD Candidate

Alexandria Olton is a funded PhD candidate at the University of Birmingham in the school of Sports, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences. Her study centers on the effects of permitted forms of performance enhancement on determinants of doping in UK student-athletes. Prior to this, Alexandria received her MSc in Sports and Exercise Psychology from Brunel University, London, and her BSc (Hons) in Psychology and Sociology from the University of Kent. Her previous research interests include an investigation into the current support mechanisms available for long-term injured professional footballers in the UK from a player’s perspective; a project conducted in conjunction with the Professional Footballers Association (PFA).