Sport and Exercise Science and Sports Medicine Research and Enterprise Group

Organisation profile

Profile Information

Banner with letters SSESM for Sport and Exercise Science and Sport Medicine Research and Enterprise GroupSport and Exercise Science and Sports Medicine research is led by Associate Professor Peter Watt with the remit of creating a vibrant and successful research centre that conducts innovative, applied research to tackle modern day challenges in sport, health and occupational settings.

Future research activity will build upon our existing reputation for internationally-recognised research, supported by a dynamic and experienced team of researchers and modern, well-resourced laboratories. Our research activity sits within two overarching research areas: Exercise for health and wellbeing; Optimising human performance.

Underpinning our mission and priorities are four core principles: high-quality research; excellent training and learning opportunities for undergraduate and postgraduate students and early-career researchers; working with stakeholders beyond our research centre and university; translation of research theory and evidence into practical settings.

Research Themes

Fatigue and Exercise Tolerance Lab (FET)

The research interest of the Fatigue and Exercise Tolerance Lab (FET) has long been exercise tolerance, or the ability to sustain exercise, and the mechanisms of fatigue. We are trying to understand better both physiological and behavioral limitations to exercise. Our findings gives exercise scientists, clinicians or other practitioners looking to enhance human exercise tolerance, and more broadly to improve overall physical fitness and well-being, evidence for the development of robust science-based interventions. Our group also seeks to explore the relationship between physical exercise, psychophysiological stress and well-being. We see physical exercise as a potent stressor to human homeostasis for long-lasting beneficial effects on human health. More specifically, we want to understand better how exercise can treat chronic physiological dysfunctions in some populations (chronic fatigue, mental health, musculoskeletal conditions). Our work finds impact in the areas of health, sport and wellbeing.

The physiological regulations under scrutiny may be those of the lungs (spirometry, breath-by-breath systems), the heart and cardiovascular system (Blood flow measurements (Doppler), ECG, Heart Rate Variability), the muscles (isokinetic dynamometry, EMG, percutaneous nerve stimulation, pressure-dolorimeter, biopsies), the metabolic systems (from capillary to arterial blood sampling), the brain and nervous system (Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, tDCS, Heart Rate Variability), including monitoring of peripheral and central branches (parasympathetic and sympathetic balance).

We currently conduct some work in collaboration with partners from the Brighton and Sussex Medical School (University of Sussex, UK), the Neuromuscular Fatigue Lab - Human Performance Lab (University of Calgary, Canada), URePSSS (EA 7369; University of Lille, France) and the English Institute of Sport (UK).

Expertise & Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory (ExCeL)

Mission statement
“To improve the performance, training and learning of complex, dynamic tasks and domains through research, education, and applied solutions to the societal challenges of today and in the future.”

We aspire to conduct the most scientifically rigorous research possible to the highest standards of excellence that has significant impact on the end user and the development of theory.
Research Interests

Researchers within ExCeL examine human performance and learning, motor behaviour and its sub-areas of skill acquisition and expert performance; cognitive and behavioural neuroscience; and psychophysiology. Our current research priorities are;
• Cognition in gait and locomotion;
• Sensory processing in exercise,
• The development and improvement of expert performance;
• Practice, training and acquisition/learning.

They conduct this work across a range of domains, including sport and exercise; education; and medical.
Research Active Staff
A number of research active staff work within ExCeL, including Dr. Nick Smeeton (Group Leader); Dr. Paul R. Ford (Research Funding Coordinator); and Mr. Bill Filby. Moreover, Professor A. Mark Williams was recently appointed to a visiting Professor position to work within ExCeL and the department.

Links to Industry and Professional Practice
Members of ExCeL have developed networks to industry and professional practice. Current and past partners include the following;
Sports Organisations: EIS, SIS, UK Sport, England and Wales Cricket Board, The Football Association, Sussex County Cricket Club.
Industry: Nike, Umbro, Bola, Medtronic

Environmental Extremes Lab

Twitter: @UoB_EEL

Mission Statement

Our internationally-renowned research addresses the challenges of environmental extremes on human health and function. We develop and evaluate interventions using basic and applied scientific methodologies to influence practice and policy locally, nationally and internationally for health, occupation and human performance.

Vision Statement

Through our research and education, people will decide how to prepare for safe and effective exercise in environmental extremes to optimise performance and reduce risk of illness.

Facilities and Research Areas

In our purpose-built BASES accredited facilities in Eastbourne, that houses both temperature-controlled and hypoxic chambers, we aim to optimise performance and reduce risk of illness in three key areas:

• sports performance

• occupational activity

• healthy living.

Research Impact

Examples of our research impact can be seen from our work in partnership with:

• National Fire Chiefs Council and Fire Brigades Union

• CAERvest® for core body cooling

• KuduSmart and Cosinuss for thermoregulatory monitoring

• altitude awareness charity Para-Monte

• Public Health England’s Heatwave Plan

• English Institute of Sport towards Tokyo 2020

• athletes embarking upon extreme challenges (eg Marathon des Sables).

Research Active Staff

Dr Neil Maxwell (EEL Leader), Dr Gary Brickley, Dr Mark Hayes, Dr Alan Richardson, Associate Professor Peter Watt, Professor Nick Webborn


Dive into the research topics where Sport and Exercise Science and Sports Medicine Research and Enterprise Group is active. These topic labels come from the works of this organisation's members. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or