University of Birmingham (UoB)

birminghamFounded in 1900 by the citizens of Birmingham, the University of Birmingham is a world leading higher education institution, both nationally and internationally, that offers high-standard teaching and research in most major disciplines. The University ranked 62nd in the QS world university (2013) and 101st in Shanghai Jiao Tong University World Rankings (2013). The University of Birmingham also has extensive experience of EU collaboration and partnerships and in-depth expertise of Framework Programme matters including management, reporting and auditing. The University has been involved in over 309 FP7 projects and so far 48 projects in H2020 (as of March 2015) including projects in negotiation; ranked 18th for project participation amongst Universities in FP7, according to the Commission’s final FP7 monitoring report (2015).
The School of Sport, and Exercise Sciences represents one of the longest established in Europe for scientific research into sport, exercise, and health. In 1946 we became the first university in the UK to offer a degree in Sport and Exercise Sciences that extended beyond the boundaries of Physical Education. Since then we have grown to become the multidisciplinary School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences (SportExR), with over 50 members of academic and research staff collaborating to further knowledge and evidence-informed practice in areas ranging from sport and exercise psychology, pedagogy, sociology/politics, physiology, biomechanics, motor control and neuroscience. SportExR continues to lead the field in the UK and achieved an outstanding performance in the Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014) with 90% of the School’s research classified as world leading or internationally excellent, putting us in the top three for research in the sector. The School’s Research Mission is to address one of the key challenges facing contemporary societies: increasing the quantity and quality of engagement in physical activity to enhance health and wellbeing.
Empowering Coaching™, an operating division within the enterprise and innovation arm of the University of Birmingham, has as its mission the development, dissemination and evaluation of theory- and evidence-based training programmes for coaches, teachers, parents and other leaders who impact the motivation and quality of engagement of young people in sport, PE, dance and other physical activities. Professor Joan Duda, the most senior Professor in SportexR and internationally recognised leader in Sport and Exercise Psychology, serves as the Executive Director of Empowering Coaching™ and leads a team of outstanding young professionals (exemplified by Dr Paul Appleton) in delivering the mission of this emerging social enterprise. The genesis of Empowering Coaching™ stemmed from a business plan for a SME that was a required deliverable in the European Commission funded ‘PAPA’ project ( In the PAPA Project, Empowering Coaching™ was tailored for grassroots football, delivered by trained coach tutors and found to have a positive impact on coaches and young athletes from 5 European countries. In a recent project funded by Sport Wales, Empowering Coaching™ was successfully customised for the context of physical education and implemented in the case of PE teacher CPD training (Empowering PE™).