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University of Stirling appoints new Head of the School of Sport

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Top psychologist Professor David Lavallee has joined the University of Stirling as Head of the School of Sport.

His arrival to lead the School is a major boost for Stirling, Scotland’s University for Sporting Excellence, whose research output is already ranked first in Scotland and in the top five across the UK in the most recent Research Assessment Exercise.

Recognised worldwide for his research into the transitions sports participants experience across their career, Professor Lavallee wrote the seminal work on the subject, Career Transitions in Sport.

His research on this topic has focused on enhancing participation rates among adolescent sport participants, making the transition from junior to senior level in competitive sport, the psychology of sport injuries and retirement from professional sport.

With a Master’s degree in Psychology from Harvard and a PhD in Sport Psychology from the University of Western Australia, his other research interests include support for student athletes and the use of sport as a vehicle to teach life skills.

“People in sport come from a whole range of backgrounds in different disciplines,” says Professor Lavallee. “Mine is in psychology and others in the School of Sport have science, finance, sociology, management and many other backgrounds.

“The interface between sport and these other disciplines benefits Stirling as Scotland’s University for Sporting Excellence. Our research makes important contributions within sport, exercise and health settings, but also beyond these to the wider community and society.”

Professor Grant Jarvie, Deputy Principal of the University, says: “It is essential that Scotland’s University for Sporting Excellence and the School of Sport continue to grow in terms of both critical mass of researchers and international impact. The appointment of Professor David Lavallee as Head of School is but the beginning of a further phase of ambitious developments at Stirling.”

Notes to editors
The School of Sport was ranked first in Scotland and fifth in the UK in the most recent (2008) Research Assessment Exercise, with 85% of research outputs classed as of international standard.

Scotland’s University for Sporting Excellence is home to an unrivalled selection of world-class sports facilities, with national centres in a number of sports and one of the longest running International Sports Scholarship Programmes in the UK. A critical mass of sports agencies, governing bodies and leading academic researchers are on our scenic campus.

More information about the University of Stirling’s School of Sport can be found at

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