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Robert Mann

PhD student



Robert joined the Children’s Health and Exercise Research Centre (CHERC) in 2015, having obtained an ‘Economic and Social Research Council’ (ESRC) studentship to study on the interdisciplinary Health and Wellbeing pathway (1+3).

Before moving to Exeter, Robert completed his BA (Hons) at the University of Bath, studying Sport and Social Science. This undergraduate degree programme gave opportunity for a year-long work place experience which he took as an assistant PE teacher at King Edward’s School, Bath. Awarded a first class honours degree, his dissertation explored whether parkrun develops pathways to participation within the broader ‘distance running social world’.

As part of the ESRC studentship, Robert is currently studying a MRes in Health and Wellbeing. The taught content is split across each of the universities affiliated with the ‘South West Doctoral Training Centre’ (SWDTC); Exeter, Bath and Bristol.

Robert’s PhD research will focus on childhood specialisation in the sport of Athletics, with a specific emphasis on distance running. This PhD research project will be in collaboration with England Athletics, whilst being supervised by Prof. Craig Williams (Exeter), Dr. Alan Barker (Exeter), and Prof. Simone Fullagar (Bath). By employing an interdisciplinary approach, this PhD aims to facilitate a theoretical appreciation of a child runner’s development, taking their health, wellbeing and lifelong-participation into detailed consideration.

As a keen distance runner himself, this research topic can be seen as an extension of Robert’s sporting interests. He currently competes for both the University of Exeter and Team Bath AC, whilst coaching Athletics on a regular basis.


BA (Hons) Sport and Social Science - University of Bath (2015).



Supervision / Group

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