Daryl Cowan

Accepting PhD Students


Research activity per year

Personal profile

Area of academic expertise - outline

Dr Daryl Cowan is a researcher in the areas of sport coaching and sport psychology. He is interested in the role of sport and physical activity as a vehicle for psychological and social development in the community. Specifically, he is interested in helping coaches and leaders to create optimal motivational environments which influence participants’ motivation, life skills, and other health related outcomes.


Current research activities

I am currently working with Scottish and England Athletics on a UK-wide multi-method project exploring the psychological and social-contextual factors influencing participation and well-being of social jogging group participants. Our research has indicated that within these groups the Jog Leader plays a significant role to motivate, engage and foster sustained involvement for the joggers. Despite this, Jog Leaders receive no training on how to optimally motivate and engage joggers, through the creation of adaptive motivational climates and interpersonal styles. We have therefore developed an evidence-based bespoke e-learning training module, informed by our research findings, to be completed by Jog Leaders. The module is currently at the pilot phase, with Jog Leaders also participating in a research project to investigate changes to their behaviours and motivational strategies as a result of the training module.

Much of my work also focusses on socio-economically disadvantaged populations which has led to several projects being conducted working with various organised sport programmes for disadvantaged individuals throughout the UK. Working with collaborators in the US, we have recently undertaken a project to explore the longitudinal impact of the Homeless World Cup and related programming on the lives of its participants.

Desired research direction

I am interested in working with researchers and postgraduate students interested in the areas of sports coaching and sport psychology. In particular, I am looking to further explore the role of the coach-created motivational environment on various psychological outcomes amongst hard-to-reach groups. 

Target collaborative companies

I am interested in working with sporting organisations and national governing bodies to help their coaches and leaders to create optimal motivational environments which influence participants’ motivation, life skills, and other health related outcomes. 

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 1 - No Poverty
  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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