Eilidh Macrae

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Exercise and physical activity during pregnancy and maternity
The development of women's sport: specifically boxing; rugby; football
Voluntary sports clubs: building capacity
Understanding the impact of mega-events on grassroots sport

Willing to speak to media


Research activity per year

Personal profile

Area of academic expertise - outline

Expertise in the areas of sport development; gender and sport; community sports clubs and the role of voluntary sports clubs in policy delivery; inclusivity in sport; sport and exercise history.

My research interest and expertise ranges from contemporary sport research (such as inclusivity & equity in sport, and grassroots club development) to more historical sport research (with my PhD thesis focusing on women’s exercise experiences in the lifecycle throughout the twentieth century).

I am an interdisciplinary researcher with links to various areas of the wider sport sector, including NGBs and physical activity charities, and I have completed commissioned research for these types of organisations such as Paths for All, Scotland's Walking Charity, and Alzheimer Scotland.

I teach in areas such as sport policy and politics, sport development, sociology and inclusivity, and enterprise in sport. I was the Programme Leader for Sport and Management in my previous role at Abertay University

To enhance the student learning experience in recent years I have developed an international academic partnership with Sport Management colleagues at Metropolitan State University of Denver, Colorado and have provided opportunities for international student interactions between students in the USA and Scotland. This involved developing international institutional connections through sharing online teaching content and coordinating collaborative student work between sports students at UWS and MSU Denver.

I am currently Co-Chair of the Sport Programme Development Group within the Division of Sport and Exercise at UWS, and have been involved in recent Curriculum Development as part of this role.

External Examiner for the University of Bedfordshire overseeing:

  • BA International Sport Development
  • BA Sport Development and Management


I also maintain links with the historical academic community having worked and published in this area. I have previously acted as a steering committee member of Women’s History Scotland and was Convenor of their sport-themed conference in 2014. I was also co-conference convenor of the British Society of Sports History conference in 2012.


Current research activities

I have recently published a book on experiences of exercise throughout the female life-cycle, in a historical context, and have published on contemporary experiences of exercise and physical activity during pregnancy and motherhood. I am also engaged in research with UWS colleagues looking at community sport, social jogging & running groups, and have published research on walking programmes for older adults - especially walking football. I am interesting in supervising research students in all of the above areas.

Research staff under my supervision:

Dr Liz Carlin (Postdoctoral Research Fellow) University of the West of Scotland, Evaluation of the Social Impact of Dementia-Friendly Walking Football, funded by RS Macdonald Trust (May 2019-January 2020)

Research Student Supervision - 

  • 2020 - present: DProf Lead Supervisor

Mrs Laura Wallace (DProf) Elite female footballers and coaching careers

  • 2017 - Present: PhD 2nd supervisor - 

Mrs Nikki Thomson (MPhil/PhD), Evaluation of the Lenus Health Platform  - Examining digital healthcare in the NHS (Funded by the UWS VP Research Excellence Fund)


  • 2017-2019: MRes Director of Studies (temporary DoS to cover maternity leave, also lead supervisor) - 

Rebekka Findlay - Understanding the Female Athlete: The Relationship between Menstrual Cycle, Health and Performance


Desired research direction

I am interested in working with any researchers or postgraduate students keen to explore issues related to gender, sport and inclusivity, particularly the development of female athletes and female participation rates in sport generally, and especially male-dominated sports.

I am also interested in developing our understanding of the impact of mega-events and international competitions on the process of sport in the UK, with regards to funding distribution, support, and the grassroots management of sport at the community level.

Target collaborative organisations

Given my expertise in the development of women's sport, I am keen to collaborate with any National Governing Bodies regarding the development of their female athletes, and I can provide research and recommendations for development in this area. I recently supervised an MRes student who looked directly at this subject in relation to women's rugby, and I recently acted as external examiner for an MRes investigating the development of women's football in Scotland.

I am also interested in the development of sport for older individuals, having conducted ESRC funded research in this area, and I am thus available to provide research expertise to organisations to provide evidence and recommendations in this area.


Other areas of expertise available for knowledge exchange

I am an expert in qualitative research. I have expertise in the field of women's sport from a historical and contemporary development perspective, particularly the barriers faced by women in engaging with physical activity throughout various life stages (such as adolescence, pregnancy, motherhood).

I have previously conducted consultancy research on behalf of the Scottish Government and Glasgow Sport. My work at Glasgow Sport involved research into sports club preparation for the Commonwealth Games. I worked as a consultant researcher for the Justice Directorate at the Scottish Government, conducting social research into access to justice services in local communities and reporting my outcomes and recommendations from this to external stakeholders. I am thus available for consultancy work in a range of fields.

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 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities

External positions

External Examiner, University of Bedfordshire

1 Jun 2018 → …


  • HM Sociology
  • Sport
  • Gender
  • Policy
  • Management Theory and Strategy
  • Volunteers
  • H Social Sciences (General)
  • Sport Development
  • Sport Management


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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