Hayley McEwan

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Projects available in the following areas:
- Using the Think Aloud method with athletes, coaches or other sport staff (e.g., referees) to improve performance.
- The education and training of psychologists.
- Mental health support for athletes, coaches and other sport support staff.
- Sport for development: A means of reducing social isolation in people with refugee status (New Scots).

Willing to speak to media


Research activity per year

Personal profile

Area of academic expertise - outline

My area of expertise is in sport psychology, and the professional development of sport practitioners. In particular I research the learning and development of psychologists, sport scientists, and coaches. My research interests in professional development cover the career span - from trainees to experienced practitioners and I am interested in how learning environments can be optimised for a range practitioners (e.g., sport coaches).

I am also involved in providing sport psychology support to clients. I am a BASES accredited Sport Scientist and Chartered Scientist. I am a former Chair of the Division of Sport & Exercise Psychology Scottish Network.

Current research activities

My current research projects concern cognition (or thinking) in sport practitioners and performers.

  • How do trainee psychologists learn to exercise professional judgement and make decisions? (PhD student Michelle Smith, part-time, 2015-2021)
  • How can the Think Aloud method be used by sport psychologists to support athletes? (British Psychological Society Research Working Group, 2021-2023)

In addition, I continue to research psychologist development and have the following projects:

  • The professional doctorate greenhouse: Trainee sport and exercise psychologists’ perspectives on professional development (2019 - currently).



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 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals

External positions

External Examiner, Edinburgh Napier University


 BASES (British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences) External Consultant on the design of psychologist training,  BASES (British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences)


External Examiner, Edge Hill University

1 Jun 20121 Jun 2016

Chair of Division of Sport & Exercise Psychology (DSEP) Scottish Network

Oct 20092015


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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