28 May 2024

Abertay University academic recognised for enhancing athlete transition and wellbeing

New ranking places Professor David Lavallee among top academics in his field

A sports scientist at Abertay University has been ranked as one of the top academics in the UK following a series of innovative research projects conducted at the institution.  

David Lavallee, Professor of Duty of Care in Sport in the School of Applied Sciences, is featured in this year’s Research.com annual ranking which recognises the top 2% of all cited scientists across the world.  

Based on data drawn from a study of the work of 9000 academics in the field of psychology, Professor Lavallee ranked inside the UK top 500 and the global top 5000. 

This is the third edition of the Research.com ranking, created using data from diverse sources such as OpenAlex and CrossRef. Rankings are based on a scientist’s D-index, which considers only papers and citation values within specific disciplines. 

Professor Lavallee said:

This ranking not only acknowledges the collaborative research efforts of my co-authors, but also the excellent research environment at Abertay. The recognition has only been possible through the vital contributions of the funding support and researcher development teams, technicians, communications and repository staff, and others who support all the different aspects of our research.

Since his appointment by Abertay as the world’s first Professor of Duty of Care in Sport in 2017, Professor Lavallee has led numerous international research projects on critical issues in sport such as bullying, harassment, equality, and inclusion.

His work has significantly advanced the field and championed the wellbeing of athletes worldwide. 

An impactful programme of research by Professor Lavallee has helped advance the understanding of career transitions in sport. His research on this topic has been featured in Forbes Magazine and underpinned the UK-wide #More2Me campaign, which encourages athletes to recognize the benefits of planning for their lives after sport.

Another notable project led by Professor Lavallee during his time at Abertay is the creation of the Sports IntegriTay package, a comprehensive set of free resources aimed at enhancing duty of care within sport organisations.

This evidence-based initiative outlines best practice across seven areas including safeguarding, medical provision, career transition, mental health, and inclusivity, providing invaluable guidance to improve athlete wellbeing and safety. 

Professor Lavallee has also created Sports Forensic. As part of this, he collaborated with INTERPOL to create the Sports Corruption Barometer. The tool provides an annual analysis of trends and patterns of criminal activity in sports, covering results manipulation, bribery, and doping.  

Andrea Cameron, Dean of the School of Applied Sciences, said:

We are thrilled to see Professor Lavallee receive this well-deserved recognition. His expertise and commitment to improving duty of care in sports, through collaboration with colleagues across the University, have had a profound impact, and we look forward to supporting his continued contributions to this vital area of research.

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