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Susan Backhouse is a Professor in the Institute of Sport, Physical Activity and Leisure at Leeds Beckett University, UK. Internationally recognised for her research on the social science of doping in sport, Susan leads a team of researchers committed to the development of effective anti-doping policy and practice.


2004 Ph.D. Fluid ingestion, affective states and perceived exertion during prolonged exercise, School of Sport & Exercise Sciences, Loughborough University, UK. Advisors: Prof Stuart J.H. Biddle and Prof Clyde Williams.

2000 BSc (Hons) Physical Education and Sports Science, School of Sport and Exercise Sciences, Loughborough University.

Susan completed her first degree in Physical Education and Sports Science at Loughborough University, for which she was awarded the Department prize for outstanding undergraduate achievement. Following this, Susan completed her PhD with Professor Clyde Williams and Professor Stuart Biddle at Loughborough University.

Susan was appointed as a Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Psychology at Leeds Metropolitan University in 2003 and she became a Professor in 2014. In addition to her research and applied practice in the field of anti-doping, Susan is a Chartered Psychologist of the British Psychological Society and a Health and Care Professionals Council Practitioner Sport and Exercise Psychologist. She is also an ILM Level 5 Coach and Mentor.

Selected Research

Susan leads a growing research team in the Institute of Sport, Physical Activity and Leisure (ISPAL) committed to progressing our understanding of the causes and consequences of doping in sport and generating an evidence base to inform anti-doping education programmes. This work originally stemmed from commissioned reviews of literature undertaken on behalf of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). In 2012 she was invited to become a member of the European Council ad-hoc Group of Experts on “Doping in Recreational Sport” and in 2013 she convened the BASES Clean Sport Interest Group.

Susan has collaborated with colleagues in the UK, Europe, Australia and the US and she is currently leading the quantitative phase of a European Commission funded study on the prevention of doping in recreational sport. In addition, she is the Principal Investigator on a Rugby Football Union funded study exploring the behaviours, beliefs and perceptions of adolescent males in relation to performance and image enhancement. Other collaborative projects currently underway include:

-the impact of health consequence messages on anti-doping prevention,

-an examination of the markers of transition phases in assisted performance enhancement in emerging young athletes, and

- the role of moral disengagement and emotion in doping.

Susan is a researcher-practitioner and is currently a UK Anti-Doping National Trainer and the Education representative on the UK Athletics Anti-Doping Policy and Support Team.

Current Teaching

Programme Director of the MSc Psychology of Sport and Exercise (BPS Accredited).

PhD Director of Studies and Supervisor.

Delivery across the sport and exercise science undergraduate and postgraduate provision.