Professor Sue Backhouse
About Professor Sue Backhouse
Susan Backhouse is Professor of Psychology and Behavioural Nutrition and Head of the Centre for Sports Performance in the Institute for Sport, Physical Activity and Leisure. Susan is renowned for her research on the social psychology of doping in sport.
Susan completed her first degree in Physical Education and Sports Science at Loughborough University, for which she was awarded the Department prize for outstanding 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 Beckett University in 2003 and she became a Professor of Psychology and Behavioural Nutrition in 2014.
Susan is a Chartered Sport and Exercise Psychologist with the British Psychological Society and a Registered Sport and Exercise Psychologist with the Health and Care Professions Council. She is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Authority, Fellow of the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES) and Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society.
- Contribute to undergraduate and postgraduate taught provision
- Supervision of Masters dissertations and doctoral students
- British Psychological Society Qualification in Sport and Exercise Psychology Stage 2 Supervisor
Susan’s research initially focused on the influence of nutritional interventions on the exercise-affect relationship. Although this research interest remains - with collaborative studies currently underway - Susan now focuses most of her attention on understanding the social psychology of doping in sport. Working in partnership with Sports National Governing Bodies, International Federations and the World Anti-Doping Agency, the overarching motivation for this line of inquiry is to develop the evidence base to inform anti-doping policy and practice.
In 2007 Susan was commissioned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to undertake the first systematic literature review on the social psychology of doping in sport. Since then, Susan and her research team at Leeds Beckett University have established a programme of research investigating the use of performance and image enhancing substances from multiple stakeholder perspectives (e.g., athlete, athlete support personnel, recreational user). In 2012 she was an invited member of the European Union Ad-hoc Expert Group on Doping in Recreational Sport, producing EU wide prevention guidelines. In 2013 she convened the British Association of Sport and Exercise Science Clean Sport Interest Group. As an internationally recognised researcher and applied practitioner, Susan brings a wealth of expertise on doping issues to bear on this research programme.
Susan is leading and collaborating on a number of externally funded research projects, including two cross-cultural interventions to examine the feasibility and efficacy of a Clean Sport Bystander Programme (ReAct) (IOC funded) and a coach focused programme to optimise motivational climates and prevent adolescents current and future willingness to dope (IOC funded with Curtin University and University of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki). Research partnerships with the Rugby Football Union and the English and Wales Cricket Board are generating knowledge in the area of doping prevention that will directly inform the governing bodies’ anti-doping policy and practice. Collaboration between the World Anti-Doping Agency, the International Council for Coaching Excellence and Leeds Beckett University is facilitating an examination of current and potential provision of coach anti-doping education offered by 96 international High Performance Training Centres.