Professor Girish Ramchandani

Could you tell us about your contribution, Girish?Professor Girish Ramchandani

My professorship application was based on making an outstanding contribution to External and Professional Engagement (E&PE) and Academic Citizenship and Leadership. It also recognised my significant contribution to Research and Innovation.

Over the last two decades, I have developed robust approaches to measure and evidence the impacts of major sports events and the benefits of sport and physical activity. These contributions provide critical knowledge in both academic and policy terms.

My E&PE work has generated more than 3m for Hallam, funded by public and private sector organisations nationally and internationally. I have used the data and evidence from externally funded projects and strategic research partnerships to produce a portfolio of publications. This includes 47 peer-reviewed journal articles, one book, eight book chapters, and 18 conference contributions. My research has been recognised by the Emerald Literati award for Highly Commended Paper twice (in 2014 and 2020) and two of my other research outputs were integrated into the Olympic World Library by the International Olympic Committee’s Olympic Studies Centre.

I was the lead author for an Impact Case Study that was included within the University’s submission to REF 2021 under Unit of Assessment 24 (Sport and Exercise Sciences, Leisure and Tourism), which was judged as being world-leading in the field by the panel. Since March 2022, I have served as the interim Head of Research of the Academy of Sport and Physical Activity (ASPA).

What does it mean personally to you to be a professor at Hallam?

The title of Professor at Hallam is a source of immense pride for me, and it is something that I have been working towards for quite some time.

Tell us a bit about your career story so far.

It was never my plan to work in academia. After completing an MSc in Sport Management at Hallam, I was fortunate to join the Sport Industry Research Centre (SIRC) as an entry level researcher in 2003, which was my first full-time job and I have been at the University ever since. With the passage of time, and learning from senior colleagues, I developed and refined my research skills and I gradually began to lead on delivering projects for external clients and generating a body of published work.

In my current role as the interim Head of Research of ASPA, I have oversight of the Sport and Physical Activity Research Centre (SPARC), which encompasses four specialist research groups. Externally, I am a founding member of the Spectator Experience and Technology (SEAT) Laboratory at the University of Waterloo in Canada, a Co-Director of the International Collaborative for Trickle-Down Effect Research as well as a research advisory panel member of the Irish Physical Activity Research Collaboration (Sport Ireland).

If you could go back in time and give yourself career advice, what would it be?

My advice would be to play to my strengths, but also to have the courage and conviction to step outside my comfort zone, to be more confident about my skills and abilities, to better understand how my work contributes to the ‘big picture’, and to learn to embrace being in the spotlight.

What’s next? How do you want to further develop your contribution?

I intend to advance my position as a leading figure within my field and cement my reputation (and that of the University) as a provider of high quality, original and impactful research and knowledge transfer. I will continue to expand my industry connections to ensure that the evidence from this activity continues to inform national and international policy responses. I’m looking at ways to exploit opportunities to grow research income and build on the rich international networks that I have formed in order to develop competitive advantage in R&I.