Professor Mayur Ranchordas

Could you tell us about your contribution, Mayur?Prof. Mayur Ranchordas

My Professorial application was predicated on an outstanding contribution to Academic Citizenship and Leadership (AC&L), an outstanding contribution to External and Professional Engagement (E&PE) both within Sheffield Hallam and globally, and a significant contribution to Research and Innovation (R&I). Some of the highlights that I am particularly proud of are summarised below:

  • I’ve been working as a performance nutrition practitioner for around 20 years and during this time I’ve been fortunate enough to work with some of the greatest athletes on the planet. The impact of my applied work in elite and professional sport has not only helped athletes and teams compete at the highest level but win medals on the world stage.
  • I’ve secured substantial income generated from professional football clubs, the English Institute of Sport and sport businesses to fund applied master’s students, fully funded and match funded applied PhD programs. This money has directly funded applied practitioner learning opportunities for 15 students at Hallam who have attained postgraduate and doctoral level qualifications at Hallam whilst simultaneously being embedded within these sporting organisations by working as practitioners. Under my supervision, coaching and mentoring, most of these students have developed into world-class practitioners.
  • My research portfolio lies on a continuum where elite sport sits at one end and health and wellbeing is located at the other end. The golden thread of my applied research explores how nutrition, food and supplements can enhance exercise performance and recovery at the sport end of the continuum; and at the opposite end, how these methods can enhance health and wellbeing even in adults living with life limiting conditions. My research has real world impact when considering the confusing marketing information used to sell supplements. In addition to conducting well-designed studies to test theoretically sound compounds, I have contributed to building the science in this area.

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

To me being a professor denotes distinction and a professor is someone who has been promoted to the highest academic grade based on their scholarly achievements. I feel that my contributions to the field of sport and exercise nutrition, both within and outside Hallam, have been recognised by the University.

Tell us a bit about your career story so far.

I am proud to say that all of my higher education has been accomplished at the University starting with my undergraduate degree to my professional doctorate studies. Throughout this time, I have undertaken almost every academic role starting at lecturer, progressing to senior lecturer in 2006, promoted to Reader in 2017, and more recently being appointed as the Head of University Research Ethics in 2021. Whilst I have always worked here, in 2005 I dropped down to 0.5 FTE so that I could pursue my career as an applied sport and exercise nutritionist and gain experience in supporting elite athletes. I have continued to do this over the years and a lot of my research has been informed by the applied work.

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

Achieving sustained success is like running a marathon. You need to be patient, diligent, disciplined and chip away at your goals on a regular basis. There are no shortcuts to getting there and you will need to work hard consistently whilst making sacrifices.

A great mentor will help you along the way and guide you.

Make sure you have a long-term career plan and break this down into five year, three year and yearly cycles to check where you are at the end of each year.

Surround yourself with like-minded and successful people. The healthy competition is needed to push you out of your comfort zone.

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

I am very passionate about mentoring, coaching and developing colleagues so that they can create a platform in order to fulfil their full potential. Therefore I’d like to continue to generate funding in collaboration with external partners for applied MSc’s and PhD’s, as I feel that this model develops students to succeed in academia and the professional world.

I’d like to consolidate my world leading reputation in applied sport, health and exercise nutrition research. I want to divert my research focus more towards health and wellbeing. In particular, to investigate if the cutting-edge performance nutrition strategies to enhance performance and recovery can indeed be used by individuals living with debilitating conditions to improve their quality of life.