Stephen Shannon


  • Northlands Road, Magee Campus

    BT48 7JL Londonderry

    United Kingdom

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Personal profile


I am a Lecturer and Course Director at Ulster University (UU) in the School of Sport, and a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. As Course Director (2018-present) for the BSc in Sport, Physical Activity and Health, I have led on the delivery, recruitment and marketing, and financial sustainability of a course that was awarded 'Best Course Team' in the 2023 Ulster University Learning and Teaching Awards

Current and Recent Grants

2014: Awarded £83,000 from the Coca Cola Foundation for an evaluation of the Sport for LIFE programme on children’s well-being.
2016: Awarded £18,000 from Sport Northern Ireland for a review of mental health and wellbeing promotion within and through sport.
2017: Awarded £15,000 enabling grant from the Public Health Agency for the promotion of resilience, well-being and help-seeking through sport (i.e., State of Mind psychoeducational intervention).
2018: Awarded £32,500 grant from Sport Northern Ireland for delivering and assessment of female leadership programmes in sport.
2018: Awarded £1,000 from Sported for an evaluation of a female development programme.
2019: Awarded £15,000 from UEFA for studying the effect of transitional phases on elite footballers’ mental health.
2019: Awarded £3,800 from Ulster University for a Civic Impact Fund of reducing mental health stigma in the community.
2022: Awarded 47,754 from The National Lottery Community Fund (NLCF) for a mental wellbeing capacity building programme.
2022: Awarded £40,100 from EANI Education Authority Northern Ireland for ‘The Daily Mile’: Children’s Health & Wellbeing in Northern Ireland
Under review: £1,621,924, Medical Research Council, UKRI;
£2,007,682.60, Arts and Humanities Research Council.
Unsuccessful: Grant (PI) for £150,000 for development of a resistance exercise measure (World Cancer Research Fund). Grant (PI) for £50,000 for a longitudinal study on student mental health (SMARTEN).

Teaching Interests

I coordinate, teach, and project supervise several undergraduate and postgraduate modules on behaviour change and mental health, underpinned by a student-centric and participatory learning philosophy. I was one of three staff shortlisted for UU’s Inspirational Educator Award in the 2022 LTA.

Research Interests

I have published 37 peer-reviewed articles (14 as first author, 11 second author), and have co-authored with international collaborators on an international consensus statement on mental health in sport, and several randomised controlled trials. Demonstrating impact, I contributed to two Northern Ireland policy documents on mental health and sport, provided evidence to a House of Lords Select Committee for Sport and Recreation, and contributed to a REF 2021 impact case study.
I have secured over £190,000 in grant income as a CI, with one under review costed at £2 million with Arts and Humanities Research Council. I have submitted three grant applications as PI, with one costed at £1.6 million under review with the Medical Research Council.

PhD Researcher Profile

I have supervised six PhD students (one to completion, one submitted, four ongoing), whilst fulfilling internal faculty examiner duties for five PhD students. I currently externally examine at Deakin University, Australia

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality

Education/Academic qualification

Master, PgDip in Psychology (p)

Award Date: 20 Dec 2023

Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Award Date: 11 Oct 2022

PhD, Physical activity and mental health (pass, no corrections)

Award Date: 14 Sept 2017

Bachelor, Sport Studies (hons) 1st class

Award Date: 4 Jun 2014

External positions

PhD Examiner, Deakin University