Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Self-funded students who align to the research interests below are encouraged to make contact

• Match-day strategies to enhance the performance of team sports athletes

• Physiological and performance responses to intermittent exercise

• The use of nutritional ergogenic aids on performance in team sports athletes

Calculated based on number of publications stored in Pure and citations from Scopus

Personal profile



Prof. Russell is an active researcher and focuses his research on topics allied to performance nutrition and applied exercise physiology for team sport athletes. As a result of this research, Prof. Russell has published over 100 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters, presented at international conferences and led multiple industry-funded contract research projects from inception to completion. Prof. Russell currently leads the Enhancing Human Performance research theme at Leeds Trinity University and has a special interest in team sport performance-enhancement strategies. Accordingly, Prof. Russell is a model one supervisor to a number of Doctoral candidates which includes leading projects related to profiling the performance and physiological responses of soccer goalkeepers and team sport substitutes, investigating strategies to enhance match performance, optimising half-time strategies, and facilitating recovery. Prof. Russell has worked with a range of professional rugby and football teams and has consulted to a number of English Premier League football clubs and National and International Rugby squads.  Prof. Russell was the National Lead for Applied Exercise Physiology with UK Deaf Sport between 2010 and 2017 and was responsible for the co-ordination of the sports science support services for DeaflympicsGB at the 2013 Summer Deaflympics held in Sofia, Bulgaria. Internally, Prof. Russell was the Interim University Co-Lead for Research and Knowledge Exchange between June 2020 and Dec 2021; a time-frame covering the submission deadlines to both the Knowledge Exchange Framework (KEF) and Research Excellence Framework (REF). Accordingly, Prof. Russell was the lead author and had strategic oversight of the University's applications to the KEF in October 2020 and the REF in March 2021 whilst also contributing towards a future Research Degree Awarding Powers (RDAP) application. Prof. Russell is also the Unit of Assessment (UoA) lead for the institution's submissions to REF2021 and REF2029 in UoA24 (Sport and Exercise Sciences, Leisure and Tourism) and has Chaired the University Research Ethics and Integrity Sub-Committee (June 2020 - Sept 2023) having previously Chaired the School Research Ethics and Integrity Committee in the School of Social and Health Sciences (Sept 2017 - June 2020). Professor Russell is also an active committee member for a number of institutional strategic committees responsible for research governance and integrity and delivery of the University, and Research and Knowledge Exchange strategies.


Research interests

• Match-day strategies to enhance the performance of team sports athletes

• Physiological and performance responses to intermittent exercise

• The use of nutritional ergogenic aids on performance in team sports athletes


Notable research and consultancy awards

  • Collaborative PhD Studentship: £30,000 - M. Russell (Principal investigator). Fatigue and recovery in Academy Rugby League players (2017). Rugby Football League and Castleford Tigers RLFC, UK.
  • Contract Research Grant: £107,983 – M. Russell (Principal investigator) and E. Stevenson (Co-investigator). Self-paced performance responses to sports drink ingestion in soccer players (2015): PepsiCo International, USA.

  • Consultancy: £1,020 – M. Russell (Principal investigator) and P. Rumbold (Co-investigator). Academy nutrition audit (2015): Newcastle United Football Club, UK.

  • Collaborative PhD Studentship: £37,500 - P. Hayes (Principal investigator) and M. Russell (Co-Investigator). Monitoring intensity in training and match-play activities of professional Academy football players (2014). Newcastle United Football Club, UK.

  • Contract Research Grant: £101,884 - E. Stevenson (Principal investigator) and M. Russell (Co-investigator). Physiological and performance responses to carbohydrate ingestion in soccer players (2013). BENEO Group, Germany.
  • Contract Research Grant: £18,000 - M. Russell (Principal Investigator). Interventions to attenuate the negative effects of high intensity exercise on the performance of soccer skills (2011). Janet Strang Memorial Trust, Northampton, England.

Education/Academic qualification

PGCE, University of Northumbria

Award Date: 1 Jul 2014

PGCE, University of Northampton

Award Date: 1 Jul 2012

Doctor of Philosophy, Exercise Physiology, Swansea University

Award Date: 22 Jul 2011

Bachelor of Science, Sports Science, Swansea University

Award Date: 22 Jul 2007

REF 2029 UOA

  • UOA24 - Sport and Exercise Sciences, Leisure and Tourism


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