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Prof David James

Dean of Academic Development

David's area of responsibility is leadership for Academic Development across the University. David is the Executive lead for development and implementation of the Academic Strategy, including learning & teaching and research, and Libraries, Information & Technology, and Sustainability. Chevron icon


David had roles in performance sport, including physiological support for a British Olympic Team for the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games which exposed athletes to the most extreme heat stress of any modern Olympiad. He was an elite athlete himself, competing in three Junior World Championships.

David has expertise in factors limiting endurance performance, with a particular interest in cardiovascular and respiratory factors. Exercise training, and the acute response following a single bout of exercise, was the topic of his doctoral work, leading to further cardiovascular control research with health and sports training applications. Most recently, David’s research has focused on observational approaches contributing to improved understanding of the efficacy of public health interventions.

Teaching & Research


In seeking to understand the efficacy of public health interventions, experimental approaches have limitations. Good insight is gained from observational evaluation of ‘real’ interventions, including process as well as outcome evaluation. Currently, research is underway to evaluate at scale the efficacy of the ‘prescription’ of art for health & wellbeing, building on expertise in evaluating the ‘prescription’ of exercise for health. This study is the largest of its type in the world, and forms evidence for ongoing widespread use of similar interventions. Research is also planned to evaluate the efficacy of nature-based ‘prescriptions’, given the growing use of such interventions.


More publications from Prof David James can be found in the Research Repository.

External responsibilities

Reviewer for several academic journals Regular media contributions (broadcast and print)

Subject for media interview

Higher Education Policy

Sport & Exercise Science

Physical Activity & Public Health

Exercise Physiology

Exercise & Sport Training

Professional positions

Trustee of the Janet Trotter Trust

External examining

External examiner and advisor