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Dr Melissa Fothergill

Assistant Professor

Department: Psychology

Melissa is a Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) Registered and BPS Chartered Sport and Exercise Psychologist. Melissa joined the Department of Psychology in Summer 2022 as an Assistant Professor in Sport and Exercise Psychology. Melissa has held previous academic appointments in the Department of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation at Northumbria and as a Degree Programme Director (DPD) in the School of Psychology at Newcastle University.

Melissa completed her PhD in the Department of Psychology at Northumbria University in 2010.  In her doctoral work she examined the role of testosterone and cortisol in the home advantage in football players and she also investigated professional managers’, players’, referees’ and fans’ perceptions of the home advantage. Melissa continues to conduct research which has an applied focus, examining the psychological factors attributed to understanding and optimising sport performance. She is also interested in evaluating the impact of sport and physical activity participation on psychological wellbeing across the lifespan and has received industry funding to investigate some of these areas.

Melissa is involved in applied sport psychology consultancy, and has worked with regional and elite performance squads across several sports. Melissa spent eight seasons as Newcastle United Academy’s Sport Psychologist supporting the U9-U23 squads alongside the Academy coaches and parents.  She has previously provided support to Sunderland AFC Academy, Newcastle United Foundation, Special Olympics Gateshead, British Athletics AASE athletes and the England Athletics local coach development programme. 


Melissa Fothergill

  • Please visit the Pure Research Information Portal for further information
  • Testosterone and cortisol: Hormone reactivity as it relates to playing venue in male academy soccer players, Fothergill, M., Wilkie, S., Moss, M., Wolfson, S. 10 Jun 2024, In: Journal of Sport Behavior
  • The Beautiful Game Bringing Families Together: Children’s and Parents’ Experiences of a Family Football Programme, Fothergill, M., Gill, G., Graham, P. 1 Feb 2024, In: Health Promotion International
  • Food insecurity, poor dietary intake and a lack of free meal uptake amongst 16–17-year-old college students in the northeast of England, UK, Graham, P., Haskell-Ramsey, C., Fothergill, M., Young, J. 1 May 2023, In: Children and Society
  • “We’re All the Same and We Love Football.” Experiences of Players and Facilitators Regarding a Collaborative, Inclusive Football Program Between Academy and Special Olympics Footballers, Fothergill, M., Baik, D., Slater, H., Graham, P. 1 Oct 2023, In: Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly
  • Adapting an evidence-supported optimization program for mental health and sport performance in collegiate athletes to fit youth from ethnic/racial minority and low-income neighborhoods: A National Institutes of Health stage model feasibility study, Donohue, B., Phrathep, D., Stucki, K., Kowal, I., Breslin, G., Cohen, M., White, S., Jefferson, L., White, T., Irvin, J., Reese, G., Kessler, F., Kieslich da Silva, A., Gabriel Santos da Silva, F., Fothergill, M., Robinson, G., Allen, H., Light, A., Allen, D. 1 May 2022, In: International Journal of Psychiatry in Medicine
  • The Effects of Low-Intensity Multimodal Proprioceptive Exercise on Cognitive Function in Older Adults, Boyle, S., Fothergill, M., Metcalfe, J., Docherty, S., Haskell-Ramsay, C. 1 Jan 2021, In: Journal of Physical Activity and Health
  • Effects of mindfulness practice on performance and factors related to performance in long-distance running: A systematic review, Corbally, L., Wilkinson, M., Fothergill, M. 1 Dec 2020, In: Journal of Clinical Sport Psychology
  • A Pedometer-Based Physically Active Learning Intervention: The Importance of Using Preintervention Physical Activity Categories to Assess Effectiveness, Morris, J., Daly-Smith, A., Defeyter, M., McKenna, J., Zwolinsky, S., Lloyd, S., Fothergill, M., Graham, P. 1 Aug 2019, In: Pediatric Exercise Science
  • ‘A really good balance’: Thematic analysis of stakeholders’ views on classroom- and games-based positive choices interventions for primary school children, McCullogh, N., Boyle, S., Fothergill, M., Defeyter, M. 9 Jul 2019, In: PLoS One
  • An Evaluation of a Pain Education Programme for Physiotherapists in Clinical Practice, Monaghan, J., Adams, N., Fothergill, M. 1 Mar 2018, In: Musculoskeletal Care

  • Please visit the Pure Research Information Portal for further information
  • Oral presentation: Food security and adolescent mental health 2022
  • Oral presentation: Food insecurity and poor food habits amongst college students in the North East of England 2020
  • Oral presentation: "Because we are coming here, it's making my life easier" Children's views on what difference holiday clubs make to them 2018

  • Philosophy PhD January 18 2010
  • Psychology PhD January 28 2007
  • Teaching & Learning PGCE November 30 2006
  • Sport BSc (Hons) June 30 2004
  • Full Member British Psychological Society (BPS) Division of Sport & Exercise Psychology 2022
  • Member British Psychological Society (BPS) Division of Sport & Exercise Psychology 2013
  • Practitioner Psychologist Health & Care Professional Council (HCPC) 2013
  • Student British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES) 2007

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