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Professor Grant Jarvie

Chair of Sport - Head of Academy of Sport

Sport, Physical Education and Health Sciences (SPEHS)


Tel: +44 (0) 7729500769


St Leonard's Land (Rm 3.18)


Professor Grant Jarvie's inaugural lecture "Sport: More Than Just a Game" (on You Tube)

Professor Grant Jarvie MA, PhD, PhD (Honorary) is Chair of Sport at the University of Edinburgh where he is Head of the Academy of Sport. 

He is linked to the School of Education, the Academy of Government and the Centre for Cultural Relations.  

He has served as University Vice- Principal and Acting Principal holding key portfolio’s, leading on key strategies, attracting significant income and managing organisational change.

Grant has held visiting appointments at the University of Illinois, Warsaw University and the University of Toronto. He is an associate member of the Centre for Candian Studies. He has experience of leading in large international higher education institutions. 

He is currently Chair of the Sportscotland Trust Company with responsibility for thee National Centres. He has been responsible for budgets in excess of £100m. 

He has significant leadership experience in many universities, research centres, schools and departments both within the UK and internationally. 

A social scientist, Grant Jarvie has spent his career combining research and teaching into sport, education, health and international development while leading organisational change in higher education.

He is advisor to a number of governments (Scotland, United Kingdom, Montenegro, Romania, Portugal, Monaco, Malaysia, and Kenya) on key matters of policy and development. His research has generated questions in both Scottish and other parliaments and recent income generation has exceeded £15 million.

Professor Jarvie’s achievements have been widely recognised internationally. He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in recognition for his services to international collaboration and has worked with the Prince Albert Foundation to promote peace and reconciliation through sport. He continues to act as  an international advisor to UNESCO. 

He was invited to deliver the Scottish Development International Thought Leadership Seminar in Singapore in 2010 and in Toronto 2012.

Nationally he has served on two Research Assessment Exercise Panels; chaired cross local authority Chief Executive Groups; Universities Scotland committee’s; is a Board Member of the National Sports Agency- Sportscotland; the Scottish Sports Hall of Fame; the Quality Assurance Agency for Scotland; is a member of the David Hume Institute and has held Directorships of several companies.

He has a close working relationship with the work of the Iona Community with whom he is an associate member. 

Born in Scotland he comes from an international sporting family, led the development of Scotland’s University for Sporting Excellence and the Winning Students scholarship scheme, was awarded the Glen Fiddich Scottish Literary Award for his book Highland Games: The Making of the Myth and more recently Routledge have published Sport, Culture and Society (2012) and re-issued Class, Race and Sport in South Africa's Political Economy (2014). 

Principal interests

Areas of Specialist Interest:

  • Sport;
  • Higher Education Management; 
  • Highlands and Islands;
  • Political Economy; 

Research supervision

Projects supervised by Professor Grant Jarvie

Current and recent research


  • Trends in University Development
  • International Development and Sport as Diplomacy and Aid
  • Canadian Sports Policy: Lessons for Scotland
  • The Funding of Canadian Universities: Lessons for Scotland
  • Sport, Poverty and Homelessness 
  • Labour Migration of Kenyan and Ethiopian Athletes
  • Research Capacity Building in Romanian Universities



Publications list for Professor Grant Jarvie



  • Supervision of Phd and Msc research students 
  • Development of the first MOOC- Football More than a Game
  • Sport, Society and International Development MSc Unit 


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