Accepting PhD Students

    PhD projects

    Projects in the area of: children's rights in sport; safeguarding and child and adult protection in sport; the lived experience of (child/adult) abuse; physical and emotional/psychological violence; gender-based violence and sexual harassment; eating disorders, overtraining and injury; youth sport policy implementation and evaluation.


    Research activity per year

    If you made any changes in Pure these will be visible here soon.

    Personal profile


    Melanie is Director of the Centre for Safeguarding and Child Protection in Sport (CPSS) and Reader in Child Protection in Sport at Edge Hill University. Her research and teaching focus on children's rights in sport, safeguarding and child protection and abuse prevention in sport, athlete welfare, and gender-based violence in sport. 

    Melanie regularly carries out consultancy for national sports organisations and safeguarding and child protection charities and sports bodies, and was UK lead on the Erasmus+-funded project ‘Child Abuse in Sport: European Statistics' (CASES) (2019-2021), the International Olympic Committee Advanced Research Grant Programme-funded project 'Athlete- and coach-led education for  teaching about abuse and neglect' (2020-2021), and the EACEA-funded project 'Gender-Based Violence in Sport' (2016-2017).

    She is a member of the Pool of European Experts on Safe Sport (EU) and the Research Chair in Security and Integrity in Sport (Laval University, Quebec, Canada) and serves as an ambassador for the UK child protection charity Freedom from Abuse. 

    Melanie works with national and international sports and coaching organisations, third-sector organisations and sport and safeguarding groups to deliver training CPD, research and evaluation. As well as publishing scientific articles, she is editor of three books: ‘The Routledge Handbook of Athlete Welfare’ (Routledge, 2021), ‘Safeguarding, Child Protection and Abuse in Sport: International Perspectives in Research, Policy and Practice’ (Routledge, 2015), and ‘Bullying and the Abuse of Power’ (Inter-Disciplinary Press, 2010).

    Melanie regularly appears in the national and international media as an expert speaker on safeguarding, child protection, and violence prevention issues in sport. She has delivered CPD training on children's rights and safeguarding and child protection in sport to policymakers, coaches, athletes and charitable organisations from the UK, China, Japan and Ghana and as part of the International Olympic Committee's Safeguarding in Sport Officer trainig programme. 

    Melanie's internals roles within Edge Hill University include acting as a supervisor and examiner of MRes and PhD candidates, chairing Posgraduate Research student vivas, serving as the Social Sciences department International Co-ordinator for study abroad schemes, and sitting on the institutional Social Sciences Research Ethics Committee. She was a Fellow of the Institute for Social Responsibility in 2021/22. 



    Research interests

    Children's rights in sport, especially participation or 'voice'

    Safeguarding, child protection and abuse prevention in sport

    Welfare and well-being of adult and child athletes

    Gender-based violence in sport (sexual harassment & sexual violence in sport)

    'Safe sport' policy implementation and evaluation

    Narrative methodology and pedagogy

    Ethnographic research

    Research ethics & conducting 'sensitive' research


    Melanie introduced some of the first teaching modules in the UK on child protection and children's rights in sport in her current and previous institutions. She teaches modules on a range of sociology and sociology of sport themes and is a supervisor to MRes and PhD students working in the areas of children's rights, safeguarding and child protection in sport and physical activity. 

    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
    • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
    • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

    Education/Academic qualification

    Academic Practice, PGCert, York St John University

    Award Date: 16 Jul 2010

    Sociology of Sport, PhD, Swimming in the Panopticon: An Exploration of Good Practice in Child Protection in British Swimming , Leeds Beckett University


    Award Date: 9 May 2009

    Sociology of Sport, MA, Sport, Leisure and Equity, Leeds Beckett University


    Award Date: 16 Jul 2005

    Modern Languages, BA, French and Linguistics, University of Sheffield

    Award Date: 27 Jun 1998

    Other positions

    Ambassador, Freedom from Abuse (charity)

    Jun 2020 → …

    Expert research member, Université Laval

    1 Oct 2019 → …

    Member of the UK Coaching Safeguarding Talented and Elite Children Expert Group


    Expert member of the Pool of European Experts on Sexual Violence in Sport

    2017Dec 2019

    Associate editor, International Journal of Sport and Health

    Jun 2014Jun 2015

    Associate editor, International Journal of Sport and Society

    Jun 2014Jun 2016

    Associate editor, Sports Pedagogy and Physical Education

    Jun 2014Jun 2015

    Member of the editorial board of the Irish Journal of Sociology


    Member of the Sport England/ NSPCC Child Protection in Sport Unit Research Evidence and Advisory Group

    2009 → …

    Editorial advisory board member, 'Network' - the British Sociological Association's member publication

    Sept 2008Jul 2015


    • H Social Sciences
    • sport, sociology, child protection, safeguarding, gender-based violence, athlete welfare, abuse
    • violence, maltreatment, gender-based violence
    • HM Sociology
    • H Social Sciences (General)
    • HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
    • GV Recreation Leisure

    Research Institutes

    • Institute for Social Responsibility

    Research Centres

    • Centre for Child Protection and Safeguarding in Sport
    • Centre for Social Responsibility


    Dive into the research topics where MELANIE LANG is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
    • 1 Similar Profiles

    Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

    Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or