Edinburgh–Bath collaboration awarded IOC Research Centre of Excellence status

New UKCCIIS partnership will focus on athlete health and injury prevention, drawing on long-standing research expertise at both institutions.

The IOC confirms new partnerships with 11 Global Research Centres specialising in athlete health and injury prevention.

The Edinburgh–Bath research Centre ⁠— named the UK Collaborating Centre on Injury and Illness Prevention in Sport (UKCCIIS) ⁠— is the newest of the eleven IOC research centres and will draw on extensive, specialist expertise at both institutions, as well as their long-standing track record for research that has helped to enhance athlete health and prevent injuries in sport.

The University of Edinburgh has internationally recognised expertise in Olympic athlete health research, sport and exercise medicine and orthopaedics. Its research has helped to inform clinical practice, and guide sport governing body injury and illness (e.g. Covid-19) prevention policy. Recent research includes projects with the World Olympians Association, World Rugby, the R&A, and IOC Medical and Scientific Department.

For over a decade, the University of Bath has been leading ground-breaking research to improve player safety in rugby. Major projects completed with England Rugby and World Rugby directly informed scrum law changes. Most recently, its development of the injury prevention programme, ‘Activate’, led to its global roll-out by World Rugby.

Connecting expertise

Athlete with trainer
Training at Edinburgh's Pleasance sports complex

The new Edinburgh–Bath IOC Research Centre will connect multidisciplinary expertise in academic and clinical teaching both nationally and internationally. It will cover themes including sports injury and illness prevention, sports and exercise medicine, and orthopaedics to help translate research into clinical practice.

Commenting on the announcement, IOC Research Centre Director, and sports injury specialist at The University of Edinburgh, Dr Debbie Palmer, said:

“We’re delighted to partner with colleagues in Bath in this new IOC Research Centre and look forward to building upon our current work and collaborations, both nationally and internationally.  Working together will help improve our understanding about current athlete health issues, provide new knowledge and deliver impactful research, that can translate to make a real-world difference. By working collectively, we will be better placed to protect athlete health.”