Personal profile


Professor Grant Jarvie  MA, PhD, PhD (Honorary) is Chair of Sport, Founding Director of the Academy of Sport at the University of Edinburgh and Visiting Research Professor at the University of Toronto. 

 Throughout his career, to date, in Higher Education (Acting University Principal, Vice-Principal, Faculty Head, 3 established Chairs) and the Sports Industry, Grant has worked across diverse cultural and commercial environments forging a reputation as an effective international Government Advisor and leader with the ability to navigate and influence key stakeholders at the highest level of authority.

 A highly versatile international engagement professional, involved with numerous organisations committed to social change, tackling inequality and interventions designed to enhance life chances of marginalised groups.

 A primary focus has been to establish sport and education as the vehicle for delivery of those commitments and as an effective social and economic tool to champion the development of human capabilities, cities and opportunities.

 Professor Jarvie’s portfolio’s and core areas of expertise have included Social Responsibility and Community Engagement- Learning and Teaching- Stakeholder Management - Change Management – Philanthropy and Fund Raising – Leadership- International Engagement and Management – Local Government – Research and Analysis - Sport- Education – Strategic Insight and Direction- Technology and Innovation.

 To date his key achievements have included:  

  • The creation of Scotland’s University for Sporting Excellence
  • Co-creation of the first National Para Football Association
  • Widening access to Higher Education
  • The creation of the first ESRC research council recognised centre for sports research
  • Assisting with the strategic delivery of the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games 
  • Being part of the senior management team helping to deliver Scotland’s University of the Year
  • Being appointed Vice-Convener of the Iona Community Council,
  • Chair of East Renfrewshire Culture, Leisure and Sport Trust
  • Commonwealth Secretariat Policy Advisor
  • Being awarded the Glenfiddich Literary Award for Highland Games the Making of the Myth (Edinburgh University Press) and an Honorary Doctorate for forging International Engagement through education and sport
  • Holding two Ministerial appointments.

His research has generated questions in both Scottish and other parliaments and income generation to date has exceeded £16 million.He was invited to deliver the Scottish Development International Thought Leadership Seminars in Singapore and Toronto.

He has published some 160 articles, reports and books including most recently The Jarvie Report on the Scottish Sporting Landscape (Scottish Governement); Sport, Culture and Society (Routledge); Sport, Physical Education and Social Justice (Routledge). In 2021 he served as an international advisor to the Welsh Government  and British Council (Wales) ground breaking report on international sports diplomacy and worked with the 54 countries of the Commonwealth to deliver a prgramme designed to upskill the capabilities of Ministers and Ministries to deliver on the sustainable development goals. 

 External Boards and Committees have included:

  • East Renfrewshire Leisure, Culture and Sport Trust, Chair
  • Iona Community Council, Vice Convener
  • Hibernian Women Football Ltd- independent Trustee and Director 
  • National Sports Council for Scotland Board Member, Director and Chair
  • National Sports Council for Scotland Finance and Audit Committee
  • Prince Albert Foundation
  • QAA Scotland, Board Member
  • UK Research Assessment Exercise Board Member (twice)
  • Scottish Football Association Equality and Diversity Board
  • Scottish Para Football Association Board
  • Universities Scotland -Main Committee Member
  • University Principal Executive Group

 Born in Motherwell Scotland, educated at the Universities of Exeter, Queen's and Leicester Grant comes from an international sporting family.  

Current Research Interests

Areas of Specialist Interest:


  • Sport;
  • Political Economy;
  • Highlands and Islands


Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of the University, National Taiwan University

Award Date: 1 Jan 2009

Doctor of Social Science, University of Leicester

Award Date: 1 Jan 1988

Master of Arts, Queen's University, Canada

Award Date: 1 Jan 1982

Bachelor of Education, University of Exeter

Award Date: 1 Jan 1979

External positions

Vice-Convener Iona Community Council

1 Mar 2020 → …

Board Member Hibernian Women's Football Club Ltd

1 Jan 2020 → …

Board Member , Scottish Football Association

20 Feb 2017 → …

Chair of Board , East Renfrewshire Leisure and Culture Trust

25 Feb 2015 → …

Board Member, Sportscotland - The National Sports Agency

9 Jan 20092 Dec 2016

Board Member, Scottish Sports Hall of Fame

14 Mar 20041 Nov 2016

College Research Themes

  • Data & Digital
  • Work & Economy
  • Future Cities
  • Governance & Democracy
  • Health & Wellbeing
  • Childhood & Youth


Dive into the research topics where Grant Jarvie is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
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