Dr Sam Elliott

Senior Lecturer

College of Education, Psychology and Social Work

place Education (5.19)
GPO Box 2100, Adelaide 5001, South Australia

Sam is an award-winning researcher and senior lecturer at Flinders University. He is a leading authority in the field of sport parenting, participation and retention, and psychosocial outcomes in youth sport. Sam has presented his work internationally in Australia, China, the UK, Canada and the US, published 41 research outputs, and attained >$600k in combined external grants, tenders and consultancies. Sam is an active member of the Sport, Health, Activity, Performance and Exercise (SHAPE) Research Centre and invited a reviewer for 19 international journals.

He is a versatile research leader, representing Flinders at the Australian Academy of Science Falling Walls Lab Australia and in the global award-winning series, Raising the Bar. Sam has received a number of prestigious awards including the VC Award for Early Career Research, the World Congress on Science and Football Best Research Paper by Code (AFL) Award, the Inclusion and Diversity in Sport Conference Champion of Inclusion Award, and the Universities Australia Award for the Pitch it clever competition. Sam is also creator and co-host of Beyond the Club – a podcast for making community sport more knowledgeable, agile and responsive.

At the postgraduate level, Sam is the coordinator of Higher Degree Research (HDR) in Education and the Graduate Diploma of Research Methods (GDRM). He is also supervisor of six PhD students and one Honours student in his Children and Youth Sport Research (CHAYSR) lab. At the undergraduate level, he is the topic coordinator of three topics in sport psychology and sport coaching. Sam has received the Vice Chancellor's Award for Innovation in Teaching and consecutive College Excellence in Teaching Awards.

Sam is a highly sought-after speaker and consultant and has worked with Sport Australia, Football Federation Australia, the Office for Recreation, Sport and Racing (SA) as well as state sporting organisations SANFL, Netball SA, Swimming SA, and Tennis SA.

  • 2014 PhD
  • 2011 Bachelor of Education Honours (1A)

  • 2010 Bachelor of Health Science/Bachelor of Education (Middle & Secondary)
Honours, awards and grants

Research Awards


  • Finalist, Falling Walls Lab Australia (Canberra)
  • Winner: College of Education, Psychology and Social Work Excellence in Teaching Award $3000
  • Winner: World Congress on Science and Football Best Research Paper by code (AFL) $250
  • Winner: Universities Australia Award Pitch It Clever Competition $1000


  • Winner: Flinders University's Vice Chancellor's Award for Early Career Researchers $2500
  • Winner: 6th International Qualitative Research in Sport and Exercise Conference 5 minute challenge
  • Winner: inaugural Inclusion and Diversity in Sport Conference Champion of Inclusion Award $500

Teaching Awards


  • Winner: Vice-Chancellor’s Innovation in Teaching Awards
  • Winner: College of Education, Psychology and Social Work Teaching Excellence Award


  • Winner College of Education, Psychology and Social Work Teaching Excellence Award

External grants and consultancies


  • ORSR Partnership Grant Scheme. The sport research podcast ($122,700)
  • ORSR-Flinders Innovative Partnership Seed Grant. The sport parent project ($50,000)
  • Freemason’s Centre for Men’s Health and Wellbeing Grant. Masculinity and mental health: shaping the attitudes, behaviours and education of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men through sport ($120,000)
  • Breakthrough Mental Health Research Foundation-Órama Institute Seed Funding Grant. "It takes a village to raise a child”: Developing mental health fitness in contemporary youth through community sport using a whole club – village – approach ($30,000)


  • Breakthrough Mental Health Research Foundation Health Seed Grant. Level Playing Field: Young Males, Masculinity and Mental Wellbeing through Sport ($21,376)
  • Netball SA/ORSR Grant: The Promotion and Engagement of Contemporary Sports for Girls and Young Women: Implications for Participation ($57,000)
  • Football Federation Australia's ALDI MiniRoos sport parenting project ($18,775)

  • Inclusive Sport South Australia Tender. LGBTIQ+ and South Australian sport ($40,000)

  • ORSR Grant. Pathways to Participation for Girls and Women in Sport ($55,000)
Key responsibilities
  • Higher Degree Research Coordinator (Education) (2021-present)
  • Graduate Diploma of Research Methods Coordinator (2021-present)
  • Invited committee member, Sammy D Foundation (2020-present)
  • BLISS Science and Innovation Committee (South Australia) (2020)

  • BSHPA Academic Programs Committee CEPSW representative (2018-2020)

  • Invited member of the ACHPER National Academic Reference Group (2017-present)
  • Invited member of the Australian Sports Commission's PGAG Advisory Group (2016-17)
Topic coordinator
HLPE2300 Foundations of Sport Psychology
HLPE3534 Introduction to Sport Coaching, Management and Administration
HLPE1531 Inclusive and Adaptive Practices in Sport and Physical Education
Supervisory interests
Athlete development
Australian football
Community sport
Parental behaviour in youth sport
Psychology of sport participation and performance
Qualitative research methods
Social issues in youth sport
Sport coaching
Think Aloud methods
Youth sport
Higher degree by research supervision
Principal supervisor: Injury and social support in female Australian football (1), Sporting clubs of the future (1), Veteran families and sport (1)
Associate supervisor: Sport and physical activity in low SES communities (1), Assessment in Physical Education (1), Sport and mental health
Higher degree by research student achievements
Reuben Smith

Society of Medical and Biological Engineering Award SA - OCT 2018

Expert for media contact
Optimal athlete development
Parental behaviour in youth sport
Social issues in sport
Youth sport participation and engagement
Available for contact via
Or contact the media team
+61 8 82012092
0427 398 713