Associate Professor Sam Elliott

Associate Professor

College of Education, Psychology and Social Work

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

Sam is an Associate Professor and leading authority in the field of sport parenting, participation and retention, and psychosocial outcomes in youth sport. He has been invited to present his work internationally in Australia, China, the UK, Canada, and the US.

He is a multiple-award winning academic including the prestigious SA Young Tall Poppy science award, Flinders VC Award for Early Career Research, the World Congress on Science and Football Best Research Paper by Code (AFL) Award, and the Universities Australia Award for the ‘Pitch it Clever’ competition. He has also received the Vice Chancellor's Award for Innovation in Teaching and consecutive College Excellence in Teaching Awards.

Sam is a science communication leader, representing Flinders at the Australian Academy of Science Falling Walls Lab Australia and in the global award-winning series, Raising the Bar. He is also the creator and co-host of Beyond the Club – Australia's leading science communication podcast for community sport.

At Flinders, he holds leadership positions as Higher Degree Research (HDR) advisor in Education and Sport, course coordinator of the Graduate Diploma of Research Methods (GDRM), and the Graduate Certificate of Sports Coaching. Sam also supervises 10 PhD students 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. He is also a member of the Flinders Institute for Mental Health and Wellbeing and the SHAPE Research Centre.

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

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

Research Awards

  • 2022 South Australian Young Tall Poppy Science Award
  • 2019 Falling Walls Lab Australia (Canberra) National Finalist
  • 2019 World Congress on Science and Football Best Research Paper by code (AFL)
  • 2019 Universities Australia Award Pitch It Clever Competition
  • 2019 Flinders University's Vice Chancellor's Award for Early Career Researchers
  • 2018 6th International Qualitative Research in Sport and Exercise Conference 5-minute challenge winner
  • 2018 Inclusion and Diversity in Sport Conference Champion of Inclusion Award

Teaching Awards

  • 2020 Vice-Chancellor’s Innovation in Teaching Award
  • 2020 College of Education, Psychology and Social Work Teaching Excellence Award
  • 2019 College of Education, Psychology and Social Work Teaching Excellence Award
Key responsibilities
  • Advisor, Higher Degree Research (Education and Sport) (2021-present)
  • Course Coordinator, Graduate Diploma of Research Methods (2021-present)
  • Course Coordinator, Graduate Certificate of Sports Coaching (commencing 2023)
  • Invited committee member, Sammy D Foundation (2020-2022)
  • Invited committee member, BLISS Science and Innovation (South Australia) (2020)

  • Invited committee member, BSHPA Academic Programs CEPSW representative (2018-2020)

  • Invited member, ACHPER National Academic Reference Group (2017-present)

  • Invited member, Australian Sports Commission's PGAG Advisory Group (2016-17)

  • Invited member, Flinders Institute for Mental Health and Wellbeing (2020-present)

  • Invited member, Sport, Health, Activity, Performance and Exercise (SHAPE) Research Centre (2014-present)

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
HLPE8002 Maximising Athlete Participation and Retention
HLPE8003 Optimising relationships in youth sport
Supervisory interests
Parental behaviour in youth sport
Qualitative research methods
Social issues in youth sport
Sport coaching
Youth sport
Higher degree by research supervision
Principal supervisor: Injury and social support in female Australian football (1), Sporting clubs of the future (1), Participation, retention and re-engagement in youth sport (1), sport parenting interventions (1)
Associate supervisor: Sport and physical activity in low SES communities (1), Assessment in Physical Education (1), Active adult sport participation (1), Psychological states in table tennis (1)
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