Professor Neil Armstrong, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (External Affairs)

Professor Neil Armstrong, Provost


Professor Neil Armstrong PhD, DSc, LLD, ScD.

Neil Armstrong is Professor of Paediatric Physiology. He graduated from Loughborough University with BEd and MSc degrees and earned his PhD and higher doctorate (DSc) at the University of Exeter. He has received honorary doctorates from the University of Coimbra (ScD) and Brock University (LLD). He served as Head of the School of Postgraduate Medicine and Health Sciences before establishing the School of Sport and Health Sciences and acting as its first Head. He was appointed Deputy Vice-Chancellor in 2005 and served as Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor until he was appointed the University’s Inaugural Provost in 2014.

Neil has authored/edited 15 books, contributed 86 book chapters, and published over 200 peer-reviewed papers on paediatric physiology. He has been invited to make keynote presentations in 44 countries and he has authored 600 papers to international and national conferences. Neil’s research has been featured internationally in over 300 television and radio programmes and has generated questions in both Houses of Parliament. Neil has been invited to address Members of Parliament at the House of Commons on several occasions, Ministers of Education and of Sport have invited him to private audiences in the Palace of Westminster and he was invited to a private audience with Prince Philip at Buckingham Palace to discuss the implications of his research for children’s health and well-being. Professor Armstrong’s research won the first (and to date only) Queen's Anniversary Prize for Higher Education to be awarded for research in sports medicine. The Prize, awarded for ‘world class work which is of outstanding quality and importance to the nation’, was presented by the Queen at Buckingham Palace.

Neil chaired the Sport Sciences Panel in the first two UK Research Assessment Exercises and he is a former Chair (twice) of the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES) and a former President of the Physical Education Association (PEAUK). As the Minister of Sport’s nominee he served two terms as Chair of South West Sport. Neil led the physiology team in the development of the International Olympic Committee (IOC)’s guidelines for training elite young athletes and he was a core member of the IOC Youth Strategy Group which developed guidelines for the fitness and health of children through sport. He has chaired European Pediatric Work Physiology (PWP) since 2005. Locally he chaired the South West Region Olympics 2012 Legacy Project and the Devon Physical Activity Task Force. He is President of the Regional United Nations Association.

An active sportsman in his youth, Neil represented England at under15, under18 and University level and played professional football for 10 years. He remains a dedicated and optimistic supporter of Newcastle United despite the fact that they have not won a domestic trophy since 1955.

Contact: Abi Wooding (Executive PA)