Dr Harley Jean Simpson


Faculty:Faculty of Science and Engineering

School:Psychology and Sport Science

Location: Cambridge

Research Supervision:Yes

Harley Jean’s main interests are Coaches’ Decision-Making, Research Methods, Coach Education/Learning and Pedagogy.  Her specialist area is in Sports Coaching, and she is driven by the curiosity of researching and balancing her role as a lecturer and researcher across higher education.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: Harleysimpson18


Before this, Harley Jean was based at the University of Worcester, completing her PhD on coaches’ decision-making, working on several projects associated with coaches decision-making within a team context. 

Research interests

  • Coach Decision-Making
  • Coach learning
  • Teaching and Learning
  • Coaching Pedagogy
  • Research Methods
  • Theology
  • Philosophy



  • University Teaching Fellow (UTF), Anglia Ruskin University (2023)
  • PGCert In Higher Education (2023)
  • PhD in coaches decision-making (2023)
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Research Methods (2020)
  • MSc in Sport Coaching Science (Distinction) (2020)
  • BSc (Hons) Sports Coaching and Physical Education (2018)

Memberships, editorial boards

  • Cluster for Research Into Coaching - CriC membership

Research grants, consultancy, knowledge exchange

  • Realising the hidden potential amongst first in family during their time in HE: blurring the boundaries between SES – Summer Research Student. Total: £1,526

Selected recent publications

Vinson, D., Simpson, H.-J. and Cale, A. (2022) ‘“I felt I’d lost myself – not really knowing who I was”: coach developer learning as negotiating identity through engagement, imagination and alignment’, Sport, Education and Society, pp. 1–17. doi:10.1080/13573322.2022.2038126

Recent presentations and conferences

Simpson, H-J., Timmis, Matthew., and Cavallerio, F. (2023) ‘The Famous Five’: Realising the hidden potential amongst first-in-family students. Higher Education Sport Conference, at Northumbria University. 

Simpson, H-J., Edwards, C., Vinson, D., and Cale, A. (2022) “You can stay now, you are trusted”: Navigating the researchers' space within qualitative fieldwork in sport coaching. Cluster for Research into Coaching Symposium, Liverpool, John Moores.

Vinson, D., Simpson, H-J., and Cale, A. (2021) “I felt I’d lost myself as a coach and not really knowing who I was”: Coach Developer learning as negotiating identity through engagement, imagination and alignment, International Council for Coaching Excellence 13th Global Coaches' Conference, Portugal, November.

Vinson, D., Cale, A., Morgan, M., Simpson, H-J., Richardson, S. J., and Harvey, S. (2021) ‘The Football Association and game-based approaches’, Teaching Games for Understanding Pre-Conference Virtual Symposium 2021, Online, 7th June

Images of Research

Public Choice Award - Simpson, H.J. (2019) ‘No two situations are ever the same’.