Dr Mustafa Sarkar is a Lecturer / Senior Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Psychology and teaches across the undergraduate and postgraduate degree programmes. He is Module Leader for Advanced Topics in Sport and Exercise Psychology as well as contributing to several other modules across the undergraduate curriculum (e.g., Introduction to Research). He is also the Module Leader for the postgraduate module Current Issues in Sport and Exercise Psychology (MRes Sport and Exercise Psychology).
Dr Sarkar joined the Sport Science Academic Team at Nottingham Trent University in September 2015. He graduated from Loughborough University in 2008 with a first-class honours degree in Sport and Exercise Science. He went on to complete a Postgraduate Diploma in Psychology (with distinction) from Middlesex University to achieve Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) with the British Psychological Society (BPS).
In October 2009, he returned to Loughborough University and gained a distinction on the MSc Psychology of Sport and Exercise programme. Following this, in 2014, under the guidance of Dr David Fletcher at Loughborough University, he gained his PhD which investigated the assessment of psychological resilience in sport performers.
Before arriving at Nottingham Trent University, Dr Sarkar served a post-doctoral role at the University of Gloucestershire. Specifically, he spent two years as a Research Fellow in Sport, Exercise and Wellbeing working within the School of Sport and Exercise, across the Faculty of Applied Sciences (psychological sciences subject group), and with external partners to develop the Faculty's research profile in related areas.
Dr Sarkar is a member of the Sport, Health, and Performance Enhancement (SHAPE) research group.
His research focuses on the psychology of sporting excellence and its application to other high performance domains (e.g., business). His work addresses how high achievers thrive on pressure and deliver sustained success, and clusters around the following themes:
- Psychological and team resilience
- Growth and thriving
- Sport psychology consultancy
Current PhD students:
- Mr Craig Strong (Nottingham Trent University)
- Mr Hamad Altayyar (Nottingham Trent University)
- Mr Paul Morgan (Loughborough University)
Opportunities to carry out postgraduate research towards an MPhil / PhD exist and further information may be obtained from the NTU Graduate School.
Consultancy and Enterprise
Dr Sarkar works closely with organisations on creating environments and cultures that enable high performance, including WorldSkills UK; Loughborough Sport; British Triathlon; the England and Wales Cricket Board; the National Health Service; and the Youth Sport Trust. He is regularly interviewed about sport psychology-related topics on national and local television and radio.
Editorial Positions and Journal Reviewing
- Frontiers in Psychology (Movement Science and Sport Psychology): Review Editor (March 2016 – present)
- Case Studies in Sport and Exercise Psychology: Editorial Board Member (January 2016 – present)
- Journal of Applied Case Studies in Sport and Exercise Science (Psychology Section): Associate Editor (January 2014 – present)
- Journal of Sport Psychology in Action: Student Representative (December 2011 – December 2013)
Dr Sarkar referees for a number of internationally-recognised journals, including Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, Psychology of Sport and Exercise, Sport, Exercise, and Performance Psychology, and Journal of Applied Sport Psychology.
Membership of Professional Bodies
- British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES)
- British Psychological Society (BPS)
- Association for Applied Sport Psychology (AASP)
- International Association of Applied Psychology (IAAP)
Awards and Prizes
- AASP Doctoral Dissertation Award (June 2016)
- BPS Division of Sport and Exercise Psychology PhD Award (August 2015)
- Podium medallist for the “Award for Outstanding Sporting Project” (March 2012)
- AASP Master’s Thesis Award (June 2011)
- BASES Master’s Dissertation of the Year Award (February 2011)
- Head of School Postgraduate Prize for Academic Excellence (November 2010)
- Sir Robert Martin Faculty Prize (June 2010)
- Xcel Sports Student of the Year (January 2010)
Sponsors and collaborators
Current and recent research is being / has been conducted with the collaboration of:
- Dr David Fletcher (Loughborough University, UK)
- Professor Andrew Parker, Professor Diane Crone, and Dr Lee Moore (University of Gloucestershire, UK)
- Dr Rachel Arnold and Dr Thomas Curran (University of Bath, UK)
- Dr Chris Wagstaff and Dr Denise Hill (University of Portsmouth, UK)
- Professor Cary Cooper (University of Manchester, UK)
- Professor Ivan Robertson (Robertson Cooper Ltd, UK)
- Dr Katrien Fransen (University of Leuven, Belgium)
- Dr Luc Martin (Queen’s University, Canada)
Research funding includes:
- Developing excellence in elite sport: The dual role of psychological characteristics and the sporting environment. M Sarkar, C Saward, and J Johnston, Nottingham Trent University (2015), £1,953
- Does psychological resilience predict sports performance under pressure? M Sarkar and LJ Moore, Association for Applied Sport Psychology (2015), $1,750
- Evaluation of the Health Education North West (HENW) Mental Health First Aid Programme. D Crone, M Sarkar, T Dickson and T Curran, Health Education North West (2015), £6,552
- ESPN’s Greatest Sporting City 2015. A Parker, M Sarkar, T Curran and S Williams, ESPN (2015), £24,936
- Self-determination theory and young people. D Hill, M Sarkar, A Navin, J Côté and A Parker, Sports Coach UK (2015), £6,084
- Evaluating the impact of neighbourhood support and timebanking on older adults’ wellbeing and resilience. A Parker, P Courtney, M Sarkar and K Kubinakova, Fair Shares (2015), £9,980
- Evaluation of Mental Health First Aid for the Armed Forces. D Crone, A Parker, T Curran, M Sarkar, E Loughren and C Baker, Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Families Association (SSAFA), (2014), £48,662.
Resilience training in the workplace from 2003-2014: A systematic review. Robertson I, Cooper CL, Sarkar M and Curran T, Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 2015, 88, (3), 533-562
What doesn’t kill me . . . Adversity-related experiences are vital in the development of superior Olympic performance.Sarkar M, Fletcher D and Brown DJ, Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 2015, 18, 475-479
Preparing athletes and teams for the Olympic Games: Experiences and lessons learned from the world’s best sport psychologists. Arnold RS and Sarkar M, International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 2015, 13, 4-20
Understanding team resilience in the world’s best athletes: A case study of a rugby union world cup winning team. Morgan PBC, Fletcher D and Sarkar M, Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 2015, 16, 91-100
Psychological resilience in sport performers: A review of stressors and protective factors. Sarkar M and Fletcher D, Journal of Sports Sciences, 2014, 32, 1419-1434
Ordinary magic, extraordinary performance: Psychological resilience and thriving in high achievers. Sarkar M and Fletcher D, Sport, Exercise, and Performance Psychology, 2014, 3, 46-60
Psychological resilience: A review and critique of definitions, concepts and theory. Fletcher D and Sarkar M, European Psychologist, 2013, 18, 12-23
A grounded theory of psychological resilience in Olympic champions. Fletcher D and Sarkar M, Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 2012, 13, 669-678See all of Mustafa Sarkar's publications...
- Psychology of performance excellence
- Resilience in athletes and teams
- How high achievers thrive on pressure