Debbie Palmer

debbie palmer

Dr Debbie Palmer

Associate Professor


I am a lecturer in sports injury and illness epidemiology and prevention. My areas of research interest include elite athlete injury and illness prevention, as well as the longer term consequences of joint injury and osteoarthritis in both elite and general sporting population. For over 12 years I have conducted contracted research work with a variety of National funding and governing institutions such as the English Rugby Football Union (RFU), the Scottish Rugby Union (SRU), Arthritis Research UK, UK Sport, Enduro World Series (EWS) mountain biking, the English and Scottish Institutes of Sport, and a variety of Great Britain National Governing Bodies of Sport from British Cycling, Swimming and Canoeing to Short Track Speed Skating.

I am a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) medical and Scientific Research games group, working at the London 2012, Sochi 2014, and Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Most recently I am leading an international research collaboration for the World Olympians Association (WOA) retired athlete MSK heath study.

I am an Honorary Associate Member of the Arthritis Research UK Centre for Sport Exercise and Osteoarthritis, and Honorary Assistant Professor at the School of Medicine, University of Nottingham.



Invited Speaker

  • 8th Interdisciplinary World Congress on Low Back & Pelvic Pain – Dubai. Oct 2013. Methods for epidemiological study of lumbar spine injury and pain in Great Britain Olympic Sport: The Injury/Illness Performance Project (IIPP) (invited speaker) 
  • Sport and Exercise Medicine for London 2012,RSM, London.
  • World Congress on Sports Injury Prevention, Tromso Norway. Jun 2008 An epidemiological study of injuries within English academy and schools youth rugby union.
  • UK Sport World Class Performance Conference – Hindsight, Insight, Foresight - London. Collecting Information: The Injury/Illness Performance Project (invited speaker)
  • Home Country Institute annual meeting (England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland). The IIPP: In Games Surveillance (invited speaker)
  • International Conv on Science, Education and Medicine in Sport (ICSEMIS) – Glasgow Jul 2012 Symposium - UK Sport/EIS Injury/Illness Performance Project (IIPP): surveillance model. (invited speaker)
  • International Olympic Committee Prevention of Injury and Illness is Sport Conference – Monaco. The Injury/Illness Performance Project: Longitudinal surveillance in British Cycling, British Skeleton and British Short Track Speed Skating (posters)
  • Football Association (FA) Annual Medical Conference. Daventry. Jul 2010. Epidemiology of Football injuries (invited speaker)
  • Paralympic UK High Performance Medical Conference 2013 . London 2012 Olympic Surveillance Programme: data collection or real performance impact? (invited speaker)
  • Orthopaedic & Sport Medicine Annual Conference: Royal Society of Medicine, London. Nov 2010. Injury and Illness Prevention in Elite Athletes. (invited speaker)



  • Sport and Exercise Medicine PLOS one
  • British Journal of Sports Medicine
  • British Medical Journal online
  • International Journal of Sports Medicine
  • Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports


Media Activity

  • BBC radio Nottingham - Dessert Island Disks (May 2015)
  • BBC radio Nottingham - Sochi 2014 Olympic Games Injury/illness surveillance research with the International Olympic committee (Feb 2014)
  • BASES - The Sport and Exercise Scientist (Spring 2013, p24-25)
  • The Guardian: supplement – Elite athletes push the frontiers of pain (8th February 2013)
  • The Times: The road to 2012 – The system that can add insight to injury (2011)
  • Great Britain Olympians Injury and Osteoarthritis Study (2014); Inspire Arthritis Care Magazine.
  • Enduro World Series


Fellowships and Awards

  • Associate Member
  • Honorary Assistant Professor


Advisory panels and expert committees/witness

  • Member of the International Olympic Committee Medical and Science Research Group Games committee (London 2012; Sochi 2014; Rio 2016, PyeongChang 2018)


Current Post Grad projects

Non-Napier PhD supervisions

  • Injury and Osteoarthritis in Great Britain Olympians