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 are focussed on athlete health and 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. I have conducted contracted research work with a variety of National and international funding and governing institutions such as the World Olympians Association, 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 Great Britain National Governing Bodies of Sport e.g. British Cycling, Swimming, Canoeing, Judo.

I am a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) medical and Scientific Research expert games group (London 2012, Sochi 2014, Rio 2016, PyeongChang 2018, Tokyo 2020), 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.




Advisory panels and expert committees or witness

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


Conference Activity

  • British Association of Sport and Exercise Medicine (BASEM) Annual conference
  • International Olympic Committee Prevention of Injury and Illness in Sport Conference
  • Osteoarthritis Research Society International (OARSI)


External Examining/Validations

  • PhD thesis examiner. Division of Exercise Science and Sports Medicine, University of Cape Town, South Africa. Nicola Sewry - The effectiveness and implementation of the BokSmart Safe Six Injury Prevention Programme
  • MSc thesis examiner. Oriel College, University of Oxford. Morgan Baynham - Self-reported Pain and Osteoarthritis of the Hip and Spine in Retired Elite Rowers


Fellowships and Awards

  • Associate Member
  • Honorary Assistant Professor


Invited Speaker

  • PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Games NOC Chief Medical Officer medical meeting
  • 9th International Sport Science and Sports Medicine Conference
  • 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.
  • 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)
  • 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)


Media Activity

  • World Olympians Association retired Olympian musculoskeletal health study (ROMHS) BBC Sport
  • World Olympians Association Retired Olympian Musculoskeletal Health Study
  • Retired Olympians Musculoskeletal Health Study (ROMHS)
  • Enduro World Series
  • 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.



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


Current Post Grad projects

Non-Napier PhD or MSc by Research supervisions

  • Injury and Osteoarthritis in Great Britain Olympians (PhD student)