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Dr Melanie Lang

Reader in Social Sciences

History, Geography & Social Sciences

Department: History, Geography & Social Sciences

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Melanie is Director of the Centre for Safeguarding and Child Protection in Sport (CPSS) and Reader in Child Protection in Sport at Edge Hill University. Her research and teaching focus on children’s (participation) rights in sport; safeguarding, child protection and abuse prevention in sport; and gender-based violence in sport. 

Melanie works with national and international sports and safeguarding organisations and policymakers. She is the only UK researcher to be a member of the Council of Europe’s ‘Pool of European Experts on Safe Sport’. Her research has been funded by Erasmus+ programme of the European Union, the International Olympic Committee Advanced Research Grant Programme, and the European Education and Culture Executive Agency, and she delivered a module on the IOC Safeguarding Officer in Sport progarmme. She is editor of three books: ‘The Routledge Handbook of Athlete Welfare’ (Routledge, 2021), ‘Safeguarding, Child Protection and Abuse in Sport: International Perspectives in Research, Policy and Practice’ (Routledge, 2015), and ‘Bullying and the Abuse of Power’ (Inter-Disciplinary Press, 2010).

Within Edge Hill University, she is the Social Sciences International Co-ordinator for study abroad schemes, sits on the institutional Social Sciences Research Ethics Committee, and is a Faculty Designated Safeguarding Officer. She was a Fellow of the Institute for Social Responsibility in 2021/22. 

Research Interests

Children’s rights in sport, especially participation or ‘voice’

Safeguarding, child protection and abuse prevention in sport

Welfare and well-being of adult and child athletes

Gender-based violence in sport (sexual harassment & sexual violence in sport)

‘Safe sport’ policy implementation and evaluation

Narrative methodology and pedagogy

Ethnographic research

Research ethics & conducting ‘sensitive’ research


Melanie has been teaching modules on safeguarding, child protection, and children’s rights in sport since 2005. She supervises MSc, MRes, and PhD students working in the areas of children’s rights, safeguarding, child protection, and gender-based violence prevention in sport.