Dr Adam Benkwitz is Head of Sport and Health and Social Care at Newman University. He is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA), an Honorary Researcher with the Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Foundation Trust (BSMHFT), and a member of the International Sociology of Sport Association (ISSA) and the British Sociological Association (BSA). Adam joined Newman in January 2015, having previously lectured at the University of Cumbria and the University of Worcester. He completed his sociology doctorate at the University of Worcester, and acts as a reviewer for the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), the International Journal of the History of Sport (IJHS) and the Higher Education Academy (HEA). He currently works on a range of research projects with partners including Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Foundation Trust (BSMHFT), Aston Villa Football Club Foundation, Birmingham MIND, Birmingham and Solihull Recovery College (for which he is Chair of the Advisory Group), Sport Birmingham, Birmingham County FA, as well as colleagues at numerous other HEIs. He currently supervises four PhD students, and he has been involved in numerous staff/student projects relating to student engagement, mentoring and enhancing the student experience via learner analytics.
Adam’s role as Head of Subject includes a range of responsibilities within the Faculty, in addition to the Institutional roles of Vice-Chair of Newman Health and Wellbeing Advisory Board, sitting on the Learner Analytics Steering Group, the Mitigating Circumstances Panel, the Timetabling Steering Group, and being part of the Mental Health First Aider programme.
Adam teaches and leads modules across undergraduate and postgraduate level, and also leads sessions on Newman’s doctoral student research programme.
His main areas of interest are mental health and sport; mental health and personal recovery; and the sociology of sport and health; in addition interests in student engagement and learner analytics; and the study of sport fandom.
Membership of Professional Organisations
Adam also acts a PhD supervisor for the following:
Leadership or involvement in the following funded projects:
£34,579 – Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Foundation Trust (BSMHFT) – Research Evaluation of the BSMHFT Recovery College, November 2015-September 2019.
£96,055 – Collaborative development of pedagogic interventions based on learning analytics, HEFCE Catalyst Fund: Innovations in learning and teaching, and addressing barriers to student success, December 2016-March 2018.
£2,500 – Academic Development Fund (School of Human Sciences), Evaluation of Football for Mental Health Service, in partnership with Aston Villa Football Club Foundation, November 2016-June 2017.
£852 – Vice-Chancellor’s Excellence Award / HEA Funded Student / Staff Partnership – Student mentoring Project, January 2015-June 2016.
£845 – Academic Practice Unit – Student / Staff Partnership – Student Peer Mentoring Project, December 2016-June 2017.
£1,154 – HEFCE Funded Learning Analytics Project (Using Student Engagement Data) – Phase One, February 2017-June 2017.
£2,305 – Academic Development Project Fund (Faculty of Arts, Society and Professional Studies), Student Mentoring in a Mental Health and Football Project, in partnership with Aston Villa Football Club Foundation, October 2017-June 2018.
Conferences and Other Research Activity
Benkwitz, A. (2017) Mental Health and Sport: Reflecting on an Ethnographic Study of ‘Football Therapy’ Sessions in the National Health Service (NHS) in Birmingham, UK. The European Conference on Mental Health (ECMH), Berlin, Germany, 4th-6th October 2017.
Benkwitz, A., Hunter, H., and Ridge-Stearn, J. (2017) ‘Student peer mentoring: reflecting on on-going projects and seeking to inform learning and teaching practice’. Learning and Teaching Conference, Newman University, 20th January 2017.
Benkwitz, A. (2016) ‘Mental Health and Physical Activity: An Ethnographic Study of Football Sessions in Birmingham’. The 5th International Qualitative Research in Sport and Exercise Conference (QRSE), at Chichester University, 1-3rd September 2016.
Clark, J., and Benkwitz, A. (2016) ‘The Development of the Birmingham Recovery College for Mental Health’. The Conference for the Launch of the ‘Mental Health Research and Innovation Hub’ at the National Centre for Mental Health, Birmingham, 23rd February 2016.
Benkwitz, A. (2014) ‘Reflecting on the Benefits and ‘Perils’ of Ethnography’. The 4th Annual International Qualitative Research in Sport and Exercise Conference (QRSE), at Loughborough University, 1-3rd September 2014.
Benkwitz, A. (2014) ‘Reflecting on the Benefits and ‘Perils’ of Ethnography’. University of Cumbria’s Research and Enterprise Conference, 4th July 2014.
Benkwitz, A. (2014) ‘Conflict and Rivalry between Football Fans in the City of Birmingham: Using Ethnography to Explore Territoriality’. University of Bergamo’s (Italy) Etnografia e Ricerca Qualitativa, 5-7th June 2014.
Benkwitz, A. (2013) ‘Football Fan Rivalry in Birmingham’. University of Salford’s Tri-University Symposium on ‘Conflict Studies’, 25th April 2013.
Benkwitz, A. (2012) ‘Factors that underpin Football Fan Rivalry in Birmingham’. University of Cumbria’s Research and Scholarship Conference, 6th July 2012.
Benkwitz, A. (2012) ‘’The City is Ours’: Football Fan Rivalry, Space and Territory in Birmingham’. Liverpool Hope University’s Sport, Conflict and Reconciliation Conference, 28th April 2012.
Benkwitz, A. (2011) ‘Football Fan Rivalry and Territory in Birmingham’. University of Central Lancashire’s Post Graduate Research Forum, 9th September 2011.
Benkwitz, A. (2010) ‘Football Fan Rivalries: An Overview’. Loughborough University’s Sociology of Sport Post Graduate Research Forum, 3rd September 2010.
Benkwitz, A. (2010) ‘Theoretical and Methodological Concerns when Studying Football Rivalries’. University of Gloucestershire’s Post Graduate Research Forum, 11th May 2010.
Benkwitz, A. (2010) ‘Understanding Rivalry in Sport’. University of Worcester’s Sport, Media, Tourism and Culture Conference, 24th March 2010.
Benkwitz, A. (2016) The Perils of Ethnography: Studying Football Fan Rivalry in Birmingham. In: Purdy, L., and Molnar, G. Ethnographies in Sport and Exercise Research. London, Routledge, pp. 141-154.
Benkwitz, A., and Molnar, G. (2016) The Emergence and Development of Association Football: Influential Sociocultural Factors in Victorian Birmingham. Soccer and Society. DOI:10.1080/14660970.2015.1133409.
Miller, P., and Benkwitz, A. (2016) Where the Action is: Towards a Discursive Psychology of “Authentic” Identity in Soccer Fandom. Psychology of Sport and Exercise. 23(1), 40-50.
Benkwitz, A. (2016) Brief Encounters with Qualitative Methods in Health Research: Ethnography. Cumbria Partnership Journal of Research, Practice and Learning, 5(1), 3-7. Accessed from: https://www.cumbriapartnership.nhs.uk/health-professionals/the-journal/volume-5-issue-1-summer-2016
Benkwitz, A. (2015) A Social History of Tennis in Britain [Review]. The International Journal of the History of Sport, 32(9), 1220-1221, DOI:10.1080/09523367.2015.1040611.
Benkwitz, A. (Forthcoming) A Qualitative Approach to Mental Health and Physical Activity: A Rationale for an Ethnographic Study. Mental Health and Physical Activity.
Benkwitz, A., and Molnar, G. (2012) Interpreting and Exploring Football Fan Rivalries: An Overview. Soccer and Society, 13(4), 479-494.