Alison Doherty, PhD


Room 2225C, 3M Ctr
519 661-2111 x88362 
Google Scholar


  • MPE, PhD (Ottawa)
  • BA (Western University)

Graduate Program Supervision

  • Management and Leadership MA | PhD

Research In Profile

Professor Alison Doherty’s research focuses broadly on the capacity and management of nonprofit and community-based organizations for safe and inclusive sport and physical activity. She is leading or involved in projects aimed at advancing recognition and reporting of concussion in the youth sport context, a safer sport culture in high performance sport, women and gender equity in sport leadership, and the integration of newcomers through organized sport. Professor Doherty engages in qualitative, quantitative and mixed-method approaches to research. Her work is framed by meaningful knowledge mobilization.

Featured Publications and Projects


Chapters and Reports

Articles in Peer-Reviewed Journals

  • Doherty, A., Millar, P., & Misener, K. (2020). Return to community sport: Leaning on evidence in turbulent times. Managing Sport and Leisure, 27(1-2), 1-7.
  • Doherty, A., & Cuskelly, G. (2020). Organizational capacity and performance of community sport clubs. Journal of Sport Management. 34(3), 240-259.
  • Doherty, A., & Patil, S. (2019). Reflections on major sport event volunteer legacy research. Journal of Policy Research in Tourism, Leisure and Events, 11(S1), s34-s42.

Visit Google Scholar for a comprehensive list of publications.

Current Grants and Research Projects

  • Pila, E., Sabiston, C., Doherty, A., Calogero, R., Hallward, L., Sandmeyer-Graves, A., & Maharaj, A. (2022-2025). Weight-inclusive approaches to physical activity for girls and women: Co-developing resources to change the physical activity landscape in Canada. SSHRC Partnership Development Grant, $185,200.
  • MacIntosh, E., Doherty, A., & Kerwin, S. (2021-2024). Creating a Safe Culture in Canadian High Performance Sport. SSHRC Insight Grant, $177,013.
  • Patil, S., & Doherty, A. (2021-2022). The Financial Wellbeing of National Team Women Athletes in Canada. Canadian Gender+ Equity in Sport Research Hub (E-Alliance) Seed Grant, $9,500.
  • Schlesinger, T., and colleagues (Alison Doherty, Western University, Associate Partner). (2019-2023). Integration of Newly Arrived Migrants through Organized Sport – From European Policy to Local Sports Club Practice, Erasmus+ Programme, European Commission, $573,400.
  • Doherty, A., Caron, J., Fischer, L., Gassewitz, D., Greenhow, A., Safai, P., Cowle, S., Misley, J., Riggin, B., Rowe, K., Sibbald, S., Tanenbaum, B., Watson, M., & Wicker, P. (2019-2024) An Integrated Model for Effective Youth Sport Concussion Management. SSHRC Partnership Development Grant, $199,970.

Featured Graduate Student Projects

Capacity for Sport for Development

  • Clutterbuck, Ryan (2018), PhD, Kinesiology.

Capacity Building in Community Sport Organizations

  • Millar, Patti (2015), PhD, Kinesiology.

Understanding the Volunteer Youth Coaching Environment: A Psychological Contract Perspective

  • Harman, Alanna (2013), PhD, Kinesiology.

Reflections on Return to Sport

  • Desmond, Rhys (2021), MA, Kinesiology.

Capacity for Change: Critical Factors in the Organizational Implementation of Gender Equity in Sport Initiatives

  • Patil, Swarali (2017), MA, Kinesiology.

Visit Scholarship@Western for a list of completed student theses and dissertations in the repository.

Additional Information

Academic Appointments and Research Affiliations

  • School of Kinesiology Research Chair (2021-23)
  • Sport Management at Western
  • Sport and Social Impact Research Group (SSIRG)
  • North American Society for Sport Management (NASSM)
  • Sport Management Association of Australi and New Zealand (SMAANZ)
  • European Association for Sport Management (EASM)
  • Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA)


  • Dr. Earle F. Zeigler Lecture Award, North American Society for Sport Management
  • Dr. Garth Paton Distinguished Service Award, North American Society for Sport Management
  • Research Fellow, North American Society for Sport Management
  • American Library Association CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title Award: Cunningham, G., Fink, J., & Doherty, A. (Eds.) (2016). Routledge handbook of theory in sport management. Oxford: Routledge.
  • Highly Cited Paper Award, Elsevier: Doherty, A. (2013). Investing in sport management: The value of good theory. Sport Management Review, 16(1), 5-11.
  • Keynote speaker EASM Conference (Bern, Switzerland) and SMAANZ Conference (Melbourne)

Professional Activities

  • Editorial Board Member, Journal of Sport Management, Sport Management Review
  • Board Member, Sport Information Resource Centre (SIRC)
  • Member (Inaugural) Canadian Women & Sport Impact Research Committee
  • International Visiting Scholar/Lecturer:
    • University of Minnesota
    • Bond University (Australia)
    • La Trobe University (Australia)
    • Norwegian School of Sport Sciences
    • German Sport University
    • Russian International Olympic University
    • Editor (2013-2016), Sport Management Review