Research Assistant


Gary McEwan is a Research Assistant within the Physiotherapy Division at Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh. 


I am a Sport Scientist and Exercise Physiologist with a background that spans across research, teaching, and applied practice.  After graduating from Heriot-Watt University in 2012 with a BSc (Hons) in Sport and Exercise Science, I completed an MSc in Exercise Physiology at Loughborough University in 2014.  Following this, I completed an MRes at the University of the West of Scotland in collaboration with Oriam, Scotland’s National Performance Centre for Sport.  I have since completed a PhD at the same institution, this time part-funded by the Scottish Football Association, during which I sought to develop valid and reliable measurement tools to assist in the multidisciplinary testing and evaluation of football referees. 

I have also held several positions within both research and applied practice as a Research Assistant at the University of the West of Scotland, a Research Scientist at Oriam, and as an applied Sport Scientist within the academy at Heart of Midlothian Football Club.  I am also currently a Sport Scientist within the refereeing department at the Scottish Football Association and am responsible for the physical preparation and monitoring of its elite match officials; a position that I have held for the past six seasons.  In February 2022, I joined Queen Margaret University as a Research Assistant and I am currently exploring the feasibility and acceptability of frame running as an exercise option for people living with MS.     

Affiliations/Memberships to Other Organisations:

  • British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES)
  • The Physiological Society

Research Interests

My research interests currently lie within the utility of sport and exercise interventions for not only improving the performances of elite and recreational athletes, but also the general health and wellbeing of clinical populations.  In the context of sports performance, my previous work has explored the physiological and perceptual responses of high-intensity interval training incorporating self-selected recovery periods, the changes observed in markers of body composition of elite football players during pre-season, and the decision-making performances of football referees in relation to markers of internal and external load.  From the standpoint of sport and exercise for health, I have previously delivered a pilot feasibility study investigating the impact of walking football on measures of physiological and psychological wellbeing amongst at-risk older males.  Meanwhile, I am currently delivering a pilot feasibility study funded by the MS Society to explore the feasibility and acceptability of frame running as a suitable exercise option for people with MS within impaired mobility and balance.

Gary McEwan's ResearchGate profile

Gary McEwan's Google Scholar profile