Sohpie Peng, PhD researcher

Sophie, from China, is a PhD student at Loughborough University London studying under the Institute for Sport Business. Prior to her Master's and PhD studies in London, studied Sport English at Bachelor level and Sport Management for her Master's.

What country are you from?


Under which institute are you studying your PhD?

Institute for Sport Business

What is the full title of your PhD?

The institutional change occurring in the Chinese sport sector: a case study on the Chinese Football Association reform.

Please give a brief synopsis of what you are researching and why.

I am researching the organisational change phenomenon in the Chinese context by reviewing the western organisational and policy change theories and applying them critically to the Chinese Football Association reform. This provides the researcher an opportunity to test the existing change theories and extend them into a new literature realm.

Who are your academic supervisors?

Professor James Skinner and Professor Barrie Houlihan.

Why did you choose Loughborough University London to undertake your PhD?

London is an exciting place to be for a researcher like me who could easily fall into dull daily routine; at Loughborough University London I never get bored.

Tell us about your academic background.

Sport English for my Bachelor degree; sport management for my Master's degree. 

What attracted you to your chosen research field?

Sport has always been part of my life. Growing up in China I read and heard negative views of the current sport system. Seeing the sport sector finally starting to rethink about its poor (some say) functionality as well as restructuring the institution, despite the difficulty and obstacles along the way, is great. It is fascinating to study and understand where this reform will lead us. Plus, it shows courage and determination of the Chinese government to make changes. I, as a Chinese scholar studying in one of the top universities overseas, humbly hope that my studies could contribute to my country. 

Describe a day in the life of a PhD student.

Read, think, sleep and dreaming about your PhD! 

What do you like to do in your free time?

Watch football games and movies, read novels and go jogging.

How would you describe the research community on campus?

Harmonious, warm and welcoming.

What advice would you give to prospective PhD students looking to study at Loughborough University London?

A PhD is a learning process; you come as a learner not an expert. So be a sponge, ready to absorb every day; find a study buddy, you will find it's much easier way to spend your PhD time that way.