Ioannis Costas Batlle

PhD Researcher, Dept. of Education

My research qualitatively explores the extent to which youth sport programs can meet the needs of socioeconomically disadvantaged young people. I am particularly interested in youth sports programmes delivered by UK charities and how they are influenced by neoliberalism. My research is interdisciplinary and is informed by psychology, sociology, educational theory, and politics.

As a stand-up comedy enthusiast, I am also interested in exploring how comedy can enhance the dissemination of social science research.

Earlier this year, I presented my research at TedX Frome. You can watch a video of my presentation here:



Academic Publications

Morgan, H. & Costas Batlle, I. (2017). ‘It’s borderline hypocrisy’: Recruitment and retention practices in youth sport-based interventions. Journal of Sport Policy & Politics. Submitted for review.

Costas Batlle, I., Carr, S., Brown, C. (2017). ‘I just can’t bear these procedures, I just want to be out there working with children’: an autoethnography on neoliberalism and youth sports charities in the UK. Sport, Education, and Society. In press.

Costas Batlle, I. (2016). It’s Not All Fart Jokes: Why the Social Sciences Should Embrace Stand-Up Comedy. TOR: The Open Review for the Social Sciences, 1(2), pp. 2-6.

Costas Batlle, I., Carr, S., & Brown, C. (2015). Exploring Sport as a Site for Children’s Relational and Socio-Psychological Development. Procedia – Social and Behavioural Sciences, 191(2015), pp. 1069-1076.

Carr, S. & Costas Batlle, I. (2015). Attachment Theory, Neoliberalism, and Social Conscience. Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology, 35(3), pp. 160-176.

Costas Batlle, I. (2015). Research Journeys. A Collection of Narratives of the Doctoral Experience [Book Review]. Journal of Research in International Education, 14(2), pp.182-184.


In the Media

It’s not what sport children play, but how they play it that matters. Article published in The Conversation:

An Education in Irony: Why Academics Need to be Funny. Co-authored with Cate Watson in The Conversation:

Obsessively Auditing Charities Stops Them From Doing Their Job. Article published in The Conversation:


Public Engagement

2017. TedX Frome presenter, Frome: ‘Sport improves young people’s behaviour: myth-busted?’ Delivered a talk about my research to a non-academic audience of 100 people.

2016. Knowledge Cabaret Compere. The Knowledge Cabaret was an evening of bite-sized science entertainment, with 6 researchers from the University of Bath sharing their knowledge in engaging ways. Co-compered the event with a colleague from Chemical Engineering.

2016. Shortlisted for the Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Public Engagement in Research 2016. I was shortlisted as one of 3 postgraduates for this annual award which celebrates public engagement in research:

2016. Pint of Science 2016 Coordinator. Pint of Science is a 3-day international festival that unites over 10,000 local community members and researchers at the pub. I coordinated the Bath chapter, which saw 24 University of Bath researchers engaging members of the public.

2016. Widening Participation (Outreach) Tutor. I designed and delivered a project on the theme of social justice for 20 Year 10 students at Frome College. The project concluded with students presenting about various areas of social justice (democracy, gender, climate change) to the first democratically elected president of the Maldives, Mohamed Nasheed. Press release:

2015. Creator and lead organiser of Ignite Your Mind – PhD Research at the Pub. The sold-out event provided a platform for 8 PhD researchers in the humanities and social sciences to engage with the public of Bath over a night at the Ring O Bells pub. Speakers delivered an IGNITE style presentation: 5 minutes, with 20 slides that auto-advance every 15 seconds.

2015-2016. Stand-up comedy routines:

·        ‘A Question (or two) of Sport’ 9 minute stand-up comedy routine about my research. Science Show Off (University of Bath)

·        ‘Putting Sport Under the Microscope: Should Charities Use Sport to Help Youths in Poverty?’ 11 minute stand-up comedy routine about my research. Science Stand Up, Bath BrewHouse pub (Bath). Video:


Research Experience

2017. Research consultancy for the youth charity 1625 Independent People.

My supervisor (Dr. Sam Carr) and I are supporting one of the charity’s projects which aims to educate socio-economically disadvantaged young people at risk of homelessness about money management.


2016-2017. Community Matters.

I am currently collaborating on a community-based research project – ‘Community Matters’ – funded through the University of Bath Public Engagement Unit. We are working alongside the Black Families Education Support Group (Bath) by using a range of visual methods to explore how the young black people who attend the charity’s Saturday School impact on their community.


2015-2016. Casual Research Assistant.

Over the space of a year and a half I demonstrated my versatility by contributing to six different research projects at the University of Bath:

·        Assisted the Widening Participation evaluation officer with evaluating the 5 Summer Schools Widening Participation offer. Duties included collating, organising, and analysing data from surveys and interviews.

·        Transcribed interviews and contributed to the analysis of interview transcripts for a research project on International Mindedness, funded by the International Baccalaureate. 

·        Carried out quantitative data analysis for a research project about the ‘teaching culture’ in an Asian school.

·        Identified suitable UK schools for a project about head teacher recruitment before distributing a questionnaire to each school’s board of governors. Three institutions collaborated on the project: University of Bath, York St. John University, and the National Governors’ Association). 

·        Conducted policy searches of UK schools regarding parent-school communication. 

·        Transcribed focus groups with children and adults for a project about fathers and their children.


2014. PhD placement, Greenhouse Sports.

Greenhouse Sports is a charity that provides sporting opportunities for socio-economically disadvantaged youths. During my 4-month placement, I conducted a literature review, constructed a questionnaire, and produced a development guide for young people. The development guide required translating academic concepts into adolescents’ vernacular.


Teaching Experience

2015-2017. Teaching assistant. Controversies in Psychology I and II.

Controversies in Psychology is a core unit from the undergraduate psychology degree programme, which runs throughout the whole first year focusing on essay writing and presentation skills. The unit is taught exclusively through a weekly 1 hour seminar. I tutored three groups of 16 first year undergraduates. 


2016. Teaching assistant. Academic and Research Skills I: Introduction to Qualitative Methods.

Core unit from the undergraduate social and policy sciences degree which focused on introducing first years to qualitative research. Delivered a one hour weekly seminar for two groups of 10 students.


2016. Teaching assistant. Dissertation Part 1

The unit is aimed at helping final year undergraduates in the Department of Education prepare for their dissertation. Delivered two seminars on ethics and gaining access to the research field.


Guest Lectures


2016. ‘Youth sport and the Olympic Legacy’. Lecture delivered for the 1st year undergraduate module Sport & the Social Sciences: A Critical Introduction.

2015, 2016. ‘Caring for Deviant Populations. The Case Example of Charities’. Two hour lecture delivered for the 1st year undergraduate module Childhood, Youth, and Deviance.

2014. ‘Neoliberalism, Charities, Sport, and Socio-Economically Disadvantaged Youths’. Two hour lecture delivered for two undergraduate (2nd year) modules: Issues in Childhood I, and Contemporary Issues in Sport Psychology.


2016, 2017. ‘Practical issues in collecting and analysing qualitative data’. Lecture delivered to the EdD in Education cohort, Dept. of Education.

2016. ‘Thematic Analysis… on Youth Sports Programmes and UK Charities’. Two hour lecture and workshop about the use of thematic analysis. Delivered to MA International Education and Globalisation students at the University of Bath.

2016. ‘Neoliberalism, Youth Sports, and UK Charities’. Lecture delivered to MA Interpreting students (Chinese-English) at the University of Bath.


2016. ‘What is a literature review and why does it matter?’ Invited by the Department of

Widening Participation to give a talk to 17-year-old students on track to attend university.

2016. ‘Doing Qualitative Research’. Invited by Widening Participation at the University of Bath to talk about conducting qualitative research to 16-year-old students on track to attend university.

2014. Invited to talk about ‘PhD experience’ during the Induction Session for new PhD candidates entering the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Bath.

Workshops delivered

2016. ‘Public engagement: how to get involved’. Workshop delivered to PhD students in the Dept. of Education, University of Bath.


2016. ‘Analysing qualitative data using thematic analysis’. Workshop delivered to PhD students in the Dept. of Education, University of Bath.


Conference Presentations

‘Youths in Poverty, Social Justice, and the Dark Side of Charities’. Changing Lives, Changing Worlds: The Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences Postgraduate Conference 2015, University of Bath

‘Two Sides of the Same Coin? Comparing the Roles of Sports Coaches and Youth Workers in UK Charities’. Breaking Boundaries Interdisciplinary Conference 2015, University of Cardiff.

‘Exploring Sport as a Platform for Children’s Relational and Psychosocial Development’. 6th World Conference on Educational Sciences 2015, Malta.

‘Putting Youth Sport Programmes Under the Microscope’. Changing Lives, Changing Worlds, The Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences Postgraduate Conference 2014, University of Bath.



Editor of TOR: The Open Review for the Social Sciences. From 2014-2016 I was one of the journal editors. TOR is the journal of the South West Doctoral Training Centre. It is open access, peer reviewed, and is run by postgraduate students for postgraduate students.

Academic representative for the PhD in Education programme. From 2013-2015 I represented my cohort’s views and concerns of the PhD in Education programme at departmental, faculty, and University levels.




Postal address: Ioannis Costas Batlle
                       Dept of Education
                       University of Bath
                       BA2 7AY
                       United Kingdom