Academia arts and health

Networking for Arts in Health Early Career Researchers

The Arts Health Early Career Network brings together early career researchers (defined as within 8 years of completing a PhD) working on projects that lie at the intersection of the arts, humanities, health and medicine.

Join us at Manchester’s Deaf Institute on Monday 13th November from 6pm.

The network is led by Dr Daisy Fancourt, who is a BBC New Generation Thinker and World Economic Forum Global Shaper. That her work features in these forums is testament to the growing seriousness with which the arts in health are being taken. Find out more about her work in a New Generation Thinker 2017 interview here.

The network has three aims:
– to LINK together early career researchers through social events, networking opportunities and workshops
– To provide podcasts and newsletters to help researchers LEARN more about the field
– to run training events and promote jobs to enable researchers to LEAD their own research projects

Listen to the latest podcast on Political Developments in Australia:


An International Network

In the first fourth months, this network has expanded to over 500 members. Join us!

The ECRN has partnered with the University of Florida Center for Arts in Medicine to offer a course, Arts in Health Research Intensive at the University of Florida, January 29 – February 2, 2018. Partial scholarships are available.

Arts in Health: Designing and Researching Interventions, the book

Daisy book cover arts in health

In her book, Daisy Fancourt presents a historical context of the arts in health – and reminds us that the arts were used in conjunction with ritualistic practices and healing in the ancient world.

“During an Inquiry into the benefits of the arts to health and wellbeing conducted by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Arts, Health and Wellbeing, a need for higher quality evaluation was identified. This useful guide will aid researchers working in the field of arts and health to design their studies and for the results of these studies to influence future practice.” Rt Hon Lord Howarth of Newport Co-Chair, All Party Parliamentary Group on Arts, Health and Wellbeing

The book explores further contexts surrounding arts in health, including the theoretical and political backgrounds. Some very useful overviews of policies and documents from around the world are presented, including leading examples from Australia, Ireland and the Nordic countries.

Parts II and III are highly useful, focussed sections concerned with designing and delivering arts and health interventions, and with ways to develop research. Daisy also addresses a number of challenges that commonly face researchers and practitioners studying complex interventions.

Lastly, the book provides bite-sized ‘fact files’: examples of the arts in health research and practice based in thirteen major areas of medicine, devised to educate and inspire further projects. The book ends in this way with up-to-date research, including findings from oncology that the use of video games explaining cancer treatments to children can increase medication adherence and promote healthy behaviours. Similarly, readers learn that hip-hop videos have been used with African-American teenagers to improve awareness about protective sexual behaviours among teen girls.

North West Network: Welcome!

So, whether you’d like to meet other researchers in similar fields, discuss the book, your research, or wider issues around promoting wellbeing; you are welcome at our networking drinks – at one of the finest venues in the North West! RSVP here.


I'm a British clinical psychologist with a research background. I manage the Greater Manchester i-THRIVE Arts, Culture and Mental Health Programme, part of the national transformation of children's services. I also have an NHS clinical role in Lancaster and Morecambe working with children, young people and families (CAMHS). I began this blog in 2017 to record a WCMT Travelling Fellowship, from a research role at Arts for Health, Manchester Metropolitan University. I began clinical psychology training (DCLinPsy, Lancaster) in 2010, and studied the role of creativity in bipolar disorder, because of the known links, and partly due to my own experiences of creatively managing extremes of mood in adolescence and throughout my 20s. I have worked in several university psychology research departments including Manchester University in suicide prevention, the Spectrum Centre for Mental Health Research at Lancaster University (notable for service user expertise), and on the Dementia & Imagination research programme.

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