March 15, 2018, by Emma Rayner

New award for research into how arts and humanities can improve health and wellbeing

One of the newest fields of research in the world is to get its own national award thanks to the AHRC, Wellcome and the Nottingham professor who pioneered the subject.

Professor Paul Crawford is the first Professor of Health Humanities in the world. His field is defined as the application of the arts and humanities in interdisciplinary research, education and social action to inform and transform health and social care, health or well-being.

AHRC Wellcome Health Humanities Medal

Across the UK, academics, health professionals, voluntary organisations and communities are using arts and humanities research and methodology to look at how to improve the quality of life and wellbeing of the population.

The new AHRC Wellcome Health Humanities Medal will celebrate and showcase the amazing work being done in this area by these individuals, teams and organisations.

Applications and nominations will be considered under five categories which cover the broad scope of research, impact and leadership within the field of health humanities. For each category a shortlist of submissions will be drawn up and a winner will be selected. An overall winner will then be selected from the five category winners to receive the Health Humanities Medal for 2018. The categories for 2018 are:

  • Best Research
  • Best Doctoral or Early Career Research
  • Best International Research
  • Inspiration Award
  • Leadership Award

Eligible submissions will be judged by academics, health practitioners and industry professionals who will be looking for the very best examples under each category.

All shortlisted applicants will be invited to a special event where the category winners will be announced and the Health Humanities Medal awarded.

Professor Crawford, who led the development of this new award, said“The arts and humanities are major forces in keeping people well, connecting them socially and restoring them to good health.  Whether it’s music, visual arts, comedy, theatre, storytelling, reading groups, or any of the many other creative practices going on every day, the arts and humanities are like a shadow health service that works quietly and powerfully to transform lives and aid recovery.”

He added: “This is the first award of its kind in recognising the value of applying both arts and humanities research to the health of the nation. When I pioneered the field of health humanities in 2007, building a more inclusive vision of health and wellbeing not simply driven by medicine, or focused on the arts, it was the Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) that supported this development, so it’s only fitting that the AHRC is playing a key part in launching these awards.”

The Awards will offer a great opportunity for researchers, arts practitioners, clinicians and others who have made a difference in the health humanities to step into the limelight and encourage others to become involved.

Applications must be submitted through the Smart Survey form. For more information please visit our Health Humanities Medal 2018 call page.

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