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AHRC launches Health Humanities Medal to celebrate projects improving health and wellbeing

Date: 14/03/2018


The Arts and Humanities Research Council, in association with the Wellcome Trust, has launched a new national award to celebrate the contribution of the arts and humanities to improving healthcare, health and wellbeing.

Ananya Jahanara Kabir
The Health and Humanities Medal

Across the UK academics, health professionals, voluntary organisations and communities (to name just a few) are using arts and humanities research and methodology to look at how we can improve the quality of life and wellbeing of the population. The 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 Paul Crawford, at the University of Nottingham, who has led the development of this new award, comments: "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 adds: “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.

About AHRC

The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funds world-class, independent researchers in a wide range of subjects: history, archaeology, digital content, philosophy, languages, design, heritage, area studies, the creative and performing arts, and much more. This financial year the AHRC will spend approximately £98 million to fund research and postgraduate training, in collaboration with a number of partners. The quality and range of research supported by this investment of public funds not only provides social and cultural benefits and contributes to the economic success of the UK but also to the culture and welfare of societies around the globe.

Visit us at:, on Twitter at @ahrcpress, on Facebook at Arts and Humanities Research Council, or Instagram at @ahrcpress.

About the Wellcome Trust

The Wellcome Trust is a global charitable foundation dedicated to improving health. We support bright minds in science, the humanities and the social sciences, as well as education, public engagement and the application of research to medicine. Our investment portfolio gives us the independence to support such transformative work as the sequencing and understanding of the human genome, research that established front-line drugs for malaria, and Wellcome Collection, our free venue for the incurably curious that explores medicine, life and art.


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