Medical Humanities Research Strand

The Medical Humanities Research Strand will grow arts and humanities research by promoting intra- and inter-faculty interdisciplinarity, opening the door to arts-and-science collaborations, translational work and applied work. The strand will promote excellent inter- and multidisciplinary research on health, illness and medicine.


1. Capacity-building for interdisciplinary collaborative work and bidding.
2. Developing clear future leadership of Medical Humanities research at the University of Bristol.
3. Increasing understanding and knowledge of applied and translational possibilities for arts and humanities research.
4. Developing strong and sustainable links between arts and humanities researchers and the rest of the University of Bristol. 
5. Close attention to equality, diversity and inclusion as core requirements for all activities of the strand.


The main expected outputs from the strand are:
  • Publications and other outputs linked to the Research Excellence Framework 
  • The creation of new networks
  • Applications for external funding, including for example, mid-range funding that is realistic and achievable by early to mid-career researchers
  • A large collaborative award led by a senior researcher (e.g. a Wellcome Collaborative Award)
  • Other research outputs such as conferences, workshops, public debates and other events
  • Creation of a database of arts and humanities researchers working on health, medicine and science

Funding call

The Medical Humanities research strand is seeking funding applications for inter- and multidisciplinary projects carrying out research on health, illness and medicine. 

The strand now welcomes funding applications for projects which will support the development of a research idea into mature proposals suitable for a large external bid. The research should be humanities-led and lead applicants should be based at the University of Bristol. 

The Medical Humanities Research Strand has £10,000 available, and encourages individual applications for up to £3000. The awarded funds need to be committed by 31 July 2020 and spent by July 2021.

Find out more about this funding call.

Key activities

Stage 1: A steering group for the strand set up, with a representative from Elizabeth Blackwell Institute, a PhD representative and a postdoc representative. 
Stage 2: Planning stage - The steering group considered ways in which the plan of work will get us to the stated goals. A launch event to encourage input.
Stage 3: Includes a roll-out of activities and the release of small pots of money to strategically ensure the development of work towards the stated goals.
Throughout the lifetime of the strand, the steering group will monitor progress through regular meetings, to coincide with the Centre for Health, Humanities and Science (CHHS) steering group meetings. There will be close collaboration between the strand, the CHHS and Elizabeth Blackwell Institute.
The Medical Humanities Strand had its offical launch event on 21 September 2018. The session provided an opportunity for those working in the medical humanities to come together to discuss their work, hear about cognate research, and develop cluster ideas. 

Medical Humanities Strand research clusters

Four new research clusters have been established as part of the Medical Humanities Strand. Find out more


The Medical Humanities Research Strand is a cross-faculty initiative led by:

Dr Victoria Bates
History (School of Humanities)
Professor Havi Carel
Philosophy (School of Arts)
Dr John Lee
English (School of Humanities)
Dr Ulrika Maude
English (School of Humanities)
For queries or to join the mailing list contact Charlotte Withers, Medical Humanities research strand Administrator:
For more information please see the Medical Humanitites research strand blog
Medical Humanities Strand image - Ecosystem
Ecosystem Image credit: Eleanor Weaver, Whole Person Care, Year One, 2017
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