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Guildhall School Arts and Health Studentship

  • Funded PhD Programme (Students Worldwide)
    Funded PhD Programme (Students Worldwide)

Profile Description

Guildhall School of Music & Drama is proud to invite applications for a brand new doctoral studentship intended to support research on the performing arts (music, drama and production arts) in relation to healthcare, medicine, illness, disability and any cognate area or areas that align broadly with the relevant areas outlined below. The successful candidate will join a vibrant community of staff researchers and one of the largest doctoral programmes in the UK conservatoire sector, based at a world-leading performing arts institution (QS World University Rankings 2020, Guardian University Guide 2019 under Music). Our doctoral programme focusses on research in, through and for the performing arts including music composition and performance, opera- and theatre-making, music therapy and socially-engaged arts practices as well historical, cultural, ethnographic, pedagogical and other perspectives. This studentship develops a growing strand of research in arts and health and medical humanities, one that will be supported by our soon-to-be-inaugurated Institute for Social Impact Research.

This studentship offers a full fee-waiver and an annual stipend at the UK Research Councils' current rate (£17,000 for London institutions in 2019–20), for three years' full-time study. Part-time study will also be considered (particularly where there is synergy with parallel professional activity), and equivalent pro-rata support offered.

'Health and wellbeing' constitutes a priority area across European and global policy. Even before the COVID-19 epidemic, changes in disease profiles and demographic flux posed unprecedented challenges across Europe, not least because of increased pressure on public healthcare provision at a time of economic uncertainty. This has reinforced a shift, already evident in public health policy, that regards health and wellbeing as the responsibility of the citizen, not just the state. In turn, this has incentivized arts professionals to address health challenges, resulting in an expanding ‘arts and health' sector. This sector was recognised in a 2007 report by Arts Council England and the Department of Health as having ‘a major contribution to make to wellbeing, health, healthcare environments, to the benefit of patients, service users, carers, visitors and staff, as well as to communities and the National Health Service (NHS) as a whole'. The effort to map the field of arts and health has already begun, with reports such as the WHO synthesis study on arts health and wellbeing (2019) and Creative Health (2017); there are several book-length publications (e.g. Fancourt 2017, Clift and Camic 2015, Bates and Bleakley 2013), a dedicated journal and national centres. These indicate the arts have an important role to play in understanding psychosocial experiences of ill health and disability, addressing health issues as well as supporting the education and professional development of healthcare workers.

The new studentship seeks to contribute to this growing field by nurturing research in:

  • representations of illness, disability and/or medical experience in 20th- and 21st-century theatre (including live art), production arts or music
  • theatre and performance in medical and healthcare education especially nursing
  • training musicians for work in music therapy/music and health
  • music therapy and mental health (all age groups and including trauma-related work); delivery of therapeutic music services (including e.g. understanding ‘social prescribing'); evaluation of therapeutic music interventions
  • other related innovative and interdisciplinary areas

Find out how to apply.

Funding Notes

Applications are likely to have an inter-disciplinary scope, for example, engaging with medical humanities, educational, social science or health research. However, they should be strongly rooted in arts and humanities research and in relevant areas of artistic or professional practice.The studentship will be awarded on the following criteria:

Alignment of the project with areas of supervisory expertise ;
Originality, rigour and significance of the proposed project;
Skills, experience and characteristics required to pursue that project;
Candidate’s preparedness for doctoral study.

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