Cultural Engagement for Wellbeing: launch of the Lunchtime Research Seminar Series

This year’s Faculty of Health & Wellbeing lunchtime research seminar series launched with a presentation by Nick Ewbank on Cultural Engagement for Wellbeing.

Nick spoke about his current work with the Sidney de Haan Research Centre for Arts & Health and others on a project funded by a Wellcome Trust seed award (£50,000). The project investigates the impacts of engaging in mainstream cultural activity on people’s health and wellbeing and on social connectedness. A further aim is to contribute to policy formation and decision making in respect of cultural engagement as a wider determinant of population health and wellbeing.

We learned that the project idea had grown from collaborations on previously funded work with the Arts and  Humanities Research Council (AHRC).  The development of both the AHRC bid and the Wellcome Trust application were supported by the RKE team in the Research and Enterprise Development Centre.

Nick also spoke about the process of bringing on board new partners and experts to supplement the experience of the original team.

Nick outlined the components of the current work which are:

  • data analysis
  • literature review
  • developing a wellbeing measure for the cultural sector, and
  • investigating barriers to access.

He also described how ‘developing a measure’ was proving to be more complex than originally imagined and there were now discussions with the Wellcome Trust to postpone this component to a later stage.

The aim is to use the seed award to prepare for a larger, collaborative award with the Wellcome Trust (up to £1.5m over 5 years).

We were also treated to a brief history of the development of medicine and the arts and there were fruitful questions and discussions, for example around the problems of defining terms such as ‘cultural engagement’.

For those that couldn’t make it, slides from the presentations are available on request from

Other seminars coming up this term

The other seminars planned for this term are given below. The presentations run from 12-1pm (with questions). Lunch is available from 11.30 and there is time for further networking from 1-1.30.

Date Led by Seminar Title Research Hub
8th November in Nt03 Xiaomei Lu Cord Blood Stem Cell in Health and Diseases Medical Science
15th November Ann Price A pilot study to evaluate the use of social media in teaching Education
29th November Sue Gibson, Sue Soan, Judy Dur-rant, Gayle Le Moine, Lorna Hughes Taking on the challenge of breaking down barriers. Education
13th December Eve Hutton Support needs of parents and carers of children with physical disabilities Child Health and Wellbeing


To book your place or for any questions, please contact


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