Health Humanities Medal 2018

The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), in association with the Wellcome Trust, is pleased to announce that submissions are now open for the 2018 Health Humanities Medal.

The Health Humanities champions the application of the arts and humanities in interdisciplinary research, education and social action to inform and transform health and social care, health, and/or wellbeing.  It aims to:

  • be inclusive of viewpoints and contributions from within and beyond medicine, while valuing the experience, knowledge and participation of the public
  • explore diverse approaches to achieving, maintaining or recovering quality of life
  • strive for demonstrable impacts, not least in providing new evidence and insights for the education or practices of those planning, organising or working for the health of any population.

The Health Humanities Medal recognises and showcases the very best research, impact, and leadership from this field of study.

We hope it will encourage further valuable work at the interface between research in the arts and humanities and in healthcare, health and wellbeing.

Applications and nominations are invited under five categories:

Applications and nominations can be made in multiple categories, provided the eligibility criteria for each is met. You must complete a separate Smart Survey form for each category entered. In such cases the shortlisting process will consider how well the application/nomination meets the criteria.

Please note: any nominations must be submitted with the knowledge and permission of the nominee(s).

Awards in all five categories will be made and announced at a ceremony in September 2018. All shortlisted entrants will be invited to the event.

From the five category winners, there will be an overall winner who will receive the Health Humanities Medal for 2018 at a special award’s ceremony.

Applications must be submitted through the Smart Survey form (link below) and applicants should read the eligibility and judging criteria for each category carefully.

Best Research

This category recognises the best research in the Health Humanities from the past five years. It is open to all original arts and humanities research within the field of the Health Humanities, as defined above, that has taken place in the UK since 1st March 2013. Research projects which are ongoing can be submitted under this category but will be assessed against the same criteria. Full eligibility requirements are provided further below.

When considering applications/nominations under this category, judges will be looking for:

  • Research excellence
  • Research with clearly substantial and/or highly salient findings related to healthcare, health or wellbeing
  • Research that is demonstrably interdisciplinary
  • Research that is likely to advance significantly:
    • Healthcare, health or wellbeing
    • Theory related to healthcare, health or wellbeing
    • Methodology for applying arts and humanities in healthcare, health or wellbeing

All entrants must complete and submit the form in the Requirements section which asks for a 300-500 word summary explaining concisely the value of the research study.  Please ensure that this is written in plain English.

Best Doctoral or Early Career Research

This category recognises the best research undertaken by doctoral students and early career researchers.  It is open to all original arts and humanities research within the field of the Health Humanities, as defined above, that has taken place in the UK since 1st March 2013. The research must have been conducted while the applicant/nominee was registered as a doctoral student or while they met the AHRC criteria for an early career researcher. Research projects which are ongoing can be submitted under this category but will be assessed against the same criteria. Full eligibility requirements are provided further below.

When considering applications/nominations under this category, judges will look for the same qualities as listed for the Best Research category but will take into account both the experience and the career stage of the applicant/nominee.

All entrants must complete and submit the form in the Requirements section which asks for a 300-500 word summary explaining concisely the value to the research study.  Please ensure that this is written in plain English.

Best International Research

This category recognises the best research in the Health Humanities, from the past five years, which has an international outlook. It is open to all original arts and humanities research within the field of the Health Humanities, as defined above, that has taken place since 1st March 2013. The research must have been primarily based in the UK but should include a significant international element. This could include, for example, global collaborators, projects in which the work is taking place in multiple countries, or research which addresses the specific needs of a country or region outside of the UK.  Research projects which are ongoing can be submitted under this category but will be assessed against the same criteria. Full eligibility requirements are provided further below.

When considering applications/nominations for Best International Research judges will be looking for the same qualities as listed for the Best Research category but will also take into account the following:

  • The nature, strength and value of any international collaborations
  • How the research has crossed any cultural, linguistic and national boundaries
  • How the specific needs of a country or region outside of the UK have been identified and addressed
  • Whether the work brought arts and humanities research into an international context where it was previously unknown and the benefits and/or learning that came from this.

We are keen to see research which helps those societies or groups which are most in need. This could include lower and middle income countries or particularly vulnerable groups within these or other countries.

All entrants must complete and submit the form in the Requirements section which asks for a 300-500 word summary explaining concisely the value to the research study.  Please ensure that this is written in plain English.

Inspiration Award

This category recognises research which features a significant community based element or which had significant impacts on public health, healthcare or wellbeing.  This could, for example, include: community-based or led projects; widely accessible public activities or resources; research that has resulted in significant changes to healthcare settings or delivery; or research which has led to a demonstrable and significant benefit in public health and wellbeing.

It is open to all original arts and humanities research within the field of the Health Humanities, as defined above, that has taken place in the UK since 1st March 2013. Research projects which are ongoing can be considered under this category but will be assessed against the same criteria. Full eligibility requirements are provided further below.

When considering applications/nominations under this category, judges will be looking for:

  • The value and significance of any community collaborations
  • The impact of any public activities or resources on health, healthcare or wellbeing
  • The significance and impact of any changes made to healthcare settings or delivery as a result of the research
  • The benefits demonstrated in public health and wellbeing.

Whilst the excellence of the original research may be taken into account it is not the most important criteria in this category. This category recognises and celebrates research which has worked closely with, or been led by, community groups, or has led to significant changes and benefits to communities and even wider society.

Leadership Award

This category recognises leadership, broadly defined, within the field of Health Humanities. Applications and nominations are for an individual and are open to all. The category is deliberately broad but could include, for example:  someone who has driven the subject within an institution or across institutions through the introduction of courses and training opportunities; someone, whether a community member, an academic or healthcare professional, who has driven engagement with community groups; someone who has driven engagement with policymakers at an organisational or political level; or someone who has driven the field of research through sustained, excellent research which has pushed the boundaries of knowledge and practice. We welcome other interpretations of ‘leadership’ beyond the examples given.

When considering applications/nominations under this category, judges will be looking for:

  • The significance, duration and impact of the leadership presented

The nature of these criteria will vary depending on the application/nomination presented. For example, a community member may facilitate access to a small, difficult to reach group and then lead their participation in research or activities which has beneficial impacts to that group and beyond. Whilst small scale in nature, it could still be considered significant leadership if no one has previously been able to access that group.