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Woman looking at artefacts in museum glass cabinet © Ian Wallman

Culture’s contribution to wellbeing has gained rapid prominence and policy focus in the UK in recent times. However, whilst there is a growing body of work on the impact of the work of the arts and cultural sector on health and wellbeing, less attention has been paid to the impact of engaging in this type of work on the cultural sector.

The University of Oxford Gardens, Libraries and Museums (GLAM) has an established portfolio of innovative health and wellbeing programmes, using collections from across its venues (Bodleian Libraries, Oxford Botanic Garden and Arboretum, Ashmolean Museum, History of Science Museum, Museum of Natural History and Pitt Rivers Museum). We want to explore the impact of these programmes on our staff and our institutions, and to better understand the kinds of skills we need in order to continue to develop our venues as spaces of social care.

To start to address these questions, the School of Museum Studies (SMS), University of Leicester, as part of Midlands Graduate School has been awarded an Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Doctoral Studentship, with GLAM as the collaborative partner.

The PhD student will work with GLAM staff to develop an understanding of the professional skills, knowledge and competencies required to support wellbeing activity, and the organisational change needed to embed culture-led wellbeing in organisations. The project will:

  • Conduct an in-depth exploration of cultural and heritage sector professionals’ views on their emerging roles in relation to health and wellbeing activity;
  • Develop recommendations for organisational change for cultural organisations seeking to embed this practice;
  • Develop training for the cultural, heritage and healthcare sectors for wellbeing-focused practice and careers.

This is a great opportunity for a candidate who wants to make a real impact within the academic and cultural sectors.

The PhD studentship will commence in October 2021 and lasts three or four years depending on prior training and whether it is being taken on a part-time pro rata basis.

Applications are open now and due on Friday 5 March 2021, 12pm.

Further information and how to apply can be found here: 
Midlands Graduate School ESRC DTP Collaborative & Joint Studentships

The Midlands Graduate School is an accredited Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP). One of 14 such partnerships in the UK, the Midlands Graduate School is a collaboration between the University of Warwick, Aston University, University of Birmingham, University of Leicester, Loughborough University and the University of Nottingham.

ESRC studentships cover fees at the home rate, a maintenance stipend, and extensive support for research training, as well as research activity support grants. Support is available to both home and international applicants.

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