Arts Health Research Intensive

Participants: Dr Daisy Fancourt, Jill Sonke

Series: Cross-sector Training

Ideas explored: music for health and wellbeing

Presented by the Arts Health Early Career Research Network and the University of Florida Center for Arts in Medicine


In February 2019 Snape Maltings hosted Arts Health ECRN’s annual Research Intensive, a 5-day residential course. 50 researchers from more than 10 countries were given a rich introduction to the evidence supporting the positive impact of the arts in health and wellbeing:

  • explore the development and scope of the field
  • learn about psychological, physiological, social and behavioural effects
  • discover research and evaluation methodologies
  • discuss practicalities and issues in carrying out research
  • engage in group-based debates, activities and presentations

The Programme was led by Dr. Daisy Fancourt and Jill Sonke.

Dr Daisy Fancourt is Associate Professor in the Psychobiology Group, Department of Behavioural Science and Health at UCL. Daisy has received awards for her research from the Wellcome Trust, Arts and Humanities Research Council, British Science Association, British Academy, British Federation of Women Graduates, American Psychosomatic Society, Royal Society for Public Health and NHS England, as well as being named a BBC New Generation Thinker and a World Economic Forum Global Shaper. Her research has received over £3.5 million in funding from the Wellcome Trust, AHRC, ESRC, MRC, EPSRC, NERC, Arts Council England, British Academy and Tenovus Cancer Care. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society for Public Health and the Deputy Chair of their Special Interest Group on Arts and Health. She also established and chairs the International Arts Health Early Career Research Network. Alongside her research, she has worked for nearly a decade with the NHS, including as Arts and Clinical Innovations Manager at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, and as a consultant to a range of hospitals and Clinical Commissioning Groups. Daisy is currently working as a consultant to WHO on a Health Evidence Network Synthesis report providing policy options to the 53 member states of the European Region on the role of arts and cultural interventions in healthcare.

Daisy’s considerable experience and expertise in this field is encapsulated comprehensively in her book Arts in Health: Designing and Researching Interventions (2017), published by Oxford University Press.

Jill Sonke is director of the Center for the Arts in Medicine at the University of Florida (UF) and Assistant Director of UF Health Shands Arts in Medicine. She serves on the faculty of the UF Center for Arts in Medicine, and is an affiliated faculty member in the School of Theatre & Dance, the Center for African Studies, the STEM Translational Communication Center, the One Health Center, and the Center for Movement Disorders and Neurorestoration. Jill is also an Entrepreneurship Faculty Fellow in the UF Warrington College of Business, and serves on the editorial board for Arts & Health journal and the board of Citizens for Florida Arts. Jill holds an MA in Human Services from the University of Illinois, and is a PhD candidate in Arts in Public Health at Ulster University. With 25 years of experience and leadership in arts in health, Jill is active in research, teaching, and international cultural exchange. Her current research focuses on the arts and health communication, the arts and community health, and the effects of music on cost and quality of care in emergency medicine. Jill is the recipient of a New Forms Florida Fellowship Award, a State of Florida Individual Artist Fellowship Award, an Excellence in Teaching Award from the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development, a UF Internationalizing the Curriculum Award, a UF Most Outstanding Service Learning Faculty Award, a UF Public Health Champions award, a UF Cross-Campus Faculty Entrepreneur of the Year Award, and over 125 grants for her programs and research at the University of Florida.​

"It was so helpful to have an overview of the history of arts in health and also learn about the differences between Medical & Health Humanities, Clinical Humanities, and Arts in Health."
- Early Career Researcher