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Wellcome trust grant

Our cutting-edge Institute for Medical Humanities (IMH) has been awarded a £9m Discovery Research Platform Award to develop a new Discovery Research Platform for Medical Humanities (DRP-MH).

This is the largest grant made by Wellcome for humanities research and recognises the transformative power and value medical humanities research brings to our understanding of health and human experience.

Putting lived experience first

The Discovery Research Platform for Medical Humanities will bring the stories and perspectives of people living with complex health conditions to the forefront of health research.

Led by Professor Angela Woods and Dr Ben Alderson-Day, it will centre people with lived experience and people from marginalised communities as the co-creators of research tackling global health challenges, including mental ill health and health inequalities.

The Platform will be based at our Institute for Medical Humanities and support a diverse, international and cross-sector network of researchers to develop new and experimental approaches to intractable health problems.

Transforming the humanities’ contribution to health research

The DRP-MH will enable large-scale collaborations with community, creative, health and voluntary sector organisations, and involve over 200,000 global academics and lived experience researchers through international partnerships with leading Universities in the USA, Sweden, the Netherlands, South Africa and China.

The Platform will facilitate the exchange of knowledge and ideas through work at three physical Sites: St Anthony’s Health Centre (a GP practice in one of the most socio-economically deprived areas of the UK), the Recovery College Collective (a peer led mental health education and support service based in Newcastle upon Tyne) and the Edinburgh International Book Festival.

It will host six Labs for catalysing new methodologies in the medical humanities.

The DRP-MH will transform healthcare research and policy by enabling new and diverse voices to contribute and empowering humanities researchers to deliver innovative healthcare solutions.

Building on Durham’s research excellence

The DRP-MH builds on the research excellence and flourishing research culture of Durham University’s Institute for Medical Humanities and will reflect on the core values of the Institute: creativity, courage and inclusivity.

It will support the UK’s first Creative Facilitation Unit – a group of specialist staff skilled in the use of arts-based and experimental techniques that enhance interdisciplinary and cross-sector collaboration – to catalyse new research projects.

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