What can wellbeing and health research look like in the arts, humanities and social sciences?

The NNMHR are delighted to share the programme for partner institution Lancaster University’s upcoming online symposium “What can wellbeing and health research look like in the arts, humanities and social sciences?”, due to take place on 22 and 23 May 2023. The symposium is organised by Lancaster’s Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Health Hub.

Keynote speakers will be Professor Angela Woods (Durham University) and Dr Alex Wragge-Morley (History Department, Lancaster). The full programme can be viewed below, and registration is via Eventbrite.

Posted on 09 May 2023, under News.

NNMHR Congress 2023: Keynote Speakers


Chisomo Kalinga

On citizenship, boundaries and belonging: Designing Inclusive Medical and Health Humanities Spaces

April 19, 12-1:30PM BST

As the medical humanities field continues to expand and flourish within innovative spaces of health research, critical questions emerge about who belongs in that space, who gets to build and sustain it, and who gets to be a citizen. 

This keynote argues that the medical and health humanities as a field and discipline are at key crossroads necessitating a reflection on citizenship and belonging, particularly amongst those on the margins, and advocates a self-reflection on the realities of inclusion, exclusion, power and resistance within the field. This talk puts into perspective how method, praxis, analysis, pedagogy, cosmology, and epistemology must align with the most marginalized in our spaces and practice. As we ruminate the realities of where the medical humanities is actively positioned at the moment in the wake of ongoing calls for global social and reparative justice, we must examine where the critical health and medical humanities sits within this discourse. Does this inter-multi-transdisicplinary engagement with medicine, health, bodies, people, culture, and society reflect the real and imagined productions from the people existing within these spaces? Are we doing enough as academics, researchers, activists, healthcare workers or creative practitioners to understand these spaces we claim to research and serve? If not, how do we actively challenge ourselves to redirect the field towards genuine inclusivity and, more importantly, dismantle systems of dominance and discrimination at this critical juncture when calls for greater ethical practice, transparency and civic responsibility in our research practice are met with resistance.

About Chisomo: Dr Kalinga is a Chancellor’s Fellow at the Department of Social Anthropology, University of Edinburgh. Her research engages how modern and traditional literary practices (performance, form and aesthetics) are constructed by ordinary people in narratives of health and wellbeing. Her research interests are disease (specifically sexually transmitted infections), illness and wellbeing, biomedicine, and traditional healing. She is currently collaborating with her colleagues across Malawi and Southern Africa to support the Malawi Medical Humanities Network (MMHN) and the South-Africa based Medical and Health Humanities Network Africa.


Nils Fietje and Professor Sanjoy Bhattacharya

Global health policy and the critical medical humanities: pasts, presents and futures

April 20, 12-1:30PM BST

What is at stake when scholarship seeks to directly influence global health policy? Nils Fietje (WHO Regional Office for Europe) and Sanjoy Bhattacharya (Professor of Medical and Global Health Histories, University of Leeds) discuss organisational cultures and the intersections of history and theory with contemporary policy and practice.

Nils Fietje – Technical Officer, WHO Regional Office for Europe 

Sharpening the double-edged sword: the role of the medical humanities in global public health policy making

Over the past ten years, the ‘critical turn’ within medical humanities has done much to challenge and complement our understanding of medicine and the practices of health care. But to what extent have the medical humanities directly influenced health policy? Is there a seat at the policy making table for research from the field? Or is this even desirable? This talk will explore why the double-edged sword of actively contributing to global health governance might be worth wielding; and how one might go about sharpening the other edge.

About Nils: Nils Fietje is a Technical Officer within the Behavioural and Cultural Insights Unit at the WHO Regional Office for Europe. He has a background in English literature and the cultural history of medicine. As part of the BCI Unit, he is leading efforts to understand how cultural contexts affect and interact with health and well-being, across the life-course and throughout the continuum of care. Recently, this work has included a particular focus on arts and health, having published the first-ever WHO report on the evidence base for arts and health interventions.

Professor Sanjoy Bhattacharya – Professor of Medical and Global Health Histories, University of Leeds

Who needs to learn from WHO(m), and how?: Revisiting cultures of global health theory and practice

Global Health has different stages, involving very different actors, as well as political, social, economic and, not least, cultural frameworks. There has been a tendency in historical work to focus on offices based in Europe and North America, based on presumptions about the epistemic, economic and political primacy of the thoughts and actions within such contexts. This scholarship draws upon – and fortifies – exclusionary ideas of racial and cultural superiority that are widespread. They generally minimise the complexities of implementation and the important roles played by low and middle income country actors, who often choose not to communicate in English. So, when these voices are identified carefully and considered respectfully, what do they teach us? That culturally competent and adaptable implementation of grand ideas developed elsewhere is more important, than some exclusionary and racially superior notion of one group knowing better than others and the related wisdom of ‘nudging’ behavioural change? This talk proposes humility as a core need and strength in organisational culture, in norm making and implementation.

About Sanjoy: Sanjoy is the permanent Head of the School of History at the University of Leeds, and also the Professor of Medical and Global Health Histories. He continues to work on a decolonised history of the World Health Organisation since its inception, even as he continues to work with multiple WHO Departments and Divisions around the world, usually in partnership with regional and national governance.


Dr Ayesha Ahmad, Professor Jeremy Greene, Professor Patricia Kingori, Professor Nolwazi Mkhwanazi, Professor Stuart Murray, Dr Will Viney and Professor Jo Winning

‘Critical’: What next for medical humanities?

April 21, 12-1:30PM BST

A plenary roundtable chaired by Prof Angela Woods brings seven leading scholars together to reflect upon the past, present and future of medical humanities.

The 2023 Congress marks a decade since the ‘critical’ turn in medical humanities. This plenary roundtable reflects upon the significance and impact of this ‘critical’ turn, with an emphasis on the most important issues – thematic, methodological, structural – facing the field today. To set the scene for discussion each speaker will offer a short provocation about the past, present or future of medical humanities.

The provocations:

Will Viney: The critical value of projects in the medical humanities – projects are often created to solve problems, but what problems do they create?

Jeremy Greene: *Medical humanities* is a capacious term that is generally nonthreatening and can contain within it a diverse set of programs with entirely orthogonal social or political purposes, ranging from radical revisionings of the social order to reactionary and revanchist uses of nostalgia. In focusing our attention to a tighter beam, what are the *critical medical humanities* critical of, and who are they critical for?

Nolwazi Mkhwanazi: Medical humanities in Africa – critical, urgent or out of touch?

Ayesha Ahmad: Global Health Humanities is an act of creation. Such an act is symbolic when situating storytelling in contexts of suffering. In particular, I argue that creating stories in suffering is a mode of resistance and addresses silence in situations of silencing. To this end, storytelling is a saviour of suffering.

Stuart Murray: Both Medical Humanities and Disability Studies have experienced critical turns, but where these leave the relationship between the two remains unclear. I want to argue that both have under-acknowledged limitations as critical fields, but that the current working methods of each are well placed to critique the other, highlighting their shortcomings and speaking to some of the consequences that have come from their relative success as emerging academic disciplines.

Jo Winning: In early March 2023, the UK government announced its plans to make the UK a ‘Science and Technology Superpower’ by 2030 [https://www.gov.uk/government/news/plan-to-forge-a-better-britain-through-science-and-technology-unveiled] – critical medical humanities have a crucial role to play in any such plans, and must refuse the exclusion of the humanities.

Patricia Kingori: Fixations of endings in global health are a violence to which the medical humanities must pay greater attention.

Register now for NNMHR Congress 2023, 19-21 April:

Register now for CRITICAL
Posted on 14 Apr 2023, under News.

Free producer training (NNMHR Congress-related opportunity)

An exciting opportunity to get free producer training for online events!

The fifth annual congress of the Northern Network for Medical Humanities Research (NNMHR), CRITICAL will be running from 19-21 April 2023.

Like the previous NNMHR congress in 2021—attended by over 1,300 delegates from across the globe—the 2023 congress will be entirely online, with the explicit aim of encouraging international participation and remaining accessible and inclusive of those who might find attending in person difficult for health, financial, caring or geographical reasons. To ensure that the Congress runs as smoothly as possible for both presenters and participants, all sessions will be supported by an online producer.

We are recruiting a team of 20 online producers for the Congress and will provide online producer training on March 8 (10-12:30).

Run by facilitator Orla Cronin and taking place via Zoom, this 2.5 hour session will focus on the role of a producer in delivering successful virtual events. By the end of the training, attendees will have:

  • Developed a repertoire of basic troubleshooting tips and practices, including optimising screen sharing, renaming, and working with participants to solve audio problems.
  • Practiced and discussed breakout rooms from a participant and producer point of view, and finessed the way in which you set them up and manage them.
  • Practiced dealing with (role-played) security challenges.
  • Experienced several engagement activities using ‘excursions’ to different software and using in-Zoom tools.

Please note, this training is free and will provide an invaluable set of tools for participants from all fields and career stages. In exchange (and as a good way of practising these new skills in a supported team , we ask that participants act as producers for a minimum of two panels during CRITICAL.

To register for the training, please follow the link below:

The deadline for submissions is March 1 and applicants will be notified of the result no later than March 3.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Best wishes,

The NNMHR Congress team

What is a producer? Is this for me?

An effective producer (backroom facilitator, co-facilitator) will troubleshoot, make activities and breakout rooms happen smoothly, and ensure that outputs (recordings, documents) are available at the end of an event.

You may already be performing the role of producer, you may deeply appreciate the value of it but not tried it out yet, or, like many who come to Orla’s virtual facilitation courses, you’re not sure where to start in developing producing skills in yourself and others.

This session will enable you to build your confidence, polish your skills, and explore what can go wrong and how to either fix it or minimise the disruption. We will focus on Zoom but also consider more general implications for producing on other platforms.

Posted on 27 Feb 2023, under News.

Medical Humanities and the Ethics of Editing: Event on 12th January 2023

Announcement of the first Northern Network for Medical Humanities Research (NNMHR) event of 2023!

Online only.

‘Medical Humanities and the Ethics of Editing’

Medical Humanities and the Ethics of Editing image

Thursday 12th January 2023, 5pm GMT.

Click here to sign up. https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/medical-humanities-and-the-ethics-of-editing-tickets-481665493457

Editing is one of the great skills of academic careers. It is integral to how we engage with our own written work, and also in how we build communities of knowledge exchange and collaboration – through peer review, anthologies, outreach projects, editorial board membership, Wiki-thons, offering to look at a colleague’s grant application, etc. It is this central pillar of the academy, and yet at the same time it is seldom discussed and frequently underestimated as a metric of academic success. The practices, rules, and values of editing therefore are things we frequently develop only in private. Everyone must do it, but no one tells us how to – and consequently it is not often addressed how editing speaks to difficult ethical questions of power dynamics, representation, what gets “cut”, and what gets ordered.

This NNMH: Research Practice | Practice Research is an online only event that will foreground the practice and ethics of editing as a key skill of the medical and health humanities. In a workshop panel, four leading medical humanities researchers and practitioners will highlight the applied skills and challenges they face as editors. We will be joined by Arden Hegele (Columbia), co-founder of Synapsis journal, Chase Ledin (Edinburgh), Editor-in-Chief of The Polyphony, Adam Harangozó (NIHR), Wikipedian in Residence at NIHR, and Catherine Belling (Northwestern), former Editor-in-Chief of Literature and Medicine. This will then be followed by an open roundtable with our speakers, chaired by James Rákóczi (Durham and Northumbria).

Our aim is to consider together the relationship between editing, health-related knowledge, and academic careers – particularly as they relate to central issues of the medical humanities: the representation of lived experiences of illnesses; the relation of the field to chronic illness and critical disability studies as well as to mad and neurodivergent studies; the use of patient expression and testimony; the gaps between science and humanities cultures; the intersections of care and medical practice; and the global exchange and transfer of medical information. In addition, the event will act as a practical guide and inspiration for those wishing to consider how to develop and take their editing into new directions and projects.

Arden Hegele, ‘Editing and Building Communities in Health Humanities.’

Arden Hegele is Lecturer in English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University, where she also teaches in Medical Humanities. She is founding editor, with physician Rishi Goyal, of the health humanities journal Synapsis. Her recent publications include Romantic Autopsy: Literary Form and Medical Reading (Oxford University Press, 2022) and the edited volume Culture and Medicine: Critical Readings in the Health and Medical Humanities (Bloomsbury, 2022). One of the stated missions of Synapsis is to develop conversation amongst those ‘thinking about medical and humanistic ways of knowing’. Arden will discuss the origins of Synapsis as a “Department Without Walls”, and her aim as editor to build community across biomedical science, humanistic study, and public engagement.

Adam Harangozó, ‘Making Medical Knowledge Accessible.’

Adam Harangozó is the first Wikipedia Editor in Residence at the UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR). Adam has previously worked in a similar role for the Blinken Open Society Archives in Hungary and organises Wikipedia related events for vulnerable and less represented communities. He also writes articles regarding cultural and political issues, his latest publication being ‘Passenger Pigeon Manifesto’. His role at NIHR is to develop pathways for healthcare professionals and academics to make their research more visible and accessible through Wikipedia editing. Adam will discuss the opportunities and difficulties of this editorship role at NIHR and outline how researchers and patient representatives alike can become involved in open access healthcare communication projects.

Catherine Belling, ‘Challenges of Editing Peer-Reviewed Journals in Health Humanities Research.’

Catherine Belling is Associate Professor of Medical Education at the Feinberg School of Medicine of Northwestern University. She was editor-in-chief of Literature and Medicine from 2013 to 2018 and has been Editorial Board Member of many further leading journals such as Journal for Medical Humanities and Perspectives in Biology and Medicine. Her publications include A Condition of Doubt: The Meanings of Hypochondria (Oxford University Press, 2012) and multiple editorials such as ‘Reading like an editor: a farewell note’ (Literature and Medicine, 2019). Catherine will discuss the unexpected challenges and under-acknowledged responsibilities of being editor-in-chief and participating on editorial boards.

Chase Ledin, ‘Cultural Translation and Editing as Leadership.’

Chase Ledin is an Interdisciplinary Research Fellow in the Centre for Biomedicine, Self, and Society at Edinburgh University. He is acting Editor-in-Chief of The Polyphony, a Durham University-based web platform that aims to stimulate conversations in the critical medical humanities. He has published numerous research articles about representations of chronic HIV, most recently ‘Stories of HIV activists during COVID-19 in the UK’ with Olujoke Fakoya and Jaime Garcia Iglesias (2022). Chase will discuss current and upcoming intiatives of The Polyphony, such as the Polyphony Meets China project between the Narrative Medicine Research Centre (NMRC) at Southern Medical University (SMU) and Durham’s Institute for Medical Humanities. He will consider how editors relate the day-to-day decision-making of editing whilst overseeing a team of editors and cultivating broader ambitions for a journal’s future.

For further information, contact ECR Development Lead James Rákóczi at or .

Posted on 07 Dec 2022, under News.

Save the Date: NNMHR Congress April 19-21st 2023

Following the success of our 2021 Congress, we are delighted to announce the dates of the NNMHR Annual Congress 2023: Wednesday 19th April to Friday 21st April 2023.

We have decided to make the 2023 Congress another online-focused event. Back in 2021, being online meant that 1311 people from across the globe (Europe, USA, South Africa, the Middle East, India, and Australasia) engaged and participated in the Congress. We want to achieve a similar global reach and foster new collaborative possibilities.

The 2023 Congress coincides with the 10-year anniversary of a symposium held at Durham University in 2013 which marked the start of the ‘critical’ turn of medical humanities. Its theme will address this, as well as take stock of the here and now.

More details will be announced shortly, such as a Congress website, announcement of our conference theme, and a call for papers and panels. So get those pencils sharpened, because we would like you to be involved!

The main image used for NNMH Congress 2021’s theme of (In)visibility.

Posted on 12 Oct 2022, under News.

Four new NNMHR-funded Critical Medical Humanities Networks

The Northern Network for Medical Humanities Research is delighted to announce four new awards made under our first round of the New Networks in Critical Medical Humanities Funding Scheme.

This scheme attracted a high volume of quality applications: the originality, creativity and intellectual rigour demonstrated by all network proposals point towards an exciting future for critical medical humanities research. A call for a second round of proposals will be issued in early 2023.

The four successful networks will individually launch, or (as some of the networks are expansions of pre-existing projects) re-launch, over this month. Each represents innovative and incisive new directions for the critical medical humanities. All are led by non-hierarchical teams with members at differing stages of their academic careers.

If you are interested in getting involved in any of these networks, then do get in touch. You can do this by messaging NNMHR Network Coordinator Dr James Rákóczi who will happily forward you to the correct network. Or, of course, you can message the individual leads on each network project. Over to you NNMHR networks!

Broadly Conceived

  • Kate Errington
  • Jemma Walton

Broadly Conceived is a critical medical humanities network of postgraduate students and early career researchers interested in any aspect of reproduction. Established by PhD students Kate Errington (Birkbeck & London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine) and Jemma Walton (Birkbeck) in October 2021, the network has a blog, Twitter account, and holds monthly online ‘book club’ meetings. Kate and Jemma have already organised a number of other initiatives under the Broadly Conceived banner, including interviewing author Laura Dockrill about her experiences of postpartum psychosis for Birkbeck Arts Week 2022, and hosting an online tour of the Birth Rites Collection with curator Helen Knowles. Broadly Conceived aims to establish a supportive community of repro-researchers as they embark on their scholarly careers, which will enable members to thrive both within and beyond the university.

Ends of Knowledge: Critical University Studies and the Medical Humanities

  • Dr Harriet Cooper
  • Dr James Rákóczi

Ends of Knowledge is a research network that brings working knowledges from the medical humanities into dialogue with critical university studies. What does it mean to be a practitioner of the critical medical humanities in an era of geopolitical instability, entrenched inequality, and impending climate breakdown? What forms of knowledge can the critical medical humanities produce within university-systems structured by crisis managerialisms and uncaring, unending metrics of evaluation? What kinds of relationship to power and to health are assumed through the invocation of critique and what kinds of social and political agency do academics invested in the critical medical humanities have? The Ends of Knowledge network brings together a community of practitioners loosely identified (or dis-identified) with the (critical) medical humanities. It seeks to think-with, to remain alive to the possibilities of, and to retain agency within, the junctures of the present academy and world. By re-describing medical humanities practices through the material conditions that structure the contemporary academy, it will be committed to addressing challenging questions about the meaning and location of critique, intervention, knowledge-production, and much more — especially as it relates to health-related research and activism. Check out our website, see our upcoming events, join our mailing list, and follow us on Twitter at @EndsKnowledge.

Neurodivergent Humanities

  • Dr Louise Creechan
  • Dr Louise Creechan
  • Dr Ria Cheyne
  • Dr Arya Thampuran
  • Dr Leni van Goidsenhoven
  • Sarinah O’Donoghue
  • Alice Hagopian

The Neurodivergent Humanities network will be a safe and generative space that accommodates the diverse, individual needs of scholars working in the humanities, while offering a shared sense of community and support. We will explore and pilot new modes of thinking, being, and doing research in ways that better support our needs, within and beyond institutional structures and practices. The research model we develop will reject the prevailing deficit model in neurodivergence discourse; we seek to reframe best practices as teaching, learning, and research methods that can best support the diverse needs and skills within our community in an academic environment. The network will develop an online hub to share resources, where we can consolidate our experiences of what has worked (and not worked!) in the academic spaces we have encountered, and ultimately create a more hospitable space for us to undertake our research. We will also run regular roundtable workshops to bring together scholars from different fields, to brainstorm collaboratively about better access and practices in academic spaces. Our learnings will eventually feed into a ‘manifesto on the move’, a living, co-produced document of best practices for engaging with research and supporting neurodivergence – both academically and pastorally. To sustain these connections, we will also develop a mentorship model to support one another, one that is aligned with our collaborative, non-hierarchical ethos.

Nonhuman Animals in the Medical Humanities Network (NAMHN)

  • Dr Vanessa Ashall
  • Dr Camille Bellet
  • Dr Bentley Crudgington
  • Dr Eva Haifa Giraud
  • Dr Renelle McGlacken

The Nonhuman Animals in the Medical Humanities Network (NAMHN) is a transdisciplinary research network that brings knowledges and practices from the medical humanities into conversation with animal studies. What would a science of the medical humanities in which the inclusion of nonhuman animals is no longer just a matter of multispecies care and medicine for humans, but also for nonhuman animals look like? What theoretical and methodological approaches would such a science require? Our goal is to bring together scholars from diverse disciplines, artists, writers, practitioners, and activists to rethink and revive the role of nonhuman animals in the medical humanities. We will create an exchange platform in which all interested members can participate freely and easily. Blogs, podcasts, vodcasts, or many other audio-visual creations stimulating dialogue and reflection will be regularly published there to promote new ways of thinking about and listening to nonhuman animals in the Medical Humanities. We will organise four creative workshops over the next two years, around key themes not yet defined, but chosen in collaboration with network leaders and academic and non-academic partners to give participants the opportunity to think outside the box and challenge both their knowledges and practices. A closing online exhibition inspired by these exchanges will be prepared and staged on the website at the end of 2024 to open the NAMH community to new horizons. We aim to make everyone here feel welcome, valued, supported to develop new scientific visions, innovative and ground-breaking academic networks, and find collaborative writing opportunities!

Posted on 05 Sep 2022, under News.

Publishing Your First Medical Humanities Monograph

In this online event, run especially for ECR members of the Northern Network for Medical Humanities Research, we will hear from three scholars who have recently published their first monograph within the medical humanities. Each speaker will talk about their experiences of publishing: the pitfalls and difficulties as well as the intellectual and emotional rewards. These authors have published or are publishing with Edinburgh University Press, Berghahn Books, and Manchester University Press. After the three short talks (ten to fifteen minutes each), there will be time for audience members to ask questions about publishing a medical humanities monograph as an early career researcher.

Sara Honarmand Ebrahimi is a Post-doctoral Research Fellow at the School of Architecture, Planning and Environment Policy, University College Dublin. She will join Goethe University Frankfurt as a Humboldt Research Fellow next year, where she will start working on her new project, Non-colonial Internationalists and Hospital Provision(s) in the Global South. Her first book, Emotion, Mission, Architecture, is forthcoming with Edinburgh University Press.

Ben Kasstan is a Vice Chancellor’s Fellow and medical anthropologist at the Centre for Health, Law and Society at the University of Bristol. His research explores the cultural politics of health protection, and specifically how reproductive and child health provoke opposing quests and questions around preserving life between minorities and states. His monograph Making Bodies Kosher: The Politics of Reproduction among Haredi Jews in England was published open access with Berghahn Books (seires on Fertility, Reproduction and Sexuality) in 2019. Email: 

Coreen McGuire is a Lecturer in Twentieth-Century British History at Durham University. Her first book, Measuring Difference, Numbering Normal: Setting the standards for disability in the interwar period combined history of medicine, science and technology studies, and disability history. She will commence a 5-year Wellcome University Award project with Durham University on ‘When Categories Constrain Care: Investigating Social Categories in Health Norms through Disability History 1909-1958’ in 2023. For a full list of publications see www.coreenmcguire.com and follow on Twitter @coreen_anne.

Register on Eventbrite HERE.

Posted on 12 May 2022, under News.

What Makes a Good Medical Humanities Research Network?

Hosted by The Northern Network for Medical Humanities Research (NNMHR) with guest speakers Josie Gill and Amber Lascelles (Black Health and the Humanities, University of Bristol) and Camilla Mørk Røstvik (The Menstruation Research Network, University of Aberdeen).

Online (Zoom) on Wednesday 6th April 2022, 12.30 to 14.00 BST

Booking via Eventbrite

Josie GillAmber Lascelles and Camilla Mørk Røstvik will give short presentations on their experiences setting up and running two very different medical humanities networks, the Black Health and the Humanities project and The Menstruation Research Network, addressing questions such as what makes a good network, how to get a nascent network up-and-running, how to ensure the ongoing sustainability of a network, and how to evaluate a network’s success. This will be a relatively informal event, with plenty of time for questions from attendees. 

This event is open to scholars and practitioners engaged in critical medical humanities research anywhere in the world, and will be of particular interest to those considering applying for the NNMHR New Networks in Critical Medical Humanities Funding Scheme

Black Health and the Humanities 

The Black Health and the Humanities project is an interdisciplinary training network and collaborative research initiative. Based at the Centre for Black Humanities at the University of Bristol, UK, we explore the role of the arts and humanities in understanding and improving the health of Black people in twenty-first century Britain.We seek to understand how Black scholarship and creativity shapes and responds to illness, and to explore the role of activism and care in confronting the racialised landscape of medicine. The project’s Principal Investigator is Dr Josie Gill and Dr Amber Lascelles is the Research Associate. The project is funded by the Wellcome Trust.

The Menstruation Research Network 

The Menstruation Research Network (UK) brings together experts from the sciences and humanities, NGOs, the arts, activists and campaigners, industry and the NHS in order to unify knowledge about medical, political, economic, psychological and cultural issues related to menstruation. The network was initially supported by a Wellcome Trust Small Network Grant (February 2019 – February 2020). The MRN has since received a second grant from Wellcome for four more years of activity, and has recently moved its base from the University of St Andrews to the University of Aberdeen where the leader on the grant, Dr Camilla Mørk Røstvik, now works. 

Posted on 11 Mar 2022, under News.

NNMHR New Networks in Critical Medical Humanities Funding Scheme 2022-2023

The Northern Network for Medical Humanities Research (NNMHR) has a strong national and international reputation as an interdisciplinary hub for researchers, practitioners and artists working in the critical medical humanities. Through a dynamic programme of events for early career researchers, and congresses held at Durham, Leeds, Sheffield and online in 2021, the NNMHR has been successful in engaging over two thousand researchers at all career stages and from all the disciplines contributing to the field. Collaboration and moving across disciplinary boundaries is increasingly important to generating new frameworks, scholarship and practices within critical medical humanities research. 

Shifting the focus from small research projects and individual fellowships, the New Networks in Critical Medical Humanities Funding Scheme will enable the NNMHR to identify and support other networks of researchers committed to the innovative development, complication and expansion of the field. These networks will involve early career researchers in leading or coordinating roles, and will help catalyse new ideas, methodologies, collaborations and areas of further investigation within the critical medical humanities, nationally and internationally. We welcome proposals for new networks as well as applications from established networks seeking to support new activities or initiatives.

The New Networks in Critical Medical Humanities Funding Scheme is made possible by a Discretionary Award from Wellcome Trust [UNS128916].


We invite applications for grants of up to £2500 to support networking activities for up to two years. 

Costed networking activity may include, but is not limited to:

  • collaboration events and activities of core network members (including travel)
  • collaboration and scoping events with relevant stakeholders 
  • scholarly outreach and public engagement initiatives 
  • core resources for collaborative research activity (including technological resources)
  • costs associated with plenary speakers or keynote events
  • costs associated with any publications emerging from the network in the duration of the award
  • Staffing costs in the form of stipends or hourly payments for unwaged or precarious workers including but not necessarily limited to artists, activists, representatives from charities or similar organisations. If the ECR network leader named on the grant is not currently in full-time paid employment, funds may be requested to support their salary costs (on an hourly paid or fractional basis) for time spent coordinating network activities. Hourly paid staffing costs must be administered by the host institution in line with their own policies around casual employment.

Costs that are not eligible for funding include:

  • teaching buy-outs, fellowships, or personal payments for individual or group research time
  • technology and computing resources for individual use 

Prospective applicants will be able to attend an online workshop to explore what makes a successful research network, to reflect upon the benefits and limitations of online working, to address barriers to access, and to share best practice. 

The NNMHR will support successful applicants by offering them mentoring, helping them to establish the public profile of their network, and inviting them to showcase the activities of their network at the annual NNMHR congresses and through regular contributions to The Polyphony. The NNMHR will provide regular informal opportunities for the individuals running critical medical humanities networks to share their experiences and ideas, reflect on what is working and what is not, and identify areas of synergy and potential collaboration. 

The NNMHR will agree with successful applicants an approach to evaluation prior to the commencement of funded activity. As they will engage and develop different constituencies and intellectual agendas, networks require space to experiment, as well as flexibility in the definition of what counts as ‘success’.


Applicants can come from any discipline or sector engaged in critical medical humanities research, working anywhere in the world. Applications will only be considered from groups of two or more individuals working collaboratively. 

At least one applicant within the proposed network must be affiliated to an institution willing to administer the grant, should this be awarded. Contact details for this applicant (if someone other than the lead author) and their institution, as well as a letter of support from the institution concerned, must be provided. 

In order to ensure that the network supports the career development of its coordinators, at least one applicant in this group must regard themselves as being early career (broadly defined as not having yet taken up a permanent post). 

While a focus on critical medical humanities research is essential, the scheme recognises that research takes place in spaces beyond the academy and can be carried out within a wide range of professional, artistic and community contexts. Applications from researchers from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities and from people who identify as disabled or who have lived experience of illness will be strongly encouraged. 

Assessment Criteria

Applicants will be free to determine the nature and scope of network activity within the Wellcome Trust’s overall guidelines, and can use funds to cover the costs of network coordination. It will not be a requirement that networks generate discrete research outputs or applications for further funding; however, applicants must be able to identify some broader goals for the network beyond simply exchanging ideas, and to show how participation will benefit those involved in the network’s coordination and activity. 

Applications will be assessed against the extent to which they:

  • further a critical medical humanities approach to health-related research
  • have the potential to impact positively on the people engaged, whatever their background, role, profession, status or career level
  • involve early career researchers in coordinating or leading roles
  • take intellectual risks or propose experimental ways of working
  • are committed to inclusivity and have identified strategies to achieve this
  • embrace interdisciplinarity as part of their approach to their chosen theme/s
  • address the sustainability of the proposed collaboration and/or the topic at hand beyond the life of the grant (this could take a number of forms including ECR career development, or how the network might exist or evolve in the future)

Applications will be assessed by a panel made up of members of the NNMHR Steering group.

Please note:

  • While we will take into account matters like representation and diversity among the people and topics involved, the actual size of your network is not included in the assessment criteria. This is intentional. We want to see the best and most innovative ideas that the critical medical humanities have to offer. These might involve any number of people from any location/s in the world. Key questions addressed by these networks can impact local through to global settings and contexts, the most important thing is bringing the right people together to do that. Interdisciplinarity matters, but how you achieve this is up to you.
  • Networks can work to broad or narrow themes: what matters is the furthering of knowledge and practice around approaches to thinking about health.
  • The aims of individual networks might include the production of scholarly outputs but this is not essential. We are interested in bringing together new communities of thought and practice and how you seek to address issues within the field of critical medical humanities is up to you. We are happy to consider all types of activity that might positively impact the field.

Application Process

Applicants should complete the application form (below), and email both the completed application form and institutional letter confirming support by 5pm (UK time) on Friday 6th May 2022 to Dr Christine Slobogin at . The NNHMR Steering Group will review the applications and notify all applicants of the outcome by early June 2022. 

As described in Wellcome Trust’s Grant Conditions it is important to note that:

  • NNMHR requires that all funded networks comply with the legal, ethical and risk-based processes of the institution administrating the grant. NNMHR also reserves the right to refuse any expenditure or event that does not meet adequate health and safety or ethical compliance standards
  • Grant holders must inform NNMHR if planned activities and/or expenditure needs to change significantly within the duration of the award
  • Any unspent funding must be returned to NNMHR at the end of the grant period.
Posted on 08 Mar 2022, under News.

ECR Research & Development Fellowship Opportunity with AHRC and Zinc

The Research & Development team for Zinc, which builds brand-new companies from scratch to develop products and services that respond to urgent societal challenges, offers the below opportunity:

We have four overarching mission areas around: mental health, healthy ageing, the future of work in contexts of automation and globalisation, and the environment. Each of our venture-builder programmes has a sharp focus on a specific aspect of one of those missions. Over the course of the programme, we help founders to understand the unmet needs and identify the underserved communities within that specific area, and to develop new, commercially scalable products and services that respond to them. 

The AHRC has generously provided pilot funding to allow an ambitious ECR to join Zinc for a 12-month Research & Development Fellowship, working alongside the new intake of founders in our next venture-builder starting in October. Applicants can have a background in any AHRC discipline but should have a strong interest in Zinc’s current mission focus on improving mental health for children and young people. They do not need any previous commercial experience to apply for this post.

This is an exciting opportunity for a researcher interested in learning more about the world of mission-focused start-ups to get a very different type of ‘industry’ experience. They’ll join our in-house R&D team and work directly with start-up founders in a supportive, research-focused commercial environment. The R&D Fellow will gain particular understanding and significant hands-on experience of research in the context of early-stage innovation. 

This may appeal to arts and humanities PhD students who are expecting to complete their viva before October and/or any ECRs who may be considering their next move and interested in innovation. They can find more information about this opportunity and apply for the R&D Fellowship here. The deadline for applications is 18:00 on Monday 30th August 2021.

Contact Rachel Middlemass for more information

Posted on 10 Aug 2021, under News.