The medical humanities comprise a variety of disciplines that explore the social, historical and cultural dimensions of scientific knowledge, clinical practice and healthcare policy. They investigate and give meaning to the experiences, narratives and representations of health and illness that are often ignored by the biomedical sciences alone.By exploring experience, knowledge and practice in context, the medical humanities can enrich our understanding of health, medicine and disease. For example, they can offer:
- scholarly reflection on scientific developments, clinical practice and human experience;
- opportunities to inform medical education and practice;
- new methods for examining questions about health, wellbeing and illness;
- the development of tools and techniques that allow patients and practitioners to engage reflectively and experientially.
The Medical Humanities funding stream encourages bold and intellectually rigorous research applications that address important questions at the interface of medicine, health-related sciences, and the wider humanities.We believe that these broad approaches will not only help to illuminate our perceptions of health and illness in the past and present, but also serve to shape the practice of medicine and experiences of health in the future.
We fund research from a wide array of disciplines, using a range of different methods and sources, including (but not limited to) anthropology, classics, the creative arts, English, history, medicine, philosophy, psychology and sociology.
Although we encourage interdisciplinary work, our principal aim is to support the best research by the brightest scholars at all stages in their academic careers.Funding decisions are made primarily by considering the importance of the research questions, the quality of the methods proposed to tackle them, and the track record of the researchers involved.
Our Strategic Awards support ambitious, large-scale initiatives or research programmes that address our five research challenges. Applications through the Medical Humanities funding scheme may also seek to explore medicine in social, historical and cultural contexts more broadly.