Participatory Arts in Health and Care Research (PAIR): Building a North-West consortium for developing innovative arts approaches to Public and Person Involvement and Engagement

  • Clarkson, Paul (PI)
  • Hine, Paul (PI)
  • Morbey, Hazel (CoI)
  • Halliday, Emma (CoI)
  • Wheeler, Paula (CoI)
  • Majeed, Sajda (CoI)
  • Kaye, Simon (CoI)

Project Details


Applied health and care research requires public and person involvement and engagement (PPIE), at all stages of the research process: to shape research questions, design, development and delivery. This has developed over the last decade. However, more novel approaches are needed to build more collaborative, equitable and sustainable partnerships between researchers and diverse public groups, especially those under-represented in research or those that could add value in undeveloped sectors, such as social care and public health.  There is some systematic evidence of the benefits of arts-based approaches to the public and those using services. There is also evidence of how arts have been used in research, in developing research questions, at the data collection/generation, translation and dissemination stages. However, the extent to which these approaches are participatory (involving service users and communities in their delivery and learning) is less evident. It is unclear how the public are involved in creating and using arts-based approaches and what the evidence base is of effectiveness of participatory arts supporting applied research.

This formative project will build on existing work in participatory arts for public involvement, led by a Voluntary, Community, Faith and Social Enterprise (VCFSE) Sector organisation, Made by Mortals (MbM), in preparation for a later full PGfAR application. We wish to build a wider, North West consortium, leading on participatory arts, led by people with lived experience, to be a driver for engagement with researchers in health and social care. Our consortium will include VCFSE organisations, researchers, evidence users and regional NIHR infrastructure (existing CRN, RDS, ARCs) to link to wider geographies, transferability of the approach, and extending its reach to new user groups/communities.

Aims and objectives
In this Programme Development Grant (PDG) we will build our team, promote the approach in workshops, propose methods for using and evaluating the approach, scope the barriers to participation, to extend the reach of the MbM approach. This will be to prepare a subsequent PGfAR application, which will explicate an agenda for how communities could create, inform and use research, through case studies, using methodologies showing how participatory arts could both inform and benefit research studies.

Development work plan
Over 12 months we will meet with our host Trust, infrastructure partners, VCFSE collaborators, and researchers to plan for our full PGfAR study. MbM will promote their model of participatory arts in public involvement, undertaken in Greater Manchester, but widen its reach to other geographies and partners across the North West. We will engage in creating promotional activities whereby other VCFSE’s could undertake these approaches in their own localities, use workshops to exemplify the approach, examine potential barriers to participation, and design methodologies for how success could be judged.

Anticipated Impact and Dissemination
Impact will be in terms of the number of researchers that can join us in engaging in participatory arts, VCFSEs joining us and data on the approach's barriers, challenges and potential impact. We will engage to prepare the Programme, capitalising on NIHR infrastructure and participatory arts networks, collaborators and academic
research fora.
Effective start/end date1/08/2331/07/24

Collaborative partners

  • The University of Manchester (lead)
  • Made By Mortals CIC
  • Lancaster University
  • Building Bridges in Burnley
  • Tara Centre Lancaster (The Tara Project Lancaster C.I.C.)
  • Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust


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