We believe that engagement is not an add-on or afterthought, but a means to doing the best possible research, with the greatest real-world impact.
We aspire to be the world-leaders in the study of human experience that is hidden, marginalised, difficult, unspeakable, unacknowledged, or invisible. The people whose experiences we want to uncover are not just the subjects of our research. Along with those who support, care for, treat and advocate for them, they are partners in our research. We aim to embed engagement with these partners throughout the research cycle, from developing initial ideas to sharing findings.
We are also committed to sharing the experiences which underpin these hidden health problems, bringing them into clearer focus and influencing the wider conversation, public perceptions, policy and practice which surround them.
Our overarching vision for engagement in IMH is that, by 2030:
As far as possible, all research conducted within IMH includes genuine engagement with external stakeholders throughout the research cycle
Engagement is valued by researchers, both as a tool for improving and enriching their research, and as a means to develop themselves and their careers
Research generated within IMH is known and used by people who can benefit from it, particularly people with lived experience of the conditions studied, and healthcare and allied professionals
Medical humanities perspectives are increasingly respected by and incorporated into health and disease research methodologies, funding calls, policy and practice
To support this vision we provide funding, training, advice and support for researchers to develop engaged research projects with a particular focus on pre/early project engagement and developing research partnerships.
We also develop strategic Institute-level partnerships with healthcare providers and practitioners, policymakers, charities, NGOs, and other stakeholders.
In addition, we have recruited a group of non-academic critical friends called The Observatory who can provide a non-academic perspective on projects, outputs and proposals.
Our engagement work is coordinated by Dr Sarah McLusky, Senior Manager (Research and Engagement).