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This group brings together arts-based and participatory scholars from medicine, nursing & midwifery, and the performing arts, as well as a leading NGO for migrants. Our vision is to develop an increased understanding of the role of arts-based methods as participatory strategies for involving migrants in health research.

Migration is a global phenomenon and in 2016 WHO Europe published the first ever WHO strategy and action plan for refugee and migrant health. 17% of the population of Ireland is now born outside the country. In line with international imperatives for Public and Patient Involvement (PPI), involving migrants in health research is important. However, there is a persistent pattern of migrants’ exclusion from health-related participatory spaces.

University of Limerick scholars are field leaders in participatory approaches to health research. There is also a pioneering cohort of scholars focused on arts-based research and health, particularly in relation to singing. Both groups have developed capacity in participatory and arts-based research with specific reference to issues of migration.

Combined, we represent a unique and innovative collaboration to support existing and new collaborations and to shape national and international migrant health research and policy. Drawing on our experience of using participatory and arts-based methods, and utilising the existing infrastructure of the PPI theme in the Health Research Institute (HRI) at the University of Limerick (UL) we will work with existing civic engagement energies including the UL Sanctuary group and UL Engage towards three key goals:

Research: to expand the evidence base for the role of arts-based methods in migrant health research and to evaluate training in the use of participatory and arts-based methods.

Collaboration and networking:  to develop stronger links between arts, heath and migrant research energies within the university and beyond, and model networking strategies such as the Irish World Music Café.

Capacity Building and Training: to develop training opportunities in arts-based research methods for health workers, migrants and researchers, with a view to building skill, knowledge, resources, and confidence in the application of this approach.

Research Team

Lead Applicant: Prof Helen Phelan (Irish World Academy of Music and Dance)

Co-Applicant: Prof Anne MacFarlane (Graduate Medical School)

Co-Applicant: Dr. Sylvia Murphy Tighe (Department of Nursing & Midwifery)

Official Collaborator: Dr. Tríona McCaffrey (Irish World Academy of Music and Dance)

Official Collaborator: Dr. Hilary Moss (Irish World Academy of Music and Dance)

Official Collaborator: Dr. Susann Huschke (Graduate Medical School)

Official Collaborator: Maebh Barry (Department of Nursing & Midwifery)

Official Collaborator: Leonie Kerins (Doras Luimní)