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Health, Performance and Wellbeing

The Health, Performance and Wellbeing theme at ARU aims to address health inequalities and to improve the health and wellbeing of individuals, communities, the planet and society as a whole through the application of novel methods, technologies and creative arts.

The applications of this theme are broad and span across ageing, physical, mental and emotional states. Its breadth and depth offer plenty of scope for investigation.


This theme covers a wide range of areas and is structured under three main subthemes, Creative, Community and Digital, to preserve the breadth of the theme whilst giving order to the interdisciplinary mix and emphasising research strengths across the institution.

Research within as well as across sub-themes will facilitate creation of larger multidisciplinary teams that can more effectively address the complex challenges that align with this theme.

Research institutes and centres

Cambridge Institute for Music Therapy Research
Vision and Eye Research Institute
Medical Technology Research Centre
More Health, Performance and Wellbeing research institutes, centres and groups


Back view of academics sitting on chairs and tables in a seminar room, in a workshop

The Arts, Health and Wellbeing Research Network

This project will capture the breadth and depth of arts, health and wellbeing research across ARU, and foster new collaborations in this area.

Photo: George Shipley

Find out how we're bringing together arts, health and wellbeing researchers from across ARU

Our team

Health, Performance and Wellbeing is led by Fiona Bodle (Assistant Director Strategic Innovation), Prof Shahina Pardhan (Director, Vision and Eye Research Institute – VERI), Prof Barbara Pierscionek (Deputy Dean (Research and Innovation); MTRC), Prof Lee Smith (Professor of Public Health), Dr Kirk Woolford (Associate Professor of Creative Technologies), Annie Heiderscheit (Director, Cambridge Institute of Music Therapy Research – CIMTR), and Dr Nicholas Pugh (Interim Deputy Dean (Research and Innovation)).


24 October 2023

ARU and partners announce first event in Improving Quality Improvement series

Royal Papworth NHS Trust, ARU, Cancer Research UK and the Cambridge University Hospitals Leads for Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Professional (NMAP) Research are excited to announce a three-part series looking at the science of Quality Improvement and how its use can be improved in healthcare. The first event, with Prof Jo McPeake, will take place on 2 November at 5pm and is open for virtual attendance.

Find out more about and book your place for the first Improving Quality Improvement event
30 June 2023

ARU and Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (EPUT) to hold second joint research conference

Researchers and clinicians from ARU and EPUT will share their latest collaborative work at their second annual joint research conference on 15 September at Hughes Hall, Cambridge. The conference's theme is 'digital innovations in practice' and will include a keynote from Prof Andrew Bateman (University of Essex) on digital innovations in rehabilitation, as well as networking opportunities.

Find out more about and book your place at the second ARU and EPUT joint research conference
30 June 2023

ARU's Medical Technology Research Centre (MTRC) announces second conference

ARU's MTRC has announced its second annual conference will take place on 13-14 September 2023 at Hughes Hall, Cambridge. The conference will particularly focus on the benefits of collaboration, and delegates will hear from Prof Wei Chen (University of Texas Arlington) on nanotechnologies, and Prof Michael Sutcliffe (University of Cambridge) on biomedical engineering.

Find out more about and book your place at the second MTRC conference
29 November 2022

Academics present diabetic health research at Health, Performance and Wellbeing launch

Dr Raju Sapkota, Dr Pamela Knight, and Dr Justin Roberts gave a poster presentation, 'Barriers to the uptake of diabetic health services among Black Caribbean people diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in the UK' at the Health, Performance and Wellbeing research theme launch in Cambridge on 28 November 2022. They discussed the aims, methods, and findings of their research into Black Caribbean patients' healthcare experiences.

View the 'Barriers to the uptake of diabetic health services among black Caribbean people diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in the UK' poster (PDF)
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