Partner: Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust

Base: Arts Institute, Plymouth University

Mentors: Dr Joanne ‘Bob’ Whalley; Dr Sam Regan de Bere


Collaboration between the Peninsula Medical School and the Faculty of Arts and Humanities at Plymouth University has resulted in the establishment of a new Medical Humanities research cluster. With support from the Arts Institute, this cluster focuses upon the way in which strategies drawn from the creative industries might support the development of improved clinician / patient encounters with the potential to encourage significant cost savings and improvements in productivity. Through bringing together the skill-sets available within the Peninsula Medical School, and the research interests from across the Arts Institute, we hope to question how patients might ‘perform’ their ‘role’ in a bid to gain a better sense of agency in clinical exchanges.


This project will begin with a survey of the role currently played by interactive, and immersive environments (ranging from patient simulations, through to MMPORG, VR Headsets, and full-dome virtual environments), in Medical educational contexts. Following on from this, and in recognition of ‘messiness’ (via Law, 2004) of patient / clinician interaction, we hope to identify the tentative and competing narratives which may afford the patient a valuable space in which to generate a deeper understanding of their interaction with clinicians. This NPIF Creative Economy Engagement Fellowship will look for possible environments in which the use of virtual systems might be beneficial in encouraging patient to enter a self-reflective process in which they are supported to find ways to ask questions about treatment, prognosis, and after-care. This project will focus on the development of strategies to increase interaction between arts and health professionals, and in dialogue with patients and advocacy groups, offer a pilot to explore how the use of immersive role-play might allow for a better exchange, and lead to an improved sharing of information.


We are looking for candidates with a relevant PhD, skills and experience in the medical humanities, and a specific interest in patient / clinician encounters. Familiarity of working within a clinical setting would be helpful, but is not considered essential to this post.


Contact: Dr Lee Miller –