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Arts and Wellbeing Award 21/22

The Veterans and Families Institute for Social Military Research (VFI) are proud to host an annual award to celebrate inquiry into the field of arts and wellbeing across HEMS and ALSS. The award is open to all PGR/T students across HEMS and ALSS in and across the field of arts, health, and wellbeing.

The Award

We will fund 2 separate interfaculty group projects at £500 each that explore how using arts can either/or:

  • Provide differing insights into how engaging with arts as activity (not therapy) brings about a sense of wellbeing
  • How using arts can bring differing perspectives/insights into the lived experience of wellbeing
  • One of the projects will have a specific focus on Armed Forces Veterans. The other will be on the adult population generally
  • Each project group must be formed by postgraduate (Masters/Doctoral) students across both HEMS and ALSS faculties. There must be a minimum of 3 students to form a group and a max of 7.
  • The 2 awarded projects must be completed by June 2022.

Focus 2021/22 Award

Each year, the award will focus on a different aspect of wellbeing. For 2021/22 award, the focus is to explore the concept of wellbeing and physical disability.

For physical disability, we are referring to (for example, and not limited to) loss of limbs from amputation and/or loss or use of limbs through illness/damage to the spinal cord (e.g. spinal cord injury) or degenerative disease (e.g., motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis) or vascular trauma (e.g. a stroke) and does not include sensory loss (e.g., visual/hearing impairment).

Well-being recognises various concepts that may impact individual physical and subjective feelings about their physical, mental, and social state in their everyday daily living. Such factors may be (but are not limited to):

  • Having physical abilities/disabilities
  • Having mental health needs
  • Economic opportunities to gain employment
  • Access to safe housing
  • Access to a nutritional diet
  • Social opportunity to contribute to society/feel valued
  • Feelings of self-worth/acceptance
  • Opportunity to practice religion/spiritual beliefs safely

Arts are defined as activities engaged in creating visual, audio or performing works intended at looking at this matter in creative and powerful ways. Here, the importance is on engagement with arts as undertaken as an activity and notas a therapeutic patient focussed intervention for diagnosed illness, for example, art therapy, music therapy.

Why consider this award?

This award brings opportunity to differentiate your academic and professional development through various means. Successful applicants will have opportunity to present and display their artefacts across various venues, for example, ARU PGR research conferences, to veteran organisations/communities and civilian organisations/support organisations and be developed for publication. The process of applying for, procuring funding, developing and delivering your projects will evidence high level creative, intellectual and organisational skills. Importantly, it evidences your abilities to work within diverse groups with differing academic and professional backgrounds, to plan to work together, deliver and enjoy the end disseminating the final product, a key feature for all future employment success.

Application Process:

To apply, you will need to complete the proposal template (find it further on the page).

To assist in your identifying peers to form a group and apply, the following 3 online events will be held:

  1. An information, meet and talk ideas event on the Oct 13th (time to be announced). In this event, you will hear details about the award, meet a veteran to discuss understandings about physical disability and arts and to meet and make contacts with your peers across both faculties to explore ideas and opportunities of possible projects. You will then individually set up meetings (online) to develop ideas/establish a project group and develop your proposal (see below for outline of proposal). To register interest to attend this event, please e mail
  2. We will hold 2 information/proposal development check in tutorials with the organisers on: 3rd November and 1st December
  3. You will submit your proposal by 2pm 15th December to
  4. You will be alerted to whether you proposal has been successful early Jan 2022. If successful, we will provide support for the ongoing project, and details will be provided.
  5. The successful applicants will be provided a budget code for you to use the £500 to, for example, purchase resources to be used in the development of the work. Each team will be assigned a team academic advisor who you will meet with during the length of the project (one term), to assist with managing the project, ensuring timelines are being met, and that the budget is being spent as stated.

We look forward to meeting you at our information event on the 13th October, and to find out more about this exciting award, and register your interest, please contact

Proposal Template

To apply for this award, you are invited to submit a proposal of 1000 words by 15th December.

The proposal will include:

  1. Title of proposed project
  2. Purpose of proposed project
  3. Outline of what kind of project you are proposing. For example, is it a work of art that explores the concept of physical disability, such as writing/painting/photographs/dance/poetry, or the use of art and creative activities in relation enhancing wellbeing. Please refer to information given at the introduction event 15thOctober.
  4. Summary of why this project will bring about new knowledge and insight into arts, health, and wellbeing
  5. A project specific timeline (Jan 2022 to June 2022)
  6. A proposed budget for how the £500 will be used in the production of the artefact.
  7. Adaptability for publication with the panel. For an artefact, this will include a commentary of the development of the artwork
  8. Have been completed within the academic year and accompanied by proof of current postgraduate enrolment