Funded PhD opportunity: interdisciplinary project involving Drama, Sociology and Experimental Medicine

07 March, 2018 by Chris Collins | 0 comments

Funded PhD opportunity for an interdisciplinary project involving Drama, Sociology and Experimental Medicin

Deadline for Applications: Wednesday 11 April 2018 PhD project title and outline: Developing an art-based methodology to improve healthcare in pregnancy



This multidisciplinary project focuses on the development of a pioneering arts-based methodology based on a modified version of Augusto Boal’s model of educational theatre directed towards improving healthcare in pregnancy. The technique will involve scripted scenario performances, translations and discussions proved effective for engaging with hard-to-reach ethnic minority group populations such as the Roma. Our recent pilot study with Roma mothers uncovered attitudes to pregnancy, which reinforce health inequalities, and present significant challenges for improving the health of marginalized populations. This pilot underlined the importance of building trust through holistic approaches to working with hard-to-reach populations through the creative arts. Engaging with minority groups on healthcare issues is important for the well-being of any community. Existing health inequalities among Roma have recently been documented in relation to pregnancies due to low attendance at the ante-natal clinics, higher obesity rates which show a higher rate of low-birth weight, preterm birth and infant mortality. The Fellow will get an opportunity to engage with the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust Public Health team, particularly with Health Improvement, Community Development and Arts in Health team, which will facilitate the development of skills in a different professional context. In addition, student will be able to work collaboratively with the University of Belgrade and the Clinical Centre of Serbia. Serbia has the greatest proportion of Roma people outside of the European Union. The student will also be able to get exposure to various non-governmental organisations in Belfast and in Serbia and the work they do in community. Overall, through this interdisciplinary and international project, the student will be able to develop innovative forum theatre methodology which will then be validated as a health intervention in cohorts of Roma and other women in Belfast and Belgrade.



Drama, Sociology and Experimental Medicine interdisciplinary project webpage:


Main site with application details:


Dr Paul Murphy, Principal Supervisor, email:


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