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We review and summarise existing research to make it more easily accessible so its insights can be understood and applied more widely. Our approach is objective and we are clear about what evidence there is and where there are gaps.

Castleford Roman Festival, Wakefield Council. Photo: Sarah Zagni

Our research themes

As a research centre, our primary role is to review and synthesise existing research to make its findings more accessible via a series of research digests. This means a wider audience, including those working in the cultural sector and policymakers, can easily access relevant insights from a range of academic studies.

Our research reviews are focused around the following core themes:

  • The role of arts, culture, heritage and screen in the context of COVID-19
  • Culture, health and wellbeing
  • Cultural participation
  • Community, place and identity

In 2022 and 2023 our research has been focused on two themes: the social role of the artist, and lifelong cultural engagement.

In 2020 and 2021 our research focused on two themes: culture, health and wellbeing, and the impact of Covid-19.

Person wearing mask looks at Hebrew manuscript exhibits
Hebrew Manuscripts at British Library. Photo: David Jensen

Engaging with our research reviews

Our research reviews are shaped in consultation with practitioners, researchers and policymakers so they are as useful and relevant as possible.

There are a number of ways you can contribute to this process, including sharing your knowledge and research priorities via surveys, interactive workshops and policy round tables. This helps us to develop research review questions that we can find answers to in the literature.

Once we have drafted a research digest, it is reviewed and commented on by an expert in that area of research and practice so that our own methods can be appraised and remain as transparent as possible.

We publish reviews on our resource hub, share them in newsletters and host webinars where the findings and recommendations for future research can be discussed from a variety of perspectives. We also share any policy recommendations with relevant funders and policy makers.

Finally we review our digests annually to take into account any relevant new research, and we welcome your input at any stage if you feel we have missed any key literature.

There are five bullet points accompanied with graphics. Number 1. The text reads "Asking the right questions...We identify the questions you want answered by talking to practitioners, researchers and policymakers via surveys, workshops and round tables." This text is next to a magnifying glass with a question mark in the middle. Number 2. The text reads: " our research is relevant and useful. We review existing research on a topic focusing on the questions you want answered." This text is sat next to a drawn outline of a page of writing with a star in the corner. Number 3. The text reads: "Inviting experts to review. An expert reflects on our draft findings and works with us to make improvements." The image next to the text is the outline of a woman next to a research paper with a speech bubble from the woman with three stars in it. Number 4. The text reads: "Sharing our findings. We publish accessible research digests, as well as hosting webinars and podcasts." The text is next to an image of a microphone with sound waves coming out of it. Number 5. The text reads: "Keeping up to date. Things move quickly in this area, so we review our findings one year later to see what’s changed." Next to an image of the text: "1yr" in a wheel of arrows going clockwise. That is everything in the image.

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