SICK! Festival: research collaborators wanted

SICK! Festival / Manchester Metropolitan University

Public Engagement Commissions 2019 – 2021



Date: 6th December

Time: 10.00am – 4.00pm

Location: Room 0.05, John Dalton Building, Manchester Metropolitan University

 In partnership with Manchester Metropolitan University, SICK! Festival is seeking to develop a series of public engagement projects with academics researching topics that relate to urgent issues of physical, mental or social well-being. You are invited to join a day-long workshop exploring this unique opportunity to enhance public engagement with your research.

Bringing together researchers, artists and individuals with personal or professional experience of the research in question, the projects developed will be true collaborations from conception through development to public presentation and evaluation. They will combine substantial research with public engagement and artistic outputs of high quality and far-reaching impact.


Collaborating with SICK! Festival will bring:

  • An international award-winning platform for public engagement with research
  • Match funding to enhance your existing public engagement funds
  • Access to large and diverse audiences
  • A highly-experienced concept development team
  • A pool of internationally-renowned artists working in a wide range of art forms
  • Partnerships with leading venues and cultural institutions
  • Comprehensive and high-profile marketing and PR for projects
  • Detailed audience feedback gathering and evaluation


About SICK! Festival

SICK! Festival confronts the physical, mental and social challenges that we face in our individual and collective lives. The festival presents an outstanding international arts programme, weaving in perspectives from academic research, clinical practitioners, public health professionals, charities and those with lived experience of the issues we address. Themes are explored through many art forms – dance, theatre, film, spoken word – and through discussion, debates and lectures. SICK! takes the conversation into major cultural venues and into the heart of the communities where the subjects matter most.  We exist to provide a common space in which differing perspectives and voices – the academic, the personal, the creative, the clinical – can come together in shared exploration, discovery and understanding. The issues we examine are often perceived to be difficult, and deeply personal subjects: sexuality, disability, identity and ethnicity, mental health, illness, ageing, death and dying. This is the very stuff of being human, but all too often, they are kept away from public view and debate. We exist to change that.



SICK! is a festival that confronts the challenges of life and death and how we survive them, or in some cases, how we don’t. It’s about challenges that are sometimes rooted in bodies and minds that seem to fail us, sometimes in the complexities of living as members of an inhospitable society. SICK! is about bearing witness to the realities of our lives and shining a light on urgent issues that often remain taboo or misunderstood. It’s about the expertise of academics and professionals, and the understanding that comes with personal experience.


In 2019 the festival will have a special focus around well-being and social inequalities.


The Workshop


The Workshop will be hosted by MMU / SICK! Festival Steering Group:

Dr. Lucy Burke: Principal Lecturer in Department of English, specializing in critical medical humanities, Manchester Metropolitan University

Dr. Tim Harrison: Director of Development, SICK! Festival

Impact and Engagement, Research and Knowledge Exchange, Manchester Metropolitan University



Over the course of the day we aim to identify:

  • Thematic and research areas with strong potential to be the basis of collaborative projects
  • Possible project structures and models for development / delivery
  • Additional opportunities for funding



A full agenda will be circulated prior to the event


Contact us

If you are interested in participating in this workshop, please contact Jenna Ashton and Edwin Colyer by November 18th with a paragraph about your research and what you hope to contribute to/develop at the workshop. Please direct any questions about the event to:


Impact and Engagement

Office of Research and Knowledge Exchange

Manchester Metropolitan University


T: 0161 247 2834 (ext. 2834)