Research impact and knowledge exchange is a core aspect of Drama's research strategy.

We seek to design research projects that involve and directly benefit external partners.

We also look to develop innovative ways of enabling public engagement with areas researched within the department.

Drama researchers and postgraduates are encouraged to understand their work as being integrally connected to a diverse ecology of public audiences and to explore options for two-way exchange.

We believe that working in collaboration with a range of partners is also a key source of further learning for us.

Building sustainable relationships

Over a period of many years, we have worked to develop lasting relationships with partners ranging from prisons to museums to overseas NGOs.

Creating new platforms

Drama at Manchester has a long history of developing and collaborating in the development of, outward-facing organisations that create platforms for public research, practice, and knowledge exchange.

This approach dates back to the formation of the Theatre in Prisons and Probation Centre in 1992.

More recently, Drama researchers have been pivotal in the recent development of the Institute for Cultural Practices (ICP) and the Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute (HCRI).

There was also the biannual Insight Film Festival (launched in 2007), which supported young people in making films exploring interfaith dialogue and community cohesion.

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Hosting partners

The excellent theatre and conferencing facilities available at our departmental base, the Martin Harris Centre for Music and Drama, has enabled further opportunities for knowledge exchange with external users.

For example, we have hosted Platforma's national gathering of refugee artists and provided a venue for The Men's Room (an arts and social welfare organisation serving young men with experiences of homelessness, sex work, and the criminal justice system).

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Responding to need

We seek actively to be responsive to the stated needs of external partners. For example, Drama researchers have in recent years written commissioned, evaluative reports on arts projects by or for organisations including:

  • the New Charter Housing Trust and St. Vincent's Housing Association (Dr. Jenny Hughes);
  • the Exodus Onstage refugee theatre festival (Dr. Alison Jeffers);
  • Contact Theatre and Y Touring (Dr. Simon Parry).

Such commissioned work extends our own knowledge base while also proving directly impactful for users.