International Research Alliance

Vicky Karkou taking at a conference

Prof Vicky Karkou, Director of the Centre is a member of the International Research Alliance for arts therapies. This alliance, directed by Dr Nisha Sajnani, supports and progresses doctoral and postdoctoral research activity in the field of arts therapies, linking Universities and communities around the globe, paying particular attention to reaching out to academic networks in resource poor countries as well. Members are from New York, Drexel and Lesley Universities in the USA, Alanus and Heidelberg Universities in Germany, University of Haifa in Israel, the University of Melbourne in Australia and Edge Hill University in the UK. 

Erasmus+ project partners

  • Università degli Studi di Roma ‘Foro Italico’
  • University Medical Centre, Utrecht
  • Incontradonna
  • ISESIstituto Europeo per lo sviluppo socio economico
  • Bulgarian Sports Development Association, Sofia
  • Klaipeda Region Women Information Centre, Lithuania

Edge Hill led the UK pilot of this European funded research project at Merseyside Dance Initiative in Liverpool, which involved the delivery of a sixteen week therapeutic dance programme designed for women who are in recovery from breast cancer, to support both their physical and psychological health. A free training weekend was also provided for dancers and exercise professionals who were interested in delivering the programme independently. A publication on the project is currently underway.  For more information visit

Riga Stradins University, Latvia

In 2014 Prof Vicky Karkou was awarded the title of Honorary Doctor of Medicine from Riga Stradins University, Latvia for her services in supporting the development of arts psychotherapies in the country. 

Today the universities continue to foster their relationship, sharing knowledge, and collaborating on both events and research projects.

Riga Stradins University

“The award expresses sincere gratitude about the successful scientific and teaching collaboration between our institutions.”

New York University

The Research Centre for Arts and Wellbeing enjoys a close collaborative relationship with New York University, sharing knowledge, working on research projects and publications together and facilitating network opportunities and collaborative events.

Through this partnership, students in Edge Hill University have also benefitted greatly. In March 2018 the university’s resident dance company 3rd Edge had the opportunity to travel to New York to perform at the US launch of the Oxford Handbook of Dance and Wellbeing.

The event was hosted at New York University by the Drama Therapy Programme, Dr Nisha Sajnani and Professor Vicky Karkou. Edge Hill University students closed the event with a performance of So Love…, choreographed by renowned dance artist, Mathieu Geffré. For more details read the news story.

Composite Regional Centre for Skill Development, Rehabilitation and Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, Karnataka, India

Dr. Gnanavel K, Assistant Professor in Speech Language Pathology and Audiology has been a key collaborator for the Indian Pilot study of Dance Movement Psychotherapy with the caregivers of children with ASD and been a co-author of two publications. For details of the research project, which has now also been developed and conducted in the UK please visit this page.