Arts and Health Researcher

Arts Research Institute in the Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts


The Arts Research Institute at Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts (VCUarts), in partnership with the Alliance for the Arts in Research Universities (a2ru), is hiring a researcher to assess the current landscape of university-driven arts and health initiatives in the U.S. This is a time-limited assignment intended to result in a comprehensive understanding of existing research, programs, and curricula intersecting art and design with health-related fields.

Requirements and Responsibilities

The researcher will be expected to complete the following:

  • Develop a national inventory of current arts and health-related initiatives at a2ru member universities and beyond, including but not limited to: academic and clinical research; arts-inclusive heath professional training programs; other educational courses; and community-based, health-oriented arts programming.
  • Produce a complementary geographic map of the identified arts and health-related initiatives;
  • Develop a list of non-academic partners working with universities on the identified arts and health initiatives, including government agencies, cultural institutions and other nonprofit organizations, private enterprises, and independent consultants;
  • Conduct a literature review of the field, incorporating studies from the last five years that integrate artistic practices with clinical and/or counseling practices, and examine the effects on the health and wellbeing of various populations;
  • Produce a report summarizing findings, and co-present findings and insights with Arts Research Institute staff at a November 2 pre-conference workshop at a2ru’s national conference in Denver, CO (travel support will be provided); and
  • Incorporate conference feedback into a final version of the above report.    

The above activities are expected to take place over a 4-month period between August and November 2016. This position will work an average of 28 hour per week (for an approximate total of 500 hours) and will report to the Executive Director for Research at VCUarts. The researcher will be expected to attend weekly check-ins, among other periodic meetings, with Arts Research Institute staff.


  • Graduate student or recent graduate (Master’s degree preferred) with a background in an artistic, design, or health-related discipline that is knowledgeable about and/or interested in the field of arts and health;
  • Strong writing and communication skills;
  • Experience conducting literature reviews;
  • Ability to work independently, and within the specified time frame for this assignment; and
  • Preferred but not required:
      • Familiarity with basic statistical analysis; and
      • Familiarity with geographic mapping software (or other tools for creating comparable visual representations).

Application Instructions

Submit the following application materials via VCU eJobs at

  • Cover Letter
  • CV/Resume
  • A list of three professional references including names with titles and contact information (references will not be checked prior to candidates’ approval). List of references should be included in the resume.
  • Only electronic applications submitted via VCU eJobs will be accepted.
  • The Cover Letter should be submitted in the “Cover Letter/Letter of Application” section in eJobs; the CV/Resume and References should be submitted as one PDF in the “Curriculum Vitae (CV)” section of eJobs.
  • Applications will begin to be reviewed on Monday, July 19, and will continue to be reviewed until the position is filled. The position is expected to begin on August 1, 2016.

To read more about VCUarts:

Virginia Commonwealth University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action university providing access to education and employment without regard to age, race, color, national origin, gender, religion, sexual orientation, veteran’s status, political affiliation or disability.

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