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Dr Katey Warran
Dr Katey Warran profile picture
  • Research Fellow in Social Science
  • Behavioural Science and Health
  • Institute of Epidemiology & Health
  • Faculty of Pop Health Sciences

Dr Katey Warran is a Research Fellow in Social Science at UCL in the Department of Behavioural Science and Health where she works with Dr Daisy Fancourt and her team to research the effects of social, cultural and community engagement on health as part of the MARCH Network. As well as this, Katey is Principal Investigator for a study at UCL exploring whether online group dance classes can support the social and mental wellbeing of young people, in addition to being a qualitative researcher for the UCL Covid-19 Social Study (a study investigating the psychological and social impacts of the pandemic).

Previously, Katey worked on a major study at the Centre for Performance Science (Royal College of Music and Imperial College, London) investigating the benefits of singing for those affected by cancer. She has contributed to a range of policy reports, including for the DCMS and Arts Council England, and is currently a consultant to the World Health Organization on arts and health. She is also Coordinator for the Arts Health Early Career Research Network, a Founding Trustee for Arts Culture Health and Wellbeing Scotland (ACHWS), and Co-Director of the Arts Play Health Community.

Research Summary

Katey is an interdisciplinary researcher who draws upon the fields of sociology, psychology, performance science, and philosophy to examine complex arts interventions and how they impact upon mental health and wellbeing. More specifically, she is interested in how group arts engagement can support social cohesion and improve social relationships, exploring this from multiple perspectives. For example, using theories from sociology to understand collective emotions and how they cement social bonds, drawing upon social psychology to explore the benefits of shared group identities, and applying theories from the philosophy of religion to unpack the more tacit, experiential aspects of creativity that unite people through shared ineffable experiences.

As part of the MARCH Network at UCL, Katey is currently carrying out research exploring what the ‘active ingredients’ of arts and cultural activities are. These are the ‘what’ of arts and cultural activities; whereas previous research has identified that arts and cultural activities can support the prevention, management or treatment of mental and physical illness, this study seeks to unpack what is ‘in’ these activities that specifically links them to health outcomes. As well as this, Katey is carrying out research exploring the qualitative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on freelancers working in the cultural industries.

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