Daisy FancourtHonorary Research Fellow
Faculty of Medicine
Imperial College London

Daisy Fancourt is Wellcome Research Fellow in the Department of Behavioural Science and Health at UCL, and an honorary Research Fellow in the Imperial College Faculty of Medicine. Her research focuses on the effects of arts participation on neuroendocrine and immune response, the use of the arts within clinical settings, and the impact of cultural engagement at a population level.

Daisy studied at Oxford University and King’s College London before completing a PhD in psychoneuroimmunology at UCL. She subsequently undertook postdoctoral work in the Centre for Performance Science before returning to UCL. Her research has won over a dozen awards including silver prize in the Hektoen International Medical Humanities Competition (2013), the Ruth Bowden Scholarship for academic excellence in a doctorate in the field of medicine from the British Federation of Women Graduates (2015), a Young Investigator Scholarship (2015) and Scholar Award (2017) from the American Psychosomatic Society, and the British Science Association Jacob Bronowski Award in Science and the Arts (2016). She is currently the holder of a British Academy Rising Star Engagement Award through which she runs the International Arts Health Early Career Research Network, and has also been named as a World Economic Forum Global Shaper and a BBC/AHRC New Generation Thinker. Daisy is a Fellow of the Royal Society for Public Health and is on the Steering Group for their Special Interest Group in Arts and Health.

Alongside her research, she has worked for over 7 years in the NHS, including at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital managing the arts and clinical innovations programmes, working alongside clinicians to devise interventions to improve patient experience and clinical outcomes. From 2012-2015, the programme she established reached over 100,000 patients and has been recognised with a commendation for arts-in-health excellence from the Royal Society for Public Health (2014) and an NHS Innovation Challenge Award (2015). Daisy is Director of Research for Breathe Arts Health Research (a spin-out company of Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital delivering arts programmes to hospitals and Clinical Commissioning Groups) and delivers freelance consultancy on arts and health to arts organisations, hospitals, and CCGs.

Email: daisy.fancourt@rcm.ac.uk

Current projects

Art for Ages
Music and Motherhood
Sing with Us



Fancourt D & Perkins R (forthcoming), Does attending community music interventions lead to changes in wider musical behaviours? The effect of mother-infant singing classes on musical behaviours amongst mothers with symptoms of postnatal depression, Psychology of Music.

Fancourt D & Perkins R (forthcoming), Maternal engagement with music up to nine months post-birth: findings from a cross-sectional study in England, Psychology of Music.


Fancourt D (2017), Arts in Health: Designing and Researching Interventions, Oxford University Press [ISBN 9780198792079].

Fancourt D & Perkins R (2017), Associations between singing to babies and symptoms of postnatal depression, wellbeing, self-esteem and mother-infant bond, Public Health, 145, 149-152 [DOI].


Burrai F, Hasan W, Fancourt D, Luppi M, & Di Somma S (2016), A randomized controlled trial of listening to recorded music for heart failure patients: study protocol, Holistic Nursing Practice, 30, 102-115 [DOI].

Fancourt D (2016), An introduction to the psychoneuroimmunology of music: history, future collaboration and a research agenda, Psychology of Music, 44, 168-182 [DOI].

Fancourt D, Burton T, & Williamon A (2016), The razor’s edge: Australian rock music impairs men’s performance when pretending to be a surgeon, Medical Journal of Australia205, 515-518 [DOI].

Fancourt D, Perkins R, Ascenso S, Atkins L, Kilfeather S, Carvalho LA, Steptoe A, & Williamon A (2016), Group drumming modulates cytokine response in mental health service users: a preliminary study, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, 85, 53-55 [DOI].

Fancourt D, Perkins R, Ascenso S, Carvalho LA, Steptoe A, & Williamon A (2016), Effects of group drumming interventions on anxiety, depression, social resilience and inflammatory immune response among mental health service users, PLOS One, 11 (e0151136), 1-16 [DOI] [VIDEO].

Fancourt D & Poon M (2016), Validation of the arts observational scale (ArtsObS) for the evaluation of performing arts activities in healthcare settings,  Arts and Health, 8, 140-153 [DOI].

Fancourt D & Williamon A (2016), Attending a concert reduces glucocorticoids, progesterone and the cortisol/DHEA ratio, Public Health, 132, 101-104 [DOI].

Fancourt D, Williamon A, Carvalho LA, Steptoe A, Dow R, & Lewis I (2016), Singing modulates mood, stress, cortisol, cytokine and neuropeptide activity in cancer patients and carers, e-Cancer Medical Science, 10 (631), 1-13 [DOI] [VIDEO].

Perkins R, Ascenso S, Atkins L, Fancourt D, & Williamon A (2016), Making music for mental health: how group drumming mediates recovery, Psychology of Well-Being, 6 (11), 1-17 [DOI].


Fancourt D (2015), Birds, apes, and grandmothers: the personal side of music and health research, PsycCRITIQUES60 (18) [DOI].

Fancourt D, Aufegger L, & Williamon A (2015), Low-stress and high-stress singing have contrasting effects on glucocorticoid response, Frontiers in Psychology, 6 (1242), 1-5 [DOI].


Fancourt D (2014), Review of Music, Health, and Wellbeing (OUP, 2012), Psychology of Music, 42, 299-303 [DOI].

Fancourt D & Joss T (2014), Aesop: a methodological framework for arts and health research, Arts and Health, 7, 1-13 [DOI].

Fancourt D, Ockelford A, & Belai A (2014), The psychoneuroimmunology of music: a systematic review and new model, Brain, Behaviour, and Immunity, 36, 15-26 [DOI].


Fancourt D (2013), Medicine Musica: Two lenses on the rationalization of music and medicine, Hektoen International, 5 (3).


Fancourt D (2012), Review of Rethinking Schumann (OUP, 2011), Nineteenth Century Music Review, 9, 110-114 [DOI].