Historian wins £1m for medical humanities research

Posted on 24 February 2012

Dr Sanjoy Bhattacharya from the Department of History has won a prestigious Wellcome Trust Senior Investigator Award in Medical Humanities

Dr Sanjoy Bhattacharya - photo by Chris Clunn

Dr Bhattacharya is one of the first recipients of the Wellcome Trust's Investigator Awards in Medical Humanities, awarded to world-class scholars asking the most important questions at the interface of science, medicine and the humanities.

The award of £1 million will provide financial support for a major five-year research project on the history and contemporary running of primary health care in South Asia, together with seminars and projects in collaboration with the World Health Organisation. 

The award will fund two research fellows, a public engagement officer, research assistants in India and Sri Lanka and three doctoral students.

The Wellcome Trust Senior Investigator Award will provide an invaluable opportunity to provide a rounded and original analysis of one of the most ambitious efforts to increase health coverage and health equity internationally.

Dr Sanjoy Bhattacharya 

Dr Bhattacharya said: "The Wellcome Trust Senior Investigator Award will provide an invaluable opportunity to provide a rounded and original analysis of one of the most ambitious efforts to increase health coverage and health equity internationally – the global movement for Primary Health Care (PHC), which was developed and run over the course of much of the 1970s and 1980s. In a context where a new global movement for PHC is being advocated yet again by the World Health Organization (WHO), this is an ideal time for the preparation of detailed, historically grounded, inter-disciplinary and independent studies of past and current chapters of the movement. The analysis my team will develop will be set within a longer history of decolonization and the search for the provision of universal healthcare in the South Asian sub-continent."

Wellcome Trust press release about the Investigator Awards in Medical Humanities