Research Associate

Daisy Fancourt is Research Associate in the Centre for Performance Science. She gained a double-first from Christ Church Oxford, where she was an Academic scholar and Joan Conway scholar, and received a distinction in her masters at King's College London, where she was both an SMA and World ORT scholar specialising in the application and impact of music within medicine. Her paper on these links won silver prize in the Hektoen International Medical Humanities Competition 2013.

Daisy's research interests include the effects of arts participation on neuroendocrine and immune response, the use of the arts within clinical settings, and the psychosocial impact of cultural engagement at an individual and public health level. She undertook her PhD in psychoneuroimmunology in the Psychobiology Group, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at UCL, tracing the mechanisms behind the effect of music on the immune system. Her research in this field won the 2014 Arnold Bentley New Initiatives Award, the 2015 Young Investigator Scholarship from the American Psychosomatic Society and the 2015 Ruth Bowden Scholarship for academic excellence in a doctorate in the field of medicine from the British Federation of Women Graduates.

Alongside her research, she has worked for over 6 years in the NHS, most recently at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital managing the arts and clinical innovations programme, investigating the effects of arts interventions on specific illnesses and working alongside clinicians to devise projects to speed recovery rates and improve patient outcomes. To date, the programme she established has reached over 100,000 patients and 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 currently Research Lead for Breathe Arts Health Research; a spin-out company of Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital offering services and consultancy to hospitals, clinical commissioning groups and universities.

Daisy sits on the committee for the Society for Education, Music and Psychology Research (SEMPRE), is in the steering group for the Royal Society for Public Health special interest group for arts and health research, and recently collaborated with the UK Arts and Health Research Network in writing the national framework for arts and health research methodology.

Email: daisy.fancourt@rcm.ac.uk


  • BMus 2 (Level 5) Psychology of Music
  • MSc in Performance Science




Fancourt D, Williamon A, Carvalho LA, Steptoe A, Dow R and Lewis I (in press), Singing modulates mood, stress, cortisol, cytokine and neuropeptide activity in cancer patients and carers ecancer.

Fancourt D & Williamon A (forthcoming), Attending a concert reduces glucocorticoids, progesterone and the cortisol/DHEA ratio, Public Health.


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(2):102-15.

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


Fancourt D & Poon M (2015, online first), Validation of the arts observational scale (ArtsObS) for the evaluation of performing arts activities in healthcare settings, Arts and Health: International Journal for Research, Policy and Practice.

Fancourt D (2015), Birds, apes, and grandmothers: The personal side of music and health research, PsycCRITIQUES 60(18), 8.

Fancourt D, Perkins R, Ascenso S, Atkins L, Kilfeather S, Carvalho LA, Steptoe A, & Williamon A (2015), Group drumming modulates cytokine response in mental health service users: A preliminary study, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, 85(1): 53-55.

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


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

Fancourt D (2014), Music, health and wellbeing: A review, Psychology of Music, 42, 299-303 [DOI].

Fancourt D, Ockelford A, & Belai A, (2014), The psychoneuroimmunology of music: A systematic review and new model, Brain, Behaviour, 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 & Norbury M (2013), The art of healing: Performing arts in hospitals, Arts Professional, 262, 22-23.


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

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Royal College of Music, Prince Consort Road, London SW7 2BS. Tel: +44(0)20 7591 4300 Royal College of Music, Prince Consort Road, London SW7 2BS.
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