Navigation

News and events

University to launch new Centre for the Study of Compassion

Centre is first of its kind in UK

The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) has announced the launch of a new centre to support interdisciplinary research focused on compassion, mentoring and building community resilience.

Thought to be the first of its kind in the UK, the new Centre for the Study of Compassion will officially launch on 17 October.

It will focus initially on developing interdisciplinary research projects with colleagues across the University and beyond, providing supervision and support for new PhD students, and working to embed UCLan’s ambition to be a compassionate university, enriching the daily lives of students and staff alike. The Centre’s key research areas include the role of compassion in health and wellbeing; compassion in education and organisations; mentoring and compassionate leadership; mediation and compassionate approaches to justice; and the role of compassion and cooperation in establishing sustainable communities.

Professor Patrick Pietroni, the newly appointed Elizabeth Bryan Foundation Trust (EBFT) Chair for the Study of Compassion, will lead the Centre. Professor Pietroni’s career has spanned the NHS and academia. He is currently Director of the EBFT, a charitable trust founded in memory of the eminent paediatrician Elizabeth Bryan, whose work with families with twins or multiple births brought together the best of skilled medical practice with a profound commitment to the wellbeing of her patients and their families.

Professor Pietroni is also the Director of the Darwin Centre Trust CIO, which supports the Darwin International Institute for the Study of Compassion (DIISC). UCLan’s Centre for the Study of Compassion will house the new UK hub office for DIISC, establishing a focus for a number of British universities that have formally affiliated with DIISC; these include the Universities of Kent, Leicester and Westminster, among others.

The Centre will host DIISC’s Darwin Scholarship programme and will work across UCLan to help co-ordinate collaborative activities – including research, mentoring and teaching – relating to the study of compassion in the broadest sense.

It will also act as a hub for the growing international network of universities and other organisations working on research into different aspects of compassion. To date, eighteen institutions have affiliated with DIISC, including the University of New Mexico, which is home to DIISC’s North American hub, Harvard  Medical School, Yellowstone Forever, and others in the USA. DIISC is also developing its network of affiliates across Asia, creating further opportunities for international and interdisciplinary research.

Professor Pietroni commented: “I have had the good fortune to be appointed as the first occupant of the Elizabeth Bryan Chair for the Study of Compassion. It will be the most challenging post of my academic career– we have recognised the necessity of helping to nurture a generation of compassionate leaders.

"UCLan has taken the lead in establishing the first interdisciplinary Centre for the Study of Compassion in the UK. The Centre will host DIISC’s Darwin Scholarship programme and will work across UCLan to help co-ordinate collaborative activities – including research, mentoring and teaching – relating to the study of compassion in the broadest sense.”                          

The launch of the centre is also inspired by UCLan Vice-Chancellor Professor Mike Thomas’ longstanding focus on compassion. His own research and teaching on compassionate leadership and management emphasises stewardship, values and resilience. Since becoming Vice-Chancellor in 2014, Professor Thomas has worked to position compassionate values and behaviours at the heart of UCLan’s mission and values.

He said: “The University of Central Lancashire is excited to be a partner in the launch of the Centre for the Study of Compassion and is committed to its future development. Compassion is a core value in our Mission and its practical application both in our daily lives and in our support for our students and staff.

“We view the work of the Centre as adding an important element to the activities within the University, our local communities and further studies within the field of compassion.”

A formal launch event, including the annual EBFT lecture by Professor Pietroni, will take place on 17 October from 10.30am – 2.30pm in Venue 53 on UCLan’s Preston Campus. For more information about the event, please contact the UCLan Events Team on 01772 892650. To register, visit the event’s Eventbrite page.

Please contact Lee Good for more information about the Centre for the Study of Compassion.

 


Professor Patrick Pietroni

Compassion is a core value in our Mission and its practical application both in our daily lives and in our support for our students and staff.

Professor Thomas delivered the 2017 EBFT memorial lecture, ‘Kindness and Compassion – Challenges in Leadership Roles’. This year’s memorial lecture will be presented by Professor Pietroni on the theme ‘What does a compassionate university look like?’

Professor Pietroni is also Director of the Darwin Centre Trust CIO, which supports the Darwin International Institute for the Study of Compassion (DIISC). The Centre for the Study of Compassion will house the new UK hub office for DIISC, establishing a focus for the growing international network of universities and other organisations working on research into different aspects of compassion.

A formal launch event, including the annual EBFT lecture, will take place on 17 October from 10.30am – 2.30pm in Venue 53 on UCLan’s Preston Campus. For more information about the event, please contact the UCLan Events Team on 01772 892650. To register, visit the event’s Eventbrite page.

Please contact Lee Good for more information about the Centre for the Study of Compassion.

Lyndsey Boardman | 27 September 2018