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Centre for the Study of Compassion

This is a new centre to support interdisciplinary research focused on compassion, mentoring and building community resilience, launching on 17 October 2018 at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan).

It is thought to be the first of its kind in the UK and focusses initially on developing interdisciplinary research projects with colleagues from across the University and externally.  It also provides supervision and support for new PhD students, 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
  • the role of compassion and cooperation in establishing sustainable communities

The Centre is led by Professor Patrick Pietroni, the newly appointed Elizabeth Bryan Foundation Trust (EBFT) Chair for the Study of Compassion. With a career spanning the NHS and academia, Professor Pietroni 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 Patrick Pietroni

The new 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.  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 Elizabeth Bryan Foundation Trust memorial lecture by Professor Pietroni, takes place on 17 October 2018 from 10.30am – 2.30pm in Venue 53 on UCLan’s Preston Campus.

For more information about the launch event and details of how to register please visit the Eventbrite page.  You can also contact the events team on 01772 892650.

For more information about the Centre for the Study of Compassion please contact Lee Good at the Darwin International Institute for the Study of Compassion (DIISC).  More information is also available here.

For more information about research at UCLan, visit the research webpages.