Dr Leila Jancovich

Dr Leila Jancovich


I worked for many years in the arts and festivals sector as a producer, researcher and policy maker before entering academia in 2007 where my research focus is on participation, power and decision making in the arts. I have a strong commitment to knowledge exchange between academia, policy and practice. I am currently programme leader for the masters in Culture, Creativity, Entrepreneurship and a new masters starting in 2019 in Audiences, Engagement and Participation. Prior to joining University of Leeds in 2016 I worked for many years in the cultural sector. For 8 years I was co-director of Bhathena-Jancovich Arts Management, where I managed numerous touring theatre companies and produced a number of festivals. I then took up a role as Programme Development manager for the Commonwealth Games Cultural Programme in Manchester followed by a stint as Festivals and Touring Officer at Arts Council England. In 2007 I became a Senior Lecturer at Leeds Metropolitan University where I obtained a PGCHE and PhD. While there I set up the Yorkshire Festivals Network and was Principal Investigator for an ESRC funded knowledge exchange programme on participation and engagement in the arts which led to creation of a network of over 500 members bringing together academics, policy maker and practitioners (www.culturalparticipation.co.uk). I also advise on the topic on a number of national bodies including having been a council member for Arts Council England, and a member of the national steering group for Creative People and Places. I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.


  • Programme Leader for MA Culture, Creativity, Entrepreneuship
  • Programme Leader for MA Audiences, Engagement and Participation
  • Lead for the Cultural Policy Centre

Research interests

My main research interests are in the field of cultural policy and participation, with a particular focus on the implications of policy on practice.  To this end I draw on work within the field of arts management but also public policy and political science. My own research, on which I have published widely, focuses on the implications of participatory governance and decision making on the cultural sector. I am currently Principle Investigator for a British Academy research project on Arts Council England's Creative People and Places. My focus is not just what policy says but what it does and so my research takes a situated approach to looking at local policy contexts. I have researched and written about arts organisations and small towns in the North of England as well in international contexts such as European Capitals of Culture.  I supervise post doctoral students in the field of arts mangement and cultural policy but also on topics around festivals, placemaking and localism.

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://ahc.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>

Student education

Programme Leader for MA in Culture, Creativity, Entrepreneurship

Programme Leader for MA in Audiences, Engagement and Participation

Research groups and institutes

  • Centre for Cultural Policy
  • Audience, Engagement & Experience
  • Participation

Current postgraduate research students

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="https://ahc.leeds.ac.uk/research-opportunities">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>