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. As a result I have a strong commitment to knowledge exchange between academia, policy and practice which is demonstrated by my leadership of the Centre for Cultural Policy at University of Leeds and a knowledge exchange network on cultural participation.  

My current research includes being Principle Investigator for an AHRC project called Cultural Participation: stories of success, histories of failure.  This two year research programme uses narrative methodologies to disrupt policy naratives by encouraging learning from failure.  In addition I am a Co-Investigator on the Cultural Value Centre, funded by AHRC, Arts Council England and the Paul Hamlyn Foundation which is based at University of Leeds. The aim of this centre is to make academic research into the value of culture more useful and accessible.

In terms of teaching I am programme leader for a Masters in Audiences, Engagement, Participation and supervise PhD candidates.

Externally I advise 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 currently sit on the advisory group for the Local Trust's Creative Civic Change programme.



  • 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 an AHRC project which aims ot dsirupt current policy naratives by encouraging learning from failure.  I recently completed a British Academy research project on Arts Council England's Creative People and Places.

My interests 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 management 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 researchers

<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://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>