Art/Practice-Based Research Seminar Series

This seminar series aims at establishing a dynamic hub, where inspiring discussions, reading groups and presentations concerned with art/practice-based research, based in creative methods could flourish.

Please email to book your place.

Session 1: What is practice-based research? - link to the recording

This session will introduce the series, the formula, guests, and topics. It also initiates the discussion on the practicalities and nature of practice-based research. The session will attempt to answer the question of the scopes for practice-based research, what makes it different from regular research and purely creative practice. It will look at definitions, exceptions, expectations and a variety of potential outputs.

Speaker: Dr Agata Lulkowska

Session 2: Creative Process meets academic rigour - link to the recording

This session will explore the questions of the process – how do you approach creative methods in art/practice-based research? What are the priorities and how to maintain the right balance between creative freedom and academic rigour.

Guest speaker: Assoc. Prof Michael Branthwaite 

Session 3: Creative methods - link to the recording

This session explores the wide range of creative methods which could be applied to practice-based research. It reflects on the processes to choose the most relevant methodology, practical application of some, processes, and the implications.

Guest speaker: Nicole Brown, UCL

Nicole Brown (2019): Identity boxes: using materials and metaphors to elicit experiences, International Journal of Social Research Methodology, DOI: 10.1080/13645579.2019.1590894 Abhigyan Singh (2011) Visual artefacts as boundary objects in participatory
research paradigm, Journal of Visual Art Practice, 10:1, 35-50, DOI: 10.1386/jvap.10.1.35_1

Drawing on her understanding of and experience with Practice As Research as doing-thinking- being, Dr Nicole Brown presents on using objects and artefacts as creative methods for data collection and analysis. The presentation begins with an outline of methodological, practical and ethical reasons for the employment of object work and metaphorical representations before considering the research questions and foci best suited for these approaches. Nicole concludes with a consideration of the researcher’s role and responsibilities when engaging with participants, stakeholders and the wider scholarly community in Practice As Research.

Session 4: Methodological quagmires in the post-disciplinary era - link to the recording


Although Practice-as-Research has been welcomed in the academic communities, it often finds itself in positions needing to justify its effectiveness. The resistance to new methodologies is common when looking at the evolution of interdisciplinary research enquiry, and practice-as-research is often inter- or even trans-disciplinary in its nature and thus encounters the age-old divide between those methodologies supporting theoretical enquiries and those supporting practically oriented lines of enquiry. And as our knowledge domains grew, this left additional tensions in the choice or acceptance of research methodologies. My presentation will foreground this in the context of ever-growing knowledge domains that are in need of new methodological developments.

Guest speaker: Prof. Carola Boehm 

Session 5: Who is it for and how can we communicate it? - link to the recording

With the traditional publications still defining many academic careers, it becomes a challenging task for researchers working with practice-based methods. Luckily, the emergence of alternative platforms for dissemination makes this task more attainable and relevant to various non-conventional outputs. This session explores the possibilities and challenges of practice-based focused online journals and other platforms focusing on alternative forms of research-based in creative methods.

Guest Speaker: Dr Charlie Tweed

Session 6: Research Impact: Making a Difference through Practice-Based Research  - link to the recording

This session focuses on research that leads to benefits beyond academia. It examines the challenges and opportunities for developing impact case studies based on practice-based research for the REF (Research Excellence Framework). Colette Dobson will discuss the impact of her collaborative research that addressed a need for better communication between patients and health care professionals about the sexual consequences of treatments for cancer. She will share her insights gained from the process of collecting impact evidence and developing a REF2021 impact case study

Guest speakers:  

Colette Dobson, Visiting Research Fellow, Staffordshire University

Dr Jackie Reynolds, Research Impact Manager, Staffordshire University

Session 7: Moving Image as Research Practice

This session has been moved to Round Two which will commence in the new academic year. 

Guest speakers: Paul Ottey and Assoc. Prof. Fiona Graham

Session 8: Reflective Practice - link to the recording

Notions of ‘flow and the creative state’ and ‘Piecing, stumbling, staggering and running’ come from reflecting on 20 years of rehearsal room practice as a director; as do the Exercises. The section on ‘breakthroughs’ is based on reflecting on data from an ethnographic study of rehearsal rooms.

Rob Marsden will talk through a personal approach to reflection in the creative arts.
Guest Speaker: Dr Robert Marsden

Session 9: How do you prepare future practice-based researchers? - link to the recording

This session by Agata Lulkowska was delivered during the School of Digital, Technologies and Art School Research Conference on 1st June 2022. This session reflects on the best way to train future practice-based researchers. Far from a conclusion, this final session for this academic year opens more questions - to be explored in Round 2 which will launch in October 2022.

Speaker:  Dr Agata Lulkowska