What is Research?

  • Nottingham Contemporary, Nottingham
  • 16/10/2018
  • 01:00 PM - 03:30 PM

Free to attend, light lunch provided.
Travel bursaries available for researchers, freelancers and those working outside an institutional context.

Nottingham Contemporary
Weekday Cross

This forthcoming event at Nottingham Contemporary has been put together by Carolina Rito of the Midlands Culture Forum Steering Group and Head of Nottingham Contemporary's Public Programme, Isobel Whitelegg from the University of Leicester and Bill Balaskas from Nottingham Trent University.

When it comes to collaborative research between the cultural and the academic sectors, there is a general understanding that the cultural sector is the object and the recipient of the academic research findings. However, being the recipient does not make the cultural sector an active interlocutor in the research process, and does not acknowledge that cultural institutions are also site of knowledge production.

This event sets out to identify meaningful collaborative research, and reflect upon the co-development of research questions, frameworks and methodologies that benefit both sectors in terms of research development and impact. With special guests speakers, the Collaborative Research working group invites you to join this informal event where we discuss some of the issues which arose at the last Midlands Higher Education and Culture Forum conference last year, including:

  • The inclusion of local communities to guarantee the rich ecology or each locality is reflected in research priorities.
  • The creation of more initiatives where sectors can share methodologies (PhD funding, postdocs, impact cases.)
  • The collation and sharing of innovative case studies in the field of collaborative research.
  • Exploration of collaborative research how collaborative research can be successfully and meaningfully reported back to REFs.
  • Contribution towards the general glossary of terms for the Midlands Culture Forum website to foster a broader understanding of research terminology and language in both Cultural Sector and HE.

Aims of the Collaborative Research Working Group:

  1. The inclusion of local communities in collaborative research to guarantee a rich cultural ecology for the region.
  2. The creation of initiatives and structures for sharing methodologies, skills and resources between sectors.
  3. The collation and sharing of innovative case studies in the field of collaborative research.
  4. The successful and meaningful reporting of collaborative research projects to REF2021.
  5. The identification of priorities and steps forward to inform an enhanced practice between sectors in the future.

About our speakers:

Dr Sian Vaughan is Research Degrees Co-ordinator for Art and Design and Site Director for the AHRC-funded Midlands3Cities Doctoral Training Partnership (M3C). Sian is an art historian by training with research interests in the interpretation and mediation of engagement with art through the modalities of the archive and public art. More recently her work has questioned creative research practices and prompted a wider consideration of the doctoral student and supervisor experience. She enjoys working collaboratively and across disciplines.

Dominic Gray became Opera North ‘s first Projects Director in 2001, with a brief to develop new work across music, performance and the visual arts. Partners have included the RSC, Tate and Manchester International Festival, and commissioned artists include composer Gavin Bryars, film-makers the Quay Brothers and novelist Hilary Mantel. He sits on the AHRC advisory board and the Public Engagement with Research advisory panel. In 2007 he was part of the team that created DARE, the collaborative partnership between Opera North and the University of Leeds and he sits on the DARE board.

Objectives of the event on 16th October:

  1. Clarify and enrich the aims of the Collaborative Research Working Group.
  2. Identify actions for the period until the February 2019 conference in Coventry.
  3. Discuss the Working Group’s proposed outputs:
  • Online glossary to foster a broader understanding of research terminology for both the Cultural Sector and Higher Education institutions.
  • Online archive of regional case studies of successful collaborative research projects.
  • Publication with essays presenting both speculative strategic visions and case studies of national and international collaborative research projects.
  • Advocacy document on collaborative research to Arts Council England.
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