Mind the Gap! A national workshop on practice-based PhD research in creative, media and visual arts

A one day national workshop for PhD candidates, supervisors and prospective students addressing the challenges of conducting practice based PhD research in the creative, media and visual arts


National College of Art and Design, 100 Thomas Street, Dublin 8

A one day national workshop for PhD candidates, supervisors and prospective students addressing the challenges of conducting practice based PhD research in the creative, media and visual arts

Prof. Des Bell, Head of Research, NCAD;    Dr. Anthony Haughey, Centre for Transcultural Research  and Media Practice, DIT, Dublin;  Dr. Helen Doherty, Multimedia Dept., IADT ;   Prof. Cahal McLoughlin, Chair of Film Studies, Queen’s University, Belfast; Prof. Karen Fleming, Belfast School of Art, University of Ulster; Dr. Rod Stoneman, Huston Film School, NUI Galway and Dr. Alan Grossman, DIT


The relative newness of practice based, doctoral research in the visual arts  has led to a series of recurring issues:  the notion of reflective and professionally based knowledge; the balance of the written and practice elements of the PhD; the excessive demands of a doctoral mode of study that requires candidates to both achieve professional standards in their creative practice outputs and appropriate levels of scholarly achievement as manifest in a written dissertation; the composition and responsibilities of the supervisory team;  the conduct of the examination process etc. 

On the other hand, there has been a widespread recognition of the richness and relevance of this mode of doctoral study to both the student’s professional development and to the development of the creative arts professions and their research capacity.   This workshop explores the challenges of the practice based PhD through a sharing of expertise, both critical and case study, from across Ireland.  We explore a range of strategies for refining and consolidating this mode of research and professional development.



• Methodological dilemmas of practice based visual arts research
• Integrating the practitioner perspective in your research
• The multi-disciplinary challenge of practice based research
• Exemplars of good practice in practice based/led PhDs in Ireland
• Supervisory challenges of the practice based/led PhD: towards a model of good practice
• Models of evaluation for practice based research and the viva process
• Publication and Exhibition strategies for practice based PhD research



09.30 - 10.00am   Registration -  mounting of research posters by current PhD students

10.30am   Plenary session - welcome by Prof. Des Bell - Keynote speaker: Prof Marcus Banks,  Head of the Department of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography, University of Oxford
11.00am   Tea/Coffee
11.30am   Panel 1. :  Exemplars of good practice: successful PhD graduates share their fieldwork experience - Panel members to be confirmed shortly

12.15pm   Lunch at NCAD 

13.15pm  Microbiologist Jane Locke explores the boundary of science and arts practice

13.45pm   Panel 2. :  Exemplars of good practice II - Panel members to be confirmed shortly

15.15pm   Panel 3. The challenge of supervision, submission and examination: joint student / tutor panel

16.00pm   Tea/Coffee

16.30pm   Panel 4. Doctor’s Surgery –panel discussion of the core problems and challenges of  the practice based PhD with facilitator capturing major issues identified - Panel  members to be confirmed shortly

17.30pm   Final Plenary and summarizing by Organising Committee Panel: website and social media plans

17.45pm   Reception NCAD Gallery + Performance

Tutors from the range of institutions participating (NCAD, UCD, QUB, IADT, DIT, UU, NUIG) are asked to nominate PhD students for the panels. 

All participating students are invited to produce a *poster describing their research - link to poster template 

There is no participation fee for this event but you are asked to register early as places are limited.   Please register as soon as possible by mailing:  postgraduate@ncad.ie

*completed posters can be emailed as PDFs to postgraduate@ncad.ie for printing and mounting in NCAD (A2 size)