Strategic directions in practice-led research: rethinking research models in the creative arts

Dr. Svenja Kratz, Dr. Megan Keating and Prof. Kit Wise (University of Tasmania)
2016 Conference

Following the release of the 2015-16 ERA National Report which details a greater recognition of non-traditional research outputs coupled with a growing research cohort in the creative arts and design within Australian universities, there is a great opportunity to strategically rethink practice-led research models to increase the visibility and perceived value of creative practice as research, as well as the potential for ARC grant success.

The proposed paper examines the current state of practice-led research within the academy and suggests ways of strengthening creative arts research by adopting research models and approaches from other disciplinary areas, as well as engaging in multi-disciplinary projects that highlight the unique contribution and significance of art and design research. Using interdisciplinary research models currently in development with the Tasmanian College of that Arts (TCotA) in partnership with the Creative Exchange Institute (CxI) at the University of Tasmania as a starting point for discussion, the authors propose that to become competitive in the current research climate requires a clear identification of research strengths and themes that connect to the University vision and larger social and cultural issues, coupled with industry partnerships and cross-institutional and cross-disciplinary alliances. They further suggest that this rethinking requires a restructure of research training and supervision models and strategic alignment of HDR students to key research areas. The paper will also highlight some of the key issues involved in the restructure process and conclude with a call to consider an Australia-wide standardization of NTRO guidelines that envisage an ‘expanded practice’ framework for ERA assessment.

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About the author


Dr Svenja J. Kratz

Lecturer in Interdisciplinary Creative Practice

Creative Exchange Institute and Tasmanian College of the Arts

University of Tasmania

+61 418771258


Dr Megan Keating

Research & Graduate Research Coordinator

Tasmanian College of the Arts

University of Tasmania

+61 3 6226 4343


Professor Kit Wise

Head of the Tasmanian College of the Arts and Professor of Fine Art

Tasmanian College of the Arts

University of Tasmania

+61 3 6226 4325




Dr Svenja Kratz is a new media artist interested in transdisciplinary creative practice, particularly the intersections between science and art. In 2013 she completed a practice-led PhD across contemporary art and biotechnology in a creative partnership between QUT’s Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation (IHBI) and the Creative Industries Visual Art discipline. Her research interests include art-science practice and interdisciplinary research methodologies. Svenja is currently Science Art Lab + theme leader within the Creative Exchange Institute and works as a Lecturer in Interdisciplinary Creative Practice at Tasmanian College of the Arts (TCotA) at the University of Tasmania.


Dr Megan Keating is a multidisciplinary artist, crossing installation, painting, and paper cutting. Her works explore intersections between the natural environment, technology and culture. Meg is particularly interested in traditional paper cutting folk art techniques, which she re-contextualises through new media, painting and cut-out works. Meg has expertise in Higher Degree Research training, visual arts research-led practice and contemporary painting and is currently the Research Coordinator and Graduate Research Coordinator at the Tasmanian College of the Arts.


Kit Wise is Professor of Fine Art and Head of the Tasmanian College of the Arts, University of Tasmania. He is a practicing artist, art writer and curator, and has published numerous articles, reviews, book chapters and catalogue essays including texts for Australian and international art journals. Kit’s research areas include the creative arts and the assessment and evaluation of curriculum. He has engaged with art schools nationally and internationally in an advisory capacity on course design and interdisciplinarity, including LaSalle, Singapore and Massey, New Zealand.