Events » EUFRAD Vienna
20-21 September 2013


The Academy of Fine Arts Vienna will host the 3rd EUFRAD network meeting and conference, in collaboration with the SHARE network on 20 & 21 September 2013. The meeting will focus on the experience and expertise of supervisors in the development and realization of doctoral level work in the arts.

EUFRAD has previously organized meetings in Glasgow (September 2009) and Stockholm (September 2011), bringing doctoral researchers and their supervisors together to explore the role of international networking and dialogue in the development of doctoral level artistic research work. Working in conjunction with SHARE (jointly coordinated by ELIA and Gradcam) this 3rd meeting will mainly bring together supervisors (but also researchers are welcome to attend) to reflect on the specificity of the supervisor role within doctoral level artistic research.

For the individual doctoral researcher, the relationship with the supervisor is often the essential experiential dimension of their formal education as a researcher. In many cases this relationship defines the orientation, the pace, and the level of challenge engaged by the individual doctoral researcher. But in other cases the relationship with the supervisor is determined and shaped by factors and conditions beyond the decision and control of the supervisor and/or the research student, such as the requirements of funders, the formalities and ethos of the institutional milieu, the possible pre-formation of the research topic prior to the involvement of the supervisor, the external demands on the doctoral researcher’s practice imposed by active professional participation in an art world and so forth.

In some cases the supervisor’s role can be construed as a service role and in others as a leadership role. In many cases the role is left largely undefined allowing the supervisor(s) and the doctoral candidate to customize a bespoke model of collaboration, while in other cases the roles are defined in precise contractual terms, but most often there is a combination of precision and vagueness in the specification of the terms of engagement between supervisor and research student. There is a further layer of consideration here also with regard to the institutional standing of the individual supervisor. In many cases doctoral level artistic research projects involve supervisory contributions by artists and creative professionals who are not full members of the academic institution hosting the project.

We wish to consider if this also creates a particularity to the artistic research doctorate and if there are particular strategies and tactics for addressing the supervisor role in such circumstances. This meeting will seek to unpack what supervisors have learned from their own working directly with artistic researchers with particular attention to the question of how this relates to their other artistic and/or academic undertakings.

Among the questions addressed by this conference are:

• What are the different ways in which the supervisor role may be constructed within artistic research doctoral level work?
• What are the different kinds of agency that the supervisor role can have within the development of
- individual doctoral projects;
- institutional research agendas;
- an international peer community for their subject area or discipline;

• What relationships are possible between the artistic and creative practice of the supervisor and the content of the projects of their doctoral students?

• What are the different ways in which the supervisor role may be supported institutionally?

• What are the relationships between work as a supervisor and work as an examiner in the 3rd cycle? Is it necessary to acquire experience as an examiner in order to be a supervisor?

• Given that the European models are so varied, and given the variety of employment models / institutional affiliations for supervisors, what can we do through international exchange between supervisors? Can we / should we still build an informal international networking of peer review at 3rd cycle level? If so how?

• Is there another way to construct this previous question about networking, by making a virtue of the multiplicity of supervisor roles and the multiplicity of doctoral level models?

Please direct all questions to Schelte van Ruiten, ELIA Deputy Director, at

Share on Facebook  Share on Twitter  Sahe on Delicious  Share on LinkedIn  Share
SHARE's activities are funded with support from the European Commission. The website reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.