"Research is a core element of the mission of higher education. The
extent to which education institutions are engaged in research and development
activities has a key role in determining the status and the quality of
these institutions and the contribution, which they make to economic and
Ireland - National Development Plan, 2000-2006.
about the graduate school of creative arts and media
The Graduate School of Creative Arts and Media (GradCAM) is an exciting new collaborative initiative of national and all-island significance which builds on the expertise of the Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT), the National College of Art & Design (NCAD), the University of Ulster (UU), and the Institute of Art, Design and Technology, Dún Laoghaire (IADT). These institutions are working in close collaboration with each other and with a range of national and international networks to realise the Graduate School. The School is a shared space of structured doctoral studies and research support - what has come to be known as "fourth-level" education: the School is a centre for creative research development; the School is a framework for critical interdisciplinary dialogue; and the School operates as a permeable institution of enquiry that facilitates, promotes and leads the interaction between cultural practice, educational practice and the everyday world of work and innovation beyond the academy.
The School began operation on February 1st 2008 with an initial intake of nine fully-funded research scholars. The School provides a unique programme of staged development for creative arts and media research. This innovative programme comprises:
i) research seminars (constructed
around interdisciplinary research themes and questions shared by various
researchers attached to the School);
ii) research training (including specific skills workshops and a unique approach to the study of research methods through a lecture and practical workshop series on 'epistemic practices');
iii) master-class sessions with local and international visiting scholars and researchers;
iv) collaborative projects, placements and internships;
v) seminars, symposia and major conferences (see events page);
vi) international exchange seminars with PhD programmes across Europe.
The programme is developed and delivered on a modular basis, to enable fulltime and part-time participation (e.g. for associate researchers). Supervision is based on supervisory teams working with an identified primary supervisor. All our researchers are attached to a department, school, faculty or research centre thus providing an important interface between the core interdisciplinary programme provided through the school and the specialist research cultures and research leaders embedded in the collaborating institutions.
It is in the nature of any research undertaking that there should be a demonstrable openness to new insight, new critical challenges and new possibilities – an openness that must ultimately challenge any claims one might make, as a bearer of institutional position and title, to authority and already established “expertise”. For this reason the school has adopted as its fundamental guiding principle the goal of establishing and maintaining a community of peers, a community of dialogue. None of us will have all the answers – perhaps, even yet in the development of our individual or collaborative research projects, we do not recognise fully the relevant questions and problems to address and engage – however, finding the right questions and problems is something that we can best pursue together. In engaging with each other through the school, we are asked to interact with each other as peers, as colleagues, as people who are in a positive sense accountable to each other in a spirit of collegiality.
It is a further principle of the school that we should engage in constructing a permeable community – a community of dialogue that has points of entry from within and without the academic scene, and indeed from within and without the various disciplines and practices that we engage through our studies. Critical to achieving this will be building relationships with the various non-academic worlds of practice that are vital to our cultural life. The term “academic” has often carried a negative connotation, suggesting the isolation of enquiry from the world of lived experience and practical existence – we are not particularly interested in this negative “academic-isation”. On the other hand, the term “academic” has also been understood in a positive sense as describing the place of an enquiry conducted in wonder at the complexity, mutability and variety of the world of experience. It is this later type of creative intellectual culture that we seek here. A creative intellectual culture that will entail challenging and robust encounters with each other’s beliefs, values, and critical commitments – we will learn to further disagree with each other even as we actively change each other’s minds and habits of practice through dialogue.
The school is funded through the Programme for Research in Third-Level Institutions (PRTLI). Find out more about the specific mission and institutional remit of the School here. See also our five questions answered sheet which provides a succinct introduction to the work of the School. For additional information on the collaborating institutions consult www.dit.ie, www.ncad.ie, www.iadt.ie and www.ulster.ac.uk.