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Advocating Arts-based Research in the European Research Area

17 July 2014

Recent updates on arts-based research relating to the European Research Council and The Frascati Manual. 

The European Research Council integrates arts-based research in its evaluation panels for Frontier Research Grants.


Image credit: Lucie LibotteSplintering Crockery, NEU NOW 2011

An Encouraging example of the gradual integration of arts-based research in the European Research Area has emerged from the call for European Research Council Frontier Research Grants.

The European Research Council (ERC) supports individual researchers of any nationality and age who wish to pursue their frontier research through their funding scheme. The ERC encourages in particular proposals that cross disciplinary boundaries, pioneering ideas that address new and emerging fields and applications that introduce unconventional, innovative approaches.

One of the six ERC evaluation panels in the research domain of Social Science and Humanities is 'Cultures and Cultural Production: Literature, philology, cultural studies, arts, philosophy', which features a subpanel on 'Visual and performing arts, design, arts-based research'.

This inclusion, although a seemingly minor development, demonstrates the slow but sure recognition of arts-based research in European research funding structures. ELIA thanks Michaela Glanz of the Akademie der bildenden Künste Wien, who brough this breakthrough to light at the SHARE Conference Aarhus, 20-21 June 2014. 

Revision to the Frascati Manual: Towards Frascati 7.0

ELIA communicated the inclusion of arts-based research by the ERC to the OECD officials working on the revision of the Frascati Manual, which still explicitly excludes arts-based research.  The Manual is Standard Practice for Surveys on Research and Experimental Development and the internationally recognised methodology for collecting and using R&D statistics. The Manual is currently under revision; ELIA president Kieran Corcoran and ELIA members have repeatedly lobbied to make the case for inclusion and active recognition of arts-based research. ELIA is hopeful that the ERC inclusion provides yet another argument for the recognition of arts-based research in the Frascati Manual in specific and in R&D at large.

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