About the Centre

Centre for Artistic Research

CfAR – Centre for Artistic Research — is one of the profile centres of Uniarts Helsinki research. Its principal aim is to support and develop activities related to postdoctoral artistic research both at the Academy (Academy of Fine Arts, Sibelius Academy, Theatre Academy) and at the Uniarts Helsinki level.

CfAR is created in order to form a communicative and operative community, where practice and practitioners, research and researchers can interact in various and fruitful ways. It gathers together all the postdoctoral artist-researchers, no matter if they work in the professional field outside Universities or within them, by contract or as an affiliated researcher, with or without external funding, in Finland or abroad. The staff members of the Academies (Academy of Fine Arts, Sibelius Academy, Theatre Academy) if they are graduated in the arts or conduct artistic research, no matter what is their unit or cycle, are automatically a part of the CfAR community. In addition, CfAR is open to other researchers interested in the study of artistic practices and processes, and who may benefit of artistic contexts and collaboration with artists and artist-researchers.

CfAR´s activities divide into two interrelated areas: Postdoctoral artistic research culture & CfAR research. Postdoctoral artistic research culture covers everything the graduated artist-doctors do, or may do, academically, in society or in the arts field. CfAR research consists of collective or individual externally or internally financed research posts and projects. The living artistic research culture entails for its participants occasions for exchanging of ideas, experiences and practices; possibilities to advance their professional career after graduation; collaborative projects; possibilities for teaching at Uniarts Helsinki or elsewhere; financing opportunities and jobs; further education; possibilities for interdisciplinary and cross-artistic networking; occasions to continue their research in applied contexts.

  • It conveys research services of Uniarts Helsinki
  • It provides a basis for Uniarts Helsinki affiliation
  • It informs about events, education, project calls and open job positions
  • It raises discussion on topical phenomena and questions
  • It opens a forum for collegial discussions, encounters and networking

CfAR means to provide a nest for all doctors in arts, no matter how or where they work now!

CfAR hosts research projects focusing on topics or problems areas common to all the Academies and/or several arts, and which may contain interdisciplinary, cross-artistic and inter-academic collaboration. It also hosts projects based on the collaboration between the research centres and/or other universities. Like the other centres, the CfAR research projects may include doctoral candidates from the Academies (Academy of Fine Arts, Sibelius Academy, Theatre Academy).

Postdoctoral Artistic Research within the Academia at Uniarts Helsinki is more concerned by topics and problems related to the development of some specific art form and/or artistic pedagogy. The research in the Academia is also more connected to the development of the basic study programs and their interests related to research. The research staff members may have projects both in the Academia and in CfAR.

Common to the CfAR research projects is their commitment to the development of artistic research, its techniques and methods as well as its interdisciplinary connections. CfAR research aims at raising the standards of artistic research as academically valid, artistically path-breaking, scientifically relevant and culturally acknowledged mode of activity. The calls it launches are always international and they are articulated around some specific themes that are topical and challenging.

The goal of CfAR is to investigate and, ultimately, to show how far artistic research can reach when it is conducted at the postdoctoral level!


Besides creating horizontal connections between agents working at the postdoc level, CfAR contributes to the vertical implementation of research in the basic education within the Academies. This will take place by intermediary of the educational and research staff members of the Academies
(Academy of Fine Arts, Sibelius Academy, Theatre Academy) by providing them with same kind of services and supportive measures as for the other artistic postdocs.

The collaboration between CfAR and the Academies is based on a twofold principle: 1) All the artistic postdocs and the postdoc staff members involved with Artistic or practice-related Art Research in Uniarts are a part of CfAR; 2) CfAR supports in one way or another all the postdoctoral activities an Academy organises. The lightest level of involvement is the communicative one: CfAR gathers together on its web pages all the postdoc activities in Uniarts in order to inform the whole artistic research community of them.

The Academies are responsible of informing CfAR of all its postdoctoral activities related to artistic research: the new affiliations, employment contracts, project applications, funded projects and events. CfAR in turn welcomes all the initiatives coming from the Academies concerning the nature of the cooperation and the distribution of mutual responsibilities.

The postdoctoral researchers affiliated to or working at Uniarts are a part of either in the Academies (Academy of Fine Arts, Sibelius Academy, Theatre Academy)
 or to CfAR. 

About the organisation of CfAR

CfAR is lead by a Steering group, that is chaired by the head of the centre, and consists of four representatives of the academic units (Academy of Fine Arts, Sibelius Academy, Theatre Academy) 
in charge of artistic or arts-based research. The steering group gathers monthly and it works on the mandate of TTOR, the Uniarts Helsinki steering board of research and doctoral training. The CfAR steering group makes the financial decisions in routine cases. In the choice of internally financed research projects and the recruitment of research candidates CfAR uses external experts. CfAR will organize twice a year a more general meeting open to the whole CfAR community. In addition, the heads of the Research Hub profile centres at Uniarts Helsinki meet regularly with each other and the vice-rector in research and doctoral education.