About the Centre

Centre for Artistic Research

The CfAR–Centre for Artistic Research–is one of the high-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, and Theatre Academy) and at the Uniarts Helsinki levels.

CfAR was created in order to form a communicative and operative community where practice and practitioners, research and researchers can interact in various fruitful ways. It gathers all postdoctoral artist-researchers, whether they work in professional fields outside universities or within them, by contract or as affiliated researchers, with or without external funding, in Finland or abroad. University of the Arts Helsinki’s staff members who have a degree in the arts or conduct artistic research are automatically part of the CfAR community, regardless of their unit or cycle. In addition, CfAR is open to other researchers interested in the study of artistic practices and processes who may benefit from artistic interaction and collaboration with artists and artist-researchers.

CfAR´s activities are divided 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. Participants in the living artistic research culture are provided opportunities for exchanging ideas, experiences and practices; possibilities to advance their professional careers 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 and opportunities to continue their research in applied contexts.

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


CfAR is the home for all doctors in the arts, no matter how or where they work now!

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

Postdoctoral Artistic Research within the Uniarts Helsinki academies is concerned with topics related to the development of a specific art form and/or artistic pedagogy. Research at the academies is also connected to the development of basic study programs and their research-related interests. Uniarts Helsinki researchers may have projects in the academies and in CfAR.

CfAR research projects share a commitment to the development of artistic research, its techniques and methods as well as its interdisciplinary connections. CfAR researchers aim to raise the standards of artistic research as academically valid, artistically ground-breaking, scientifically relevant and culturally acknowledged modes of activity. The calls launched by CfAR are always international and articulated around specific, topical and challenging themes.

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.


CfAR in Uniarts Helsinki 

In addition to creating horizontal connections between students and researchers working at the postdoc level, CfAR contributes to the vertical implementation of research at the bachelor’s and master’s levels within the academies. This is achieved by the educational and research staff members of the academies as they are provided the same kind of services and supportive measures as the other artistic postdocs.

The collaboration between CfAR and the academies is based on a twofold principle: 1) All artistic postdocs and postdoc staff members involved with Artistic or practice-related Art Research in Uniarts are a part of CfAR; 2) In one way or another, CfAR supports all postdoctoral activities organised by an academy. The lowest level of involvement is the communicative one: CfAR gathers information on all the postdoc activities at Uniarts on its web pages to keep the whole artistic research community informed.

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

Postdoctoral researchers affiliated with or working at Uniarts are a part of either the academies (Academy of Fine Arts, Sibelius Academy, or Theatre Academy) or CfAR.


About the organisation of CfAR

CfAR is led 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, and Theatre Academy) in charge of artistic or arts-based research. The group gathers monthly and functions on the mandate of TTOR, Uniarts Helsinki’s steering group for research and doctoral training. The CfAR steering group makes the financial decisions in routine cases; in regards to internally financed research projects and the recruitment of research candidates, CfAR employs external experts. CfAR organizes a more general meeting open to the whole CfAR community twice a year. In addition, the heads of the Research Hub profile centres at Uniarts Helsinki meet regularly with each other and the vice-rector of research and doctoral education.