The Academy set to launch a PhD programme
This January the Ministry of Education gave the green light to establish PhD programmes in artistic research, and during a board meeting on 6 February the Oslo National Academy of the Arts decided to launch such a programme.
“This is a milestone in the Academy’s history,” says Rector Jørn Mortensen. “It means that we can now offer our own programmes at all levels within the Academy’s various disciplines.”
The Oslo National Academy of the Arts is the only institution in Norway that is qualified to offer a PhD degree in artistic research within the stage disciplines of theatre, dance, and opera. The new programme will therefore have a great bearing on the further development of these fields in Norway.
“This also means quite a lot for all our Research Fellows that a PhD degree will become formalised. When we have Bachelor’s and Master’s programmes in the arts, it seems obvious that we should also be able to offer a PhD degree.”
In the upcoming months and years, the Academy will strive to develop the quality of its new PhD programme. In the long run, the Academy will transition to a four-year research fellowship programme that includes a mandatory year of teaching. This will strengthen the Research Fellows’ integration into the school’s educational and academic communities, and in turn bolster the academic communities in pace with the increased and stronger connections between research and teaching at the Academy.
A focus on the artistic method
The Ministry of Education’s letter also concisely describes what the new degree will entail in its essence:
“The performance of art shall be the focus of the doctoral work. At the same time, such performance shall be accompanied by an explicit reflection that, upon the project’s presentation, shall enable others to take part in the method and insight that the artistic research has generated.”
“What is key here is the recognition that it is the artistic method that is the heart of the matter,” Mortensen notes. “It is this method that shall lead to new experiences, new insights and new recognitions. In other words, this is not a PhD degree based on purely academic conventions, as is usually the case with other types of research.”
The Oslo National Academy of the Arts wants to continue the useful collaboration it has enjoyed with similar institutions in regard to the national school for artistic research that has taken place under the auspices of the Norwegian Artistic Research Programme. The new PhD programme will indeed further this collaboration, and the Academy plans to admit the 2018 cohort of Research Fellows into it.
“Everything is more or less in place. We have put a good deal of time and effort into setting up the curriculum and drafting separate regulations – these were incidentally approved during the board meeting on 6 February. The Research Fellows who are affiliated with the Academy at the current point in time can apply to transfer to the new programme, as allowed for by the regulations. So now it’s full steam ahead!”