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Research Environment & Support

We offer our researchers the best environment and resources to develop and promote their research within the fields of art and design.

RCA staff and research students specialise in high-quality research in art and design that has substantial impact – in creative, cultural, social and economic terms – as well as global reach. Attracting millions of pounds of funding in research grants and from business and industry collaborations, RCA research spans the Schools of Architecture, Arts & Humanities, Communication and Design, as well as a growing number of interdisciplinary research centres.

Art and design disciplines are an intrinsic part of contemporary visual and material culture, grounded in conceptual thought, haptic knowledge and individual production. The works produced engage with everyday life, both practically and philosophically. Research project outputs include artworks, designs and exhibitions, curatorship, prototypes, patents, design briefs and advisory reports, artists’ performance, books, articles, digital, film, sound, video and other types of media presentation, and the creation of specialist archival collections or databases – where these support research infrastructure.

Research at the College includes projects that explore new techniques and processes, and develop new and modified materials with a range of applications; applied research (including design for manufacture, inclusive and sustainable design, and strategic design concepts and prototypes that could provide significant value to business and industry) and historical, critical, cultural and studio research (where this relates to, and/or informs art, media, design, production and practice).

Research, Knowledge Exchange & Innovation Office

The RCA Research, Knowledge Exchange & Innovation Office is responsible for the College’s Research and Innovation strategy, policies and support operations.

It provides support and training for RCA staff preparing research funding proposals, developing knowledge exchange partnerships with business and industry, and delivering executive education, as well as support and training for research students and their supervisors.

The RCA Research, Knowledge Exchange & Innovation Office runs the RCA’s Research, KE & Innovation Strategy Committee and Operations Committee, as well as the College’s internal Research Development Fund, which enables RCA staff to develop research projects leading to substantial external funding applications. It also co-ordinates the internal peer review college and preparations for and submissions to the REF. Research & KE Office staff work closely with the School Research Leaders, the deans and administrators of the four RCA Schools, and the directors and administrators of the RCA’s Research Centres.

Research & KE Office staff also manage the RCA’s AHRC-funded doctoral training consortia, the London Arts & Humanities Partnership (LAHP)London Doctoral Design Centre (LDoc, led by the RCA) and TECHNE (in which RCA is a partner).

The Director of Research & Innovation has oversight of the RCA’s research, knowledge exchange and innovation strategy and activity, including the work of the Research & KE Office, research centres including the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design and the HEFCE-funded HELIX Centre, and InnovationRCA.

Commitment to the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers

The RCA fully supports the Principles of the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers, and we intend to uphold our obligations and responsibilities as a signatory. As the RCA’s research profile continues to expand through the activities of academic and research staff across its Schools and growing number of Research Centres, we are committed to providing a high-quality research environment that supports the career development of our researchers at all stages. The senior manager responsible for championing the Concordat and its principles across the RCA is Dr Emma Wakelin, Director of Research & Innovation, working with the College’s Research, KE & Innovation (RKEI) Strategy Committee. The RCA will work collectively and engage with initiatives to address systemic challenges in progressing towards a UK research system where researchers work in healthy and supportive environments. The RCA believes that researchers should be recognised and valued for their contributions in research and beyond, supported in their professional and career development, and equipped and empowered to succeed in their chosen careers.

More about the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers:



  • Research Office
    Stevens Building
    2-6 Jay Mews
    London SW7 2EP

  • +44 (0)20 7590 4214
    [email protected]