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. We attract millions of pounds of funding each year in research grants and in collaborations with business, industry, public sector and community partners.
The RCA Research, Knowledge Exchange & Innovation (RKEI) Office provides support for the whole research and knowledge exchange lifecycle, from preparing a grant proposal or drawing up a contract (pre-award stage) to managing and reporting on a funded project (post-award stage). It leads the College’s preparation for REF, KEF and HEBCI submissions and other formal reporting.
The RKEI Office provides support and access to training for research career development, public engagement with research, research ethics, and research impact, as well as training for doctoral supervisors.
It also administers the College’s internal peer review process, its open access and research data management policies and processes, and its research integrity and research ethics policies and approval processes, as well as supporting online research ethics training for staff and research students.
Academic and research staff are able to apply to the RKEI Office for access to internal funding for pump-priming research projects and preparing REF outputs and impact case studies, while both staff and research students can receive support for travel to academic and professional conferences.
RKEI Office staff work closely with the Deans and academic and administrative staff in the RCA Schools, and with the Directors, research and administratrative staff of the RCA’s Research Centres.
Research & KE Office staff also administer the RCA’s UKRI studentship funding, including those from AHRC-funded doctoral training consortia of which the RCA is a member: the London Arts & Humanities Partnership (LAHP) and TECHNE; and the London Doctoral Design Centre (LDoc), led by the RCA.
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.
The work of the RKEI Office is supported the following cross-College committees:
Research & Innovation Committee, chaired by the Director of Research & Innovation, provides assurance to Council and Senate about the quality of the College’s Research Knowledge Exchange and Innovation (RKEI) environment, activity and strategy. The committee also monitors, reviews and supports the activities of RKEI.
REF Strategy Committee, chaired by the Director of Research & Innovation, responsible for leading the College’s REF strategy and preparations.
Ethics Committee, chaired by the Director of Research & Innovation and the Director of Academic Development, responsible for strategic oversight of the College’s research ethics policies and processes, and its research integrity management.
Find out more about our research strategy and ethics below:
Commitment to Concordat
Commitment to the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers
The Royal College of Art (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: https://www.vitae.ac.uk/policy/concordat/full
Dr Emma Wakelin
Emma's role as Director of Research and Innovation involves leading the College’s strategy and policies for research, knowledge exchange, innovation (including student enterprise) and executive education, as well as overseeing provision for postgraduate research students. Based in the Research and Knowledge Exchange office, Emma works across all six Schools, the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design, Innovation RCA and other College research units.
Head of Research Development
As Head of Research Development, Christie is responsible for developing and supporting the Royal College of Art’s research culture.
Head of Knowledge Exchange
As Head of Knowledge Exchange at the Royal College of Art Tatiana is leading the RCA’s collaboration with industry, government, SMEs and other external partners to deliver the College’s strategy on external collaboration and executive education.
Head of Executive Education
Peter is Head of Executive Education, and is responsible for developing a distinctive portfolio of executive education and summer programmes based on RCA research and practice. Peter works closely with colleagues in the Research & Knowledge Exchange Office, the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design and all four Schools.
RKE Development Manager
Dr Catherine Dormor
Head of Research Programmes
With a background in both maths and Textiles, Catherine is a practising artist and researcher.