Research areas

At HKU, the creative process itself is a form of research. It occurs in close collaboration with teaching and the professional field.
Art offers solutions to the issues facing society. It provides a different perspective on developments within culture, politics, economics, education and science. Art sets things in motion and gets results, which is why research into art is essential.

Impact of art research

A typical HKU research project has an impact on several domains: education, the professional field, society and/or art practice. It not only produces knowledge, insights and perspectives within the arts and art teaching, but also contributes to innovation outside the arts.

Art practice takes centre stage

We see the creative process as an alternative form of knowledge production when developing research questions, methods and outcomes. The focus is on research based on making art, media and design, which allows us to take a fresh look at existing processes, to improve or revitalise them.


The HKU units that carry out research – the professorships, expertise centres, lecturer-researchers, students, doctoral candidates, Innovation Studio, etc. – are all interconnected. This approach promotes innovation, experimentation and research that transcends disciplines, thereby leading to more collaborative projects and programmes.


It also means that the diversity of our teaching is reflected in our research. This makes our community broader than just the HKU alone. The professional field, partner institutions and art education reflect and experiment together, with one artistic project enriching and informing another.

Quality assurance

It is important that HKU’s practice-based research meets quality requirements, so we evaluate our research regularly. We base our evaluation on the national monitor Brancheprotocol Kwaliteitszorg Onderzoek (BKO, Branch Protocol for Quality Assurance in Research).

HKU also endorses the Netherlands Code of Conduct for Research Integrity. This code provides clear standards for research conducted in universities and universities of applied sciences, and reflects international developments. The code of conduct is applicable to fundamental research, as well as to applied and practice-based research.

Research areas

At HKU we have identified five research areas. These are frameworks rather than strict boundaries, and so one research study could span two research areas. We strive for cohesion and synergy. The research areas don’t have a fixed organisational structure, but each area is linked to one professorship.