Research Policy & Strategy
The Ecole nationale supérieure d’arts de Paris-Cergy (ENSAPC) mission statement states its commitment to “the conception and the implementation of research programmes in the disciplines of visual arts” (“La conception et la mise en oeuvre de recherches dans les diverses disciplines des arts plastiques”). The central feature of its research policy is a doctoral programme built on the model of practice- and project-led research. A doctoral department is organized with a focus on the humanities, creative practice, and heritage-centered studies. The new Graduate School hosts doctoral candidates and provide cross-disciplinary and internationally-oriented instruction. The doctoral programme will be jointly overseen by a member of the academic faculty and a practicing professional recognized in his or her field.
Strategically, research in and through the arts places artists, authors, creators, and their creative practices at the centre of the methodological process. In this scheme, artistic research, closely linked with advanced professional experience, takes place through artistic practice. This form of research draws on the various stages of the creative process (from idea to execution and then to sharing), while also feeding that process. It rests on the linkage of theory and practice and is characterized by continuous, mindful attention to experimentation and analysis in which the results of the research must put thought into practice and practice into thought.
Three-year doctoral contracts will be offered by the Paris Seine Graduate School. The doctorate in “Arts” is supported by ENSAPC; the other institutions making up PSGS-HCH offer doctorates in “Theory and Practice of Literary Creation,” (Université de Cergy-Pontoise), “Architecture,” (École nationale supérieure d’architecture de Versailles), “Landscape Design,” (École nationale supérieure de paysage de Versailles) “Heritage Conservation and Restoration,” and “Heritage Studies.” (Institut national du patrimoine).
Key research themes
PhD (“doctorat”) recognized by the French state in accordance with the Bologna Process and the HCERES.
ENSAPC has the ability to grant 3rd cycle awards as part of the ‘Paris Seine Graduate School – Humanities, Creation and Heritage (PSGS-HCH)’.
Thesis defence: Students defend before a mixed board (academics and professionals) composed of at least four members. The co-supervisors are members of the board.
Evaluation is conducted according to three criteria: a professional project for architects, artists, landscape architects, curators, conservators, writers; a final analytical dissertation of 100-150 pages; and an oral defence and explanation of the project and of the approach taken. Specific qualified and qualifying places for defence are to be envisaged (exhibition, gardens, etc.).
According to the national framework for PhD defence between 4 and 6 external examiners may be involved.
Forms of Output
Professional practice-led project
Dissertation of 100-150 pages
PhD students study for 3 years full-time, 6 years part-time.
In line with the culture of the institution the programme is structured through the creation of a research laboratory. Doctoral training represents 60 ECTS accredited by the Doctoral school. This includes enhancing the students’ knowledge and understanding of research methodologies. Ethics are addressed during collective seminars. The students should validate 50 ECTS by following the five doctoral seminars/workshops. Doctoral workshops will be set up each semester, three days in a row. Five workshops will be organised and successively supported by one of the five partners. They will be compulsory for all practice-led PhD students, thereby enabling a confrontation of perspectives. Each workshop will provide lectures by professionals and academics, roundtable discussions with contradictory debates and an exhibition of works done by the PhD students.
With regard to setting milestones students must submit mid-term written essays each year (with a predefined amount of pages) and present practical and experimental projects expected each year. The work submitted is evaluated by the supervisors (academic and professional) and by a scientific committee.
There is currently 1 PhD student (began 2018) studying in the arts per programme.
Undergraduate & Masters Research
Undergraduate and postgraduate courses benefit from the research culture of the institution. Research methodologies are introduced during the 1st cycle. Students at Masters level study are asked to engage with research methodologies through a number of research seminars for Masters students in support of the realisation of a Masters’ thesis, not only in written form but with the opportunity to choose any artistic form.
All supervision is joint supervision: one professional (with a previous practice involvement in art research) and one HDR (authorization to direct research).
Staff engaged in PhD supervision attend seminars and individual mentoring sessions.
Ten staff members (from 8 research groups) are currently engaged in supervision. Presently, every academy has its own training methods for supervisors. Academics are responsible for the training programme.
There are two professors out of 27 (7.5%) who hold 3rd cycle doctoral awards. 13 out of 27 teaching staff (50%) are engaged in research in the arts programmes, whilst, 27 research professors (50%) are also engaged in research in the arts programmes in our institution.
There is support of professors for their own research and for those in the process of completing a PhD or a “habilitation” (“habilitation” in France is the academic title required for the supervision of PhD students). Staff are supported through augmented teaching hours and sabbaticals.
There are no institution wide regulation defining the time allocation (hours) given to staff involved in 3rd cycle supervision.
Prospective students submit a written application (inc. CY; PhD project; portfolio)
The submission is reviewed by two external experts per project; pre-selection by a scientific committee composed of representatives of all the members of the Graduate School; interview of the pre-selected applicants; final selection by the scientific committee.
There is scope for student funding via 3 years working contracts (salary according to the amount defined by the French Ministry of Higher Education). There are 5 contracts per year for the whole Graduate School but it is possible to be a self-funding PhD student without a contract.
Students are supported through individual supervision with supervisors; via Doctoral training: this represents 60 ECTS accredited by the Doctoral School. The students should validate 50 ECTS by following the five doctoral seminars/workshops. Doctoral workshops are set up each semester, three days in a row. Five workshops are organised and successively supported by one of the five partners. They are compulsory for all practice-led PhD students, thereby enabling a confrontation of perspectives. Each workshop will provide lectures by professionals and academics, roundtable discussions with contradictory debates and an exhibition of works done by the PhD students.
Over the past 5 years, 0 students have successfully achieved 3rd cycle awards.