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RA5a: Structure,environment and staffing policy


The task after 1996 was less to develop a research-culture than to create one (the School of Dance and Theatre then had two research-workers with any significant record). The management of research (including the revision and development of postgraduate programmes) was put into the hands of a three-person steering committee (plus the Head of School ex officio, and under the administration of the School’s RAE funded Research Support Assistant): J. Butterworth, Deputy Head of School and Head of the Centre for Dance and Theatre Studies, in the chair, with responsibility for the School’s staff-postgraduate seminar, for fund-raising in relation to Dance, and for initiating and managing a series of publications (see RA2 and below); Green, the School’s Research Co-ordinator, who is working on a long-term project, has primary responsibility for the School’s RAE budget, for fund-raising in relation to Theatre, and for mentoring younger (or otherwise less experienced) colleagues; Bromley has special responsibility for the development of the School’s interventionist work (see below), including community-liaison and responsibility for fund-raising appropriate to the College’s hinterland. The steering committee was given the overall brief of promoting the integration of the School’s research effort with its teaching programmes.

Latterly, in response both to the School’s internal development and opportunities offered by merger between Bretton Hall and the University of Leeds (scheduled for 1 August 2001), which should provide a structural flexibility and budgetary autonomy hitherto absent, and therefore a greater potential for collaborative research (both internally and with new colleagues), the steering committee has been expanded to include Mirrione and Smith-Autard, whose duties are almost entirely to research, and Dr Taylor (of the School of Cultural Studies, which under the new dispensation will form a single resource-centre with the School of Dance and Theatre) to represent the increasing rapprochement between the two schools in research into the cultural industries. It is envisaged that, from 1 August 2001, a finally reconstituted and redesignated Centre will manage the research-effort across the whole new resource-centre.

The School has full access to the library and archival collections of the University of Leeds. Its own collections include the archives of Cockpit TIE, Coventry Belgrade TIE, New York University Creative Arts Team (a recently admitted research student is working with this collection), Triple Action, and the Standing Conference for Young People’s Theatre. John Godber’s papers are shortly to be added. The College houses the National Arts Education Archive. Since 1996, the NAEA, an independent Trust, has supported a series of refereed Occasional Papers [see RA2], under the general editorship of Dr Butterworth, with individual volume editors including Green.

The School has at its disposal a 350-seat studio theatre, PowerHouse 1, fully equipped to professional standard and incorporating a VCR facility to enable staff and research students to record performance-experiments. The research students are provided (in part by subvention from the School’s RAE budget) with a dedicated, secure working space in the College’s central building; it is more than amply equipped technically (and houses state-of-the-art IT for Ms Popat’s work; see RA5 Civ).

Research students are subject to the stringent admission and supervisory procedures of the University of Leeds. These involve dual supervision, and a rigorous appraisal of the first year’s work before upgrading to PhD is granted. They receive training in research-method, both generic and specific, courtesy of both College (School) and University agencies. They participate in and are required to present their work to the School’s staff-postgraduate seminar.


In 1996 the School was, and in part remains, the inheritor of the pre-1992 situation in which, under Silver Book conditions, research was neither required nor, locally, particularly encouraged. To achieve a balance more conducive to the development of a research-culture necessarily takes time; but a serious beginning has been made by taking the opportunity provided by staff-replacement and a measure of expansion to bring in young staff who would enhance not only the School’s intellectual profile but its intellectual life, and people, young or otherwise, with relevant professional experience in acting, dance, design or management, who wished to bring that experience into intellectual focus. In practice, those criteria most often constituted a distinction without a difference, so that we may reasonably take them as one group: Banks (0.5 with the School of Music), Barry, Collis, Francombe, Hankin, Liggett, Marcalo, McKechnie, McKinney, Palmer, Sadler. Though only Palmer is submitted under RA2 (in his first academic appointment), Collis, Francombe, Hankin, Marcalo, McKechnie and McKinney have work published and/or at press; and McKechnie will submit her PhD thesis in 2001. Barry will submit her PhD thesis in Spring 2001, and thereafter proceed to the editing for publication of a selection of her unrivalled collection of scripts from the Miners’ Strike of 1984-85; in addition, she has been invited to offer the keynote address to, and edit the proceedings of, the Raymond Williams Society’s 2001 conference on film and the Miners’ Strike. Sadler joined the School only in September 2000, following managerial and artistic experience with the Bach Choir and the Royal Opera House, and has recently embarked upon a large-scale study of paradigms of performance-management.

No category A* staff have joined the School. One A* member of staff departed at July 2000. His departure is a loss intellectually, but does not necessitate any strategic change, nor affect other work ongoing.

Subject to the outcome of her PhD submission (late 2001), the School would hope to appoint Ms Popat in a post-doctoral capacity in order to consolidate the research-group (latterly in design as well as choreography) which is forming around Dr Smith-Autard.

Users of this website should note that the information is not intended to be a complete record of all research centres in the UK

Copyright 2002 - HEFCE, SHEFC, ELWa, DEL

Last updated 17 October 2003

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