"What characterises creative arts research practice in universities that offer doctoral degrees is the requirement not only to undertake a substantial practical project, but also a reflective exegesis that contextualises the methodologies and significant contributions of the research. The specific components of the exegesis are defined by each institution and re-negotiated by each candidate according to differing emphases. Fortunately, and by design, the function of each candidate’s exegesis can be redefined in relation to the practice it seeks to elucidate. And whilst the requirement to also present a substantial written component can initially appear as a burdensome or daunting prospect for those unfamiliar with the processes of critical reflection - to those who recognise its reflexive possibilities - the exegesis in parallel with the creative work of the project can provide another arena of creative practice. In this respect, the outcomes of both a creative arts-based project and its exegesis can be presented as significant contributions to knowledge in the field. Moreover, a third creative space opens. By interchanging and integrating the practice with the exegesis, it may be possible to generate a combined and reflexive research praxis. This chapter examines aspects of the practice-exegesis relationship with reference to my experience of undertaking and completing my doctoral research at Deakin University. I am, therefore, speaking from a position of having confronted and struggled with the practice-exegesis relationship from inside the playing field."
(Stephen Goddard, 2007)
Goddard, S. (2007). Correspondence Between Practices. "Practice as Research: Approaches to Creative Arts Enquiry". E. Barrett and B. Bolt, I.B.Tauris & Co Ltd.
"research activities should primarily be concerned with research processes, rather than outputs. This definition is built around three key features and your proposal must fully address all of these in order to be considered eligible for support:
It must define a series of research questions, issues or problems that will be addressed in the course of the research. It must also define its aims and objectives in terms of seeking to enhance knowledge and understanding relating to the questions, issues or problems to be addressed
It must specify a research context for the questions, issues or problems to be addressed. You must specify why it is important that these particular questions, issues or problems should be addressed; what other research is being or has been conducted in this area; and what particular contribution this project will make to the advancement of creativity, insights, knowledge and understanding in this area
It must specify the research methods for addressing and answering the research questions, issues or problems. You must state how, in the course of the research project, you will seek to answer the questions, address the issues or solve the problems. You should also explain the rationale for your chosen research methods and why you think they provide the most appropriate means by which to address the research questions, issues or problems.
Our primary concern is to ensure that the research we fund addresses clearly-articulated research questions, issues or problems, set in a clear context of other research in that area, and using appropriate research methods and/or approaches.
The precise nature of the research questions, issues or problems, approaches to the research and outputs of the work may vary considerably, embracing basic, strategic and applied research. The research questions, issues, problems, methods and/or approaches may range from intellectual questions that require critical, historical or theoretical investigation, to practical issues or problems that require other approaches such as testing, prototyping, experimental development and evaluation. The outputs of the research may include, for example, monographs, editions or articles; electronic data, including sound or images; performances, films or broadcasts; or exhibitions. Teaching materials may also be an appropriate outcome from a research project provided that it fulfils the definition above.
The research should be conceived as broadly as possible and so consideration should also be given to the outcomes of, and audiences for, the research. The outcomes of the research may only benefit other researchers and influence future research, but consideration must be given to potential opportunities for the transfer of knowledge into new contexts where the research could have an impact.
Creative output can be produced, or practice undertaken, as an integral part of a research process as defined above. The Council would expect, however, this practice to be accompanied by some form of documentation of the research process, as well as some form of textual analysis or explanation to support its position and as a record of your critical reflection. Equally, creativity or practice may involve no such process at all, in which case it would be ineligible for funding from the Council."
(Arts and Humanities Research Council)
"The main purpose of research graduate study is to encourage independence and originality of thought in the quest for knowledge. The Doctor of Philosophy degree is awarded in recognition of a student's erudition in a broad field of learning and for notable accomplishment in that field through an original and substantial contribution to knowledge. The candidate's research must reveal high critical ability and powers of imagination and synthesis, and may be in the form of new knowledge, or of significant and original adaptation, application and interpretation of existing knowledge. ...
15. Presentation of PhD Theses by Creative Works
15.1.1 In the case of a thesis submitted in the area of artistic practice, presentation may be in one of two forms: a theoretical thesis or artwork and exegesis. The artwork may be in the form of exhibition, performance, literary work, film, CD Rom or other approved format. The artwork and exegesis will be examined as an integrated whole. The artwork should provide a coherent demonstration that the candidate has reached an appropriate standard in the research and has made a significant and original contribution to knowledge in the area. The exegesis should describe the research process and elaborate, elucidate and place in context the artistic practice undertaken. In the case of visual or performing arts, the examiners will attend the exhibition/performance, at which time they will be given a copy of the exegesis in temporary binding. A final copy of the exegesis will be provided to the examiners within three months of their viewing the artwork.
15.2 Examination of a Creative Work Other Than a Printed Thesis
15.2.1 Where other materials are to be examined, such as in the areas of visual, performing, literary or media arts, the candidate must seek approval from Research Degrees Committee for the form and presentation of the thesis at the time of the Stage 2 application for entry to the PhD program.
15.2.2 Artistic practice may be examined by a theoretical thesis or by artwork and exegesis. The artwork and the exegesis will not be examined separately but as an integrated whole constituting the original and substantial contribution to knowledge required from doctoral candidates.
15.2.3 A theoretical thesis is a written document which would conform in all respects to the remainder of this policy.
15.2.4 Studio-based inquiry may result in a thesis presented by artwork and exegesis. The artwork should be the research outcome, while the exegesis should describe the research process and elaborate, elucidate and place in context the artistic practice undertaken.
15.2.5 The exegesis would normally not exceed 50,000 words and would conform in all respects to the remainder of this policy. It should also contain a description of the form and presentation of the artistic practice which constitutes the remainder of the thesis."
(Queensland University of Technology, Manual of Policies and Procedures, 12.10.2007)