Research and Knowledge Exchange

Organisation profile

Since the establishment of the Conservatoire’s research arm in 1999 we have been at the forefront in the development of research into and through the performing arts. Our distinctive research portfolio blends traditional research practices with practice-based artistic research, applied research, consultancy and knowledge exchange

Our success was confirmed with our excellent REF 2014 result, which showed that more than two thirds of our research was either world leading or internationally excellent, and suggested our research in music and drama has the strongest impact of Scottish work in this field.

‘Knowledge exchange’ is a term used throughout the higher education sector to describe activity that connects people, practice and ideas in the research environment with the wider world, enhancing people’s quality of life, promoting prosperity and adding to the cultural enrichment of our society.

This spirit of exchange is embedded throughout the Conservatoire. Research and collaborative practice forms an essential part of student life and is threaded throughout the new curriculum. Research active staff share their knowledge, innovation, performance and educational expertise through numerous projects and consultancies with our partners in the community and the commercial sector.


Research Themes

Staff across both schools of the Conservatoire pursue a variety of research interests; from these interests a number of research themes have emerged:

Original Work

Our staff members are at the forefront of the creation of new work in the performing arts. Through new compositions, plays, performances, and cross disciplinary work, the creative practitioners at the Royal Conservatoire are consistently recognised for their internationally leading work

Scotland’s Cultural Life

As a world-renowned centre for learning and performance in Scottish music, we contribute through our research to this growing field of scholarship and generate substantial innovation in traditional music practices.

The Arts in Civil Society

At the Conservatoire we also examine and develop our role and responsibilities within the wider community. Through the work of our staff we have instigated and developed numerous projects that increase access to the performing arts and seek new ways to meaningfully stimulate greater public participation and new insights into art’s place in society.

Exploring Artistic Perspectives

At the forefront of practice-based research; our performer-researchers undertake projects re-contextualising existing works, finding new ways into repertoire and sharing their insights through wide dissemination.

Scholarship for Performance

As a Conservatoire whose mission is to create the future for performance, we also use more traditional scholarly approaches to understand the wider context for the performance of established repertoire.


The Exchange Team

Research and Knowledge Exchange is led by Professor Stephen Broad and supported by a team of lecturers and researchers - collectively, The Exchange team.

  • Professor Stephen Broad – Head of Research and Knowledge Exchange

  • Deborah Keogh- Knowledge Exchange Manager

  • Dr John De Simone – Research and Knowledge Exchange Development Officer

  • Dr Bethany Whiteside – Research Lecturer and Doctoral Degrees Co-ordinator

  • Elaine Hook – Research and Knowledge Exchange Administrator

In addition to the Exchange Team, we have a thriving doctoral student cohort.