The Iceland University of the Arts (IUA) is the only higher education institution in the field of the arts in Iceland. The IUA recognises the importance of artistic practice and the variety of forms the exposition of artistic research can take, both within and between diverse specialisations, disciplines, and methods. The IUA has defined formal parameters for research output that have had a significant impact on its research culture, leading the way towards further enhancement of understanding for what research in the arts can contribute to society.


Diverse research is conducted at the IUA through the use of various materials, forms and media. The methodology of art as a source of knowledge entails both artistic research and academic research. New research methods are developed based on artistic processes and mediated through an open and experimental platform, supplemented by a written reflection and an oral account. The IUA research committee, a sub-committee of the Academic Council, is represented by an academic faculty member from each department, and an MA student representative. It provides guidance on research development and management of research, guided and supported by a research coordinator at the administrative office. Writing workshops and research workshops are organised where academic staff can discuss, train and exercise their skills on a cross-departmental level. Other discursive platforms have been organised as part of staff development within each department.  


The IUA research services advocate for research in the arts and facilitate research activities locally and abroad, in addition to providing support to academic staff in developing research projects and writing applications to internal and external research funds, as well as administrating research projects hosted by the university. Rules on sabbaticals were implemented in 2015, the IUA Publication Fund was launched in the same year and the IUA Research Fund was established in 2019. Hugarflug, the IUA annual conference on research in the arts, was first held in 2009, and has proven to be a dynamic platform for open, transdisciplinary discussions on research in the arts.


The Iceland University of the Arts aims to enhance research in the academic field of the arts and gain a stronger foothold in the research community at large. To achieve that goal emphasis is placed on ensuring necessary funds, so as to:

  • Enhance the research support services for academic staff and faculty
  • Enhance research training for students
  • Enhance organisation of research with regard to cross-disciplinary synergy
  • Enhance participation in international research projects
  • Enhance relations between research, art practice and teaching across disciplines
  • Present artistic research of faculty and students more extensively
  • Prepare for doctoral studies in the arts.