Research at HKB

Research at HKB unites scholarly and artistic approaches, is practice-oriented and engages with research topics that are culturally, technologically and societally relevant. Transdisciplinary teams conduct research in four institutes.

Wabe in Grün und Schwarz und Rot

Research at the Bern Academy of the Arts HKB unites scholarly and artistic approaches, is practice-oriented and engages with research topics that are culturally, technologically and societally relevant. Transdisciplinary teams from the arts as well as the humanities, social and natural sciences conduct research in four institutes.

Our research is closely linked to teaching and further education, is regionally anchored as well as internationally networked. Together with partners from the areas of culture, administration, business and industry, we develop and test new knowledge, which is then made available to the public and our clients.

Research is financed by third-party funding from national funding institutions such as the Swiss National Science Foundation SNSF, Innosuisse and the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation SERI, as well as from the public sector, the private sector, various foundations and the BFH’s own funds. Around 140 lecturers, scholarly and artistic staff and assistants carry out research; collaborations with universities in Switzerland and abroad enable jointly supervised dissertations, especially in the doctoral program Studies in the Arts SINTA of the Faculty of Philosophy and History at the University of Bern.

Centre for R+D

The first point of contact for questions about research at the Bern Academy of the Arts HKB is the R+D Centre. As a cross-sectional office, it coordinates all research activities at the HKB and mediates internal and external contacts.

The Centre for R+D is responsible in particular for:

  • advising HKB researchers
  • mediation between partners, network building
  • research communication
  • quality assurance and strategy development
  • financial controlling
  • office of the HKB Research Council


Applications for third-party funding from BFH-external funding bodies – e.g. Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) or Innosuisse – can be submitted for the implementation of research projects at the HKB.

Every application to a BFH-external funding body must first be reviewed by the HKB’s internal Research Council.

SNF project funding in all disciplines

SNF project funding Sinergia

  • Application documents

  • Project application to the SNF: The SNSF integrate the Sinergia programme into project funding along with its budget. Researchers will be able to submit all types of collaborative projects by 1 October and 1 April every year.

SNF communication funding Ambizione

SNF communication funding Agora

  • Application documents

  • Project application to the SNF: Submission at any time! 4 months before the start of the project


  • Innovation project

  • Submission to Innosuisse: The varying submission deadlines are based on the evaluation meetings.


The Research Department organises an annual ‘Research Apéro’. Interested parties can take part in the presentations of current research projects and then connect with the researchers through more in-depth conversations.

Preview I Save-the-Date

Thursday, 21st March 2024, 6pm, Research Apéro 2023 at HKB, Fellerstrasse 11, 3027 Bern



Research Apéro 2023

Sounds from a Rabab, an animal skin-covered string instrument, provided the opening of the annual HKB research Apéro on the 11th May 2023.

To start the evening, communication designer Katharina Scheller spoke about her project “Mapping for Green Cities”, in which she deals with the cartographic representations of trees in cities. 
This was followed by the sociologist Priska Gisler and the two artists Luzia Hürzeler and Tine Melzer who presented their latest publications from the field of artistic research: Digitales Kapital im Einsatz/transcript, Schlafend unter Wölfen/Diaphanes, Atlas of Aspect Change/Rollo Press.
Lastly, the musicologist Thilo Hirsch, together with the art historian Marina Haiduk, spoke about their research on the medieval string instrument “Rabab” (SNF) and played their custom-made reconstruction in musical interludes.

An exhibition on the projects “Untereloxaldruck” (Innosuisse) and “Activating Fluxus” (SNF) as well as a poster session provided further insights into the current research activities at the HKB. 
The evening was led by Thomas Gartmann, Head of Research at the HKB.

Research Council

The highest research body of the HKB is the Research Council. It is made up of the president, the heads of the institutes, the head of the Centre for R+D and the vice-director of the HKB. The Research Council is responsible for the strategic direction of HKB research.