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

SNF communication funding Agora


  • 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.


Research Apéro 2022

On the 7th  April 2022, HKB researchers provided insights into their current project activities within the framework of artistic performances, presentations, and a poster exhibition.

What is being researched at the HKB? This year, Carmen Effner and Lucy Gmelch reported on a new process aimed at preserving ink-damaged paper. Bruna Casagrande, Nathalie Noorlander and Fabiana Senkpiel looked at artistic works made from food and how these can be kept accessible for posterity. And Leo Dick showed how Switzerland has developed its own music theatre tradition since 1945, which has created its own identity. 

This event was framed by an exhibition of the projects “Punkt, Punkt, Komma, Strich” and “Sprechende Bilder” as well as a poster session. 

Book launch and panel discussion
In autumn 2020, the HKB published “Arts in Context – Art, Research, Society” (transcript). 

The editors Thomas Gartmann, Christian Pauli and the authors invited the public to a book launch and panel discussion on the 30th October 2020, where Thomas Strässle discussed visions for applied research in the arts with Claudia Mareis and Arne Scheuermann. 

Click here for the digital open access edition of the publication

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.