Creative Practice Research Academy (CPRA)

Institute of Creativity, Communities and Culture (ICCC)

The Creative Practice Research Academy (CPRA) is a community of academics and practitioners who undertake research through and into diverse creative practices.


Based at the University of Central Lancashire, we bring together researchers at all career stages, including PhD students, senior academics, and those just embarking on research. our ethos is to provide a supportive, encouraging, and critical culture of working together.

Our projects

Our projects are both impactful and significant, and at the cutting edge of a dynamic range of discipline areas where some can be found below:

Much of our research is multidisciplinary and transdisciplinary by nature, and some exemplars can be found below:

  • Arts and Wellbeing Research Group
  • Visual Studies Research Group
  • Dance and Somatic Practice Research Group
  • Media Innovation Research Group
  • Music Research Group
  • Place and Communities Research Group


Professor Erik Knudsen
Faculty Director
Heather Mullender-Ross
Lecturer in Fine Art
Magda Stawarska-Beavan
Research Associate
Victoria Lucas
Senior Lecturer
Tracy Hill
Research Associate
Adam Bennett
Lecturer in Photography
Dr Andrew Hobbs
Senior Lecturer
Ecaterina Stefanescu
Lecturer in Architecture
Professor Ewa Mazierska
Professor of Contemporary Cinema
Gerry Linford
Senior Lecturer
Giorgio De Carolis
Lecturer in Dance
Lucy Nicholson
Senior Lecturer
Dr Peter James Atkinson
Senior Lecturer
Ruth Spencer
Senior Lecturer in Dance
Tony Rigg
William Titley
Senior Lecturer & Course Leader - MA Fine Art
Dr John Scanlan
Research Fellow in Place Development & Promotion

Aims and Objectives

Our aims and objectives are to:

  • provide a home and support for research staff, their projects, and research students across the arts, media, and creative practices
  • advocate and enable creative practices and critical engagement
  • provide an infrastructure that supports transdisciplinary approaches to projects
  • celebrate the breadth and depth of creative practice research undertaken in the faculty, and beyond
  • make visible and accessible the impacts of creative research projects from the regional to the global
  • encourage the development of our research bidding culture and a peer review procedure for external funding bids
  • develop and support the postgraduate research student experience

We will do this by:

  • managing a postgraduate research student training programme, open and invited research events, and an ambitious guest speaker programme
  • providing a branded context, advocacy and policy support for research centres, groups, and projects
  • shaping and disseminating the creative practice research narrative, research profile, and research culture, including through innovative social media engagement
  • designing and managing a creative practice research mentoring scheme

Contact us

CPRA is led by Director Elaine Speight. We welcome all enquiries about the academy as well as opportunities to collaborate with other researchers and organisations at The University of Central Lancashire and externally.

You can email our team directly or contact our members listed above to enquire about research and degrees in their area of specialism. You can also request for more information about events and activities.