The fourth SibA Research Days offered a platform for networking

On March 18-19 the fourth annual SibA Research Days 2019 took place in the Helsinki Music­­ Centre. Co-organised by the DocMus and MuTri Doctoral Schools this event was presented in the spirit of collaboration, exploration and discovery. The aim was to provide a space, where students and teachers from the various artistic, scientific and applied research disciplines come together to learn from and connect to one another; to discover and examine similarities and differences; to collaborate on problem-solving and shared areas of interest.

The two-day program included a keynote Managing joint ventures in the performing arts - an identity view by professor in Arts Management Tanja Johansson, a panel discussion on the internationalization and professional career coaching of doctoral and post-doctoral researchers, a workshop on career designing by Workday designer Paula Helle, inspiring and diverse presentations by almost 20 students from both Sibelius Academy doctoral schools and closing remarks by professor Juha Ojala (DocMus).

Professor Ojala summarized that these kind of conferences are an excellent way for aspiring researchers to prepare themselves for national and international forums – and those, in turn, are essential for creating networks, getting enculturated into research and becoming active participants in research communities. In his closing remarks, Prof. Ojala commented on the parallels of artistic and scientific research. He summarized the message in six themes: confidence, delivery, essentials, framework, objectives of research and research as a joint effort.

- You are doing research that no one else is doing on this planet – and so, you are or at least you are becoming the specialist in your topic. As long as you have an idea of what you are doing and you have sufficiently prepared yourself, you can trust and cherish your expertise, and have confidence in what you do and just do it. Try to get in the research community from the day one and learn what people are working on and how. Aim to make sure you know who your audience is and that you become understood by it. Be aware of undertargeting and overtargeting. 

Ojala presented clear questions, borrowed from scientific research, to help designing displays of research and in the actual process of research: what kind of objectives does your research have? What are the practical things you want to discover? What kind of contribution to the knowledge does your research make? What kind of effects, ramifications or consequences does your research have? How might your research change the ways research is done in future? Ojala also pointed out that key questions often posed in scientific research might well be used in artistic research as well. The core question is how applicable do you see them in your research.

- Whatever your topic, however you end up selecting your viewpoint, approach, framework, you are always taking stances pro and con something, leaving something out, when including something. Be happy if you have it as given. Don’t despair if it is not.

- Research is a joint effort. It would be good to see research being pursued as a collective effort, tied to the surrounding world, each researcher making a contribution. We are a community of inquirers. I am delighted to see that many of the presentations directly or indirectly deal with issues of meaning in music or meaning of music. This is comforting or promising in the sense, that despite the breadth and variety of topics, research tasks and approaches, there seems to be some underlying core issues, core problems, that are shared between different, on the surface seemingly quite unrelated projects.


Tanja Johansson's keynote lecture Managing Joint Ventures in the performing arts - an identity view on Youtube

SibA Research Days panel discussion: Think Big – the Internationalization and Professional Career Coaching of Doctoral and Post-Doctoral Researchers 
Panelists: Saara Harjula (Helsinki EU Office), Tanja Johansson (MuTri), Sanna Kivijärvi (MuTri) and Guadalupe López Íñiguez (MuTri).
Moderators: doctoral students Hanna Ojamo (MuTri) and Eveliina Sumelius-Lindblom (DocMus)