WIRAD aims to build upon our internationally recognised role as a driver of Art & Design research in Wales through the development of a sustainable scholarly infrastructure.


  • To maintain an internationally recognised identity and presence in art and design research
  • To enable a critical mass of research activity in art and design in Wales to be drawn together through the Institute
  • To achieve a high level of appropriate funding for research initiatives that produces measurable outputs at international level
  • To develop mechanisms to encourage and support emerging art and design research in Wales
  • To maintain a structure that assures recognition for the best research in Art and Design in Wales through membership and induction of member organisations
  • To maintain and further develop regulations, procedures, codes of practice and training that strive for the highest quality assurance standards in art and design


WIRAD was formally founded in 2007, but various collaborations between the WIRAD partner institutions have contributed to the benefit of the cultural and creative life of Wales for very many years. They have been home to a number of significant artists and designers and, more recently, nationally and internationally recognised centres of research. Individually, the partner institutions undoubtedly represent major forces in research and creative activity within the Higher Education sector in Wales.

WIRAD’s original strategic aims were to build upon the strengths of Wales as a small but culturally dynamic nation in order to: (1) grow cross-institutional centres of art and design research excellence; (2) promote institutional relationships which allow subject expertise to deepen and new cross-disciplinary exchanges to flourish; (3) create and sustain relationships between academia, industry, and communities; and (4) produce researchers who are highly proficient in a range of design, research.

We continue to aim to create an exemplar for collaborative arts and humanities research, training and supervisory practices and facilitate opportunities for our scholars to gain experience outside their core disciplines, through access to a wider pool of expertise.

REF 2014 Results

WIRAD made a second successful joint research assessment submission. The 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) History, Practice and Theory panel rated 97% of the research submission as International Standard, with 75% rated as either Internationally Excellent or World Leading. For the first time the REF also assessed the economic, social and cultural impact of research. 50% of WIRAD’s submission was judged to have outstanding impact and 50% deemed to have very considerable impact.

This significant achievement by WIRAD’s members demonstrates very clearly the international quality of WIRAD’s research.

WIRAD’s REF Results:

World Leading Internationally Excellent Internationally recognised Nationally recognised
Overall 23% 52% 22% 2%

For a more detailed break down click here.