Practice-as-Research (PaR) is a mode of research used primarily in the performing and technical artists wherein the main research approach is practice. The purpose of any PaR project is to generate new knowledge and understanding of arts practices through practice.
As the PaR researcher practises her/his art form, questions and areas of interest and inquiry may arise. The PaR researcher forms a research question that s/he then explores through her/his practice. This is usually through practical experience and experimentation in the creation of an artistic product (e.g. a film, a costume, a choreographed dance, a play text, a piece of music, a directed performance, a series of paintings for an exhibition). By documenting the creative processes and product and analysing them, new insights can emerge that may lead to innovative and new practices.
PaR often utilises Qualitative and Quantitative methods of inquiry but it is always centred on practice. In recent times, it has been argued that PaR should be considered as a third research paradigm that sits equally beside Qualitative and Quantitative research.
Undertaken within tertiary education sectors, PaR opens up the possibility of new knowledge being intergrated into teaching practices which can then provide an avenue for new knowledge to flow through into the performing and technical arts industries.