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Professor Vida L Midgelow appointed Dean of UAL’s new Doctoral School

  • Written byDan Austin
  • Published date 22 May 2023
Professor Vida L Midgelow, 2023 | Photograph: Middlesex University

University of the Arts London (UAL) has appointed Professor Vida L Midgelow as Dean of the Doctoral School.

Based at UAL’s High Holborn site, the new Doctoral School will provide focus, advocacy and a dedicated space for cross-University Post Graduate Research activities. The Doctoral School will open in Oct 2023

Professor Midgelow is a distinguished leader in Practice-as-Research and doctoral education and joins UAL from Middlesex University where she led postgraduate research across Middlesex University and its partners.

With over 25 years of experience in dance and creative fields, she joined Middlesex in 2012 after serving as a Professor and Director of Research at the University of Northampton. In 2016, she established 'Artistic Doctorates in Europe' to develop guidance for Artistic Research Degrees and dance research resources. Professor Midgelow mentors, curates, and consults for artists and organisations, while co-directing the Choreographic Lab at Dance4/FABRIC in Nottingham. Grounded in somatic and improvisatory approaches, her research focuses on artistic research methods, somatic dance training, improvisation, and choreographic processes.

She has published extensively, including the edited volume "Improvisation in Dance" (2019) and the monograph "Reworking the Ballet: Counter Narratives and Alternative Bodies" (2007). Professor Midgelow has held leadership roles in dance organiations, chaired the DanceHE, and served on the boards of the Society of Dance History Scholars.

We are delighted to announce Professor Vida L Midgelow as the inaugural Dean of the Doctoral School at UAL. With extensive experience leading postgraduate research at Middlesex University and expertise in Practice-as-Research and doctoral education, Professor Midgelow brings invaluable insights to UAL. As a recognised leader in the field, her visionary approach and deep understanding of postgraduate study will greatly contribute to the growth and advancement of our doctoral community. I look forward to the Doctoral School flourishing under her leadership and eagerly anticipate the exciting developments which lie ahead.

— Professor David Mba, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Research, Knowledge Exchange and Enterprise
UAL has an enviable reputation for inspirational and high-quality practice research and I am thrilled to be joining an organisation so clearly committed to creativity and the potentiality of arts-making. Doctoral education is hugely transformative and, as the founding Dean of a new Doctoral School, I look forward to bringing together the diverse community of creative researchers at UAL, reaching across the colleges to support innovative and interdisciplinary arts and design research to promote doctoral research that makes a real difference in people's lives.

— Professor Vida L Midgelow