The article briefly introduces a normative and epistemological backdrop to our institutional mapping of knowledge. The assignment given to higher education may be said, in very general terms, to contribute to our knowledge of how to cope with life locally and globally in acceptable and possibly innovative and better ways. Our knowledge bases put to use through institutional maps of knowledge are challenged as our coping is questioned. New relations between practise and theory, transdisciplinary approaches to teaching and learning, are requested. The central paragraph of the Norwegian Act relating to Universities and University Colleges is used as case of institutional mapping and a pretext for discussing knowledge bases put to use. It is argued that the Act’s provision of alternative career tracks might provide an opportunity bridging gaps between theory and practise. The alternative track of «førstelektor» is seen to comply with the international trend towards designing professional doctorates, and additionally to meet the challenges of contemporary society.

Keywords: mapping, knowledge, professional doctorate