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The PhD-in-Practice is a doctoral program for research in artistic practice, set up by the Institute of Fine Arts and the Institute of Art Theory and Cultural Studies. The program provides participants with the opportunity to pursue their individual research projects in a collective environment with a strongly transdisciplinary and international focus. It provides a concept of arts-based research built upon critical epistemologies, as developed in the context of feminist, queer, postcolonial, ecological, post-Marxist and other political and emancipatory projects.

Programme design

The PhD in Practice programme is designed for a study period of four years. During this time the participants develop and implement their projects analytically and experimentally in coordination with the academic and artistic team of co-participants and faculty.

Course work in the first two years of study is offered in the context of so-called focus weeks, which in the course of the semester takes place one week per month. During these weeks the participants and the PhD in Practice team meet for tutorials, seminars, lectures, workshops, excursions and other research and learning events. In year three and four the participants focus on their artistic research PhD project.

For more details on the curriculum, please download here the curriculum in English and see the PhD in Practice website:

Transferable skills/ support of PhD candidates

The Academy of Fine Arts Vienna implemented the Center for Doctoral Studies for the purposes of developing competencies of PhD candidates, and of making young researchers and artists more visible.

Regular events such as the Graduate Conference and the International Spring Symposia are organized by the Center for Doctoral Studies. Moreover, the Center for Doctoral Studies is offering new, innovative workshops for PhD candidates that enable them to acquire academic key competencies as well as transferrable skills for the optimal advancement and qualification of young arts based researchers.

Further the Center offers two kinds of financial support for PhD candidates, the Dissertation Completion Fellowship aims to support doctoral candidates in the finalization process of their doctoral theses or their PhD-projects, respectively. In order to encourage PhD candidates to present their work internationally they can apply for compensation for travel costs to participate in international conferences, congresses or symposia.

For further information on the activities and offers of the Center for Doctoral Studies, please look at the website.

Admission and Selection

Requirements for application to the PhD in Practice program are: a degree (Magister, MA or diploma) from a recognized university and the submission of a portfolio and a written project proposal. Applicants who are already engaged in an artistic or academic career are especially encouraged to apply.

The application must contain:
  • the completed web application form (available when the call opens officially)
  • a curriculum vitae (including a list of exhibitions the applicant has contributed to and of publications or other artistic and scholarly work that has been published; pdf)
  • a project proposal (10 pages max; pdf)
  • an abstract of the project proposal (1 page max, 1.5 line spacing; pdf)
  • a digital portfolio (zipped, 5 MB max – or made accessible on a website).
  • a scan of the certificate (s) which proves that you received a degree (Magister, MA or diploma) from a recognized University or Academy

The online application form will be available during the call at

Selection process takes place in the course of two consecutive meetings of the admission jury. The admission jury will review all applications; it will assess the proposed PhD projects as well as the applicants’ portfolios and their academic and professional biographies and choose those applicants to be invited for an interview. In May the jury will conduct interviews with the selected group of applicants.

The results of the application process will be made public shortly after.


The PhD-in Practice program offers a limited number of doctoral study positions with full financial support for up to 4 years (30h/week on a 12-months-basis). The modalities of the payment follow the rules laid out by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) (currently 2,071 €/month before tax, incl. health benefits).


The program is coordinated by two professors, Renate Lorenz and Anette Baldauf, assisted by Moira Hille.


Anette Baldauf (Professor for Methodology and Epistemology), Institute for Art Theory and Cultural Studies

Diedrich Diederichsen (Professor for Theory, Practice and Communication of Contemporary Arts), Institute for Art Theory and Cultural Studies

Renate Lorenz (Professor for Art and Research), Institute for Fine Arts

Dorit Margreiter (Professor for Video and Video Installation), Institute for Fine Arts

Felicitas Thun-Hohenstein (Professor for Art History), Institute for Art Theory and Cultural Studies

Artistic Scientific Staff

Moira Hille


The lecturers and guests invited include: Elizabeth Giorgis, Sharon Hayes, Ángela López Ruiz, Angela Melitopoulos, Suzana Milevska, Trinh T. Minh-ha, Margarita Palacios, Lidija Radojević, Elisabeth Subrin, Stefano Harney, Lauren Berlant