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Call for applications for PhD in Practice Program 2019

Application period: February 1st 2019 – March 10th 2019

Beginning of studies for new participants: October 1, 2019

The Academy of Fine Arts Vienna invites applications to its doctoral program for research in artistic practice. The “PhD-in-Practice” program provides participants with the opportunity to pursue their individual arts-based research projects in a collective learning environment with a decidedly transdisciplinary and international bent. The program is coordinated by Renate Lorenz (Professor for Art and Research) and Anette Baldauf (Professor for Methodology and Epistemology). The invited lecturers and guests include Trinh T. Minh-ha, Lauren Berlant, Stefano Harney, Sharon Hayes, Frank B. Wilderson III and Kapwani Kiwanga.

The Program

The PhD in Practice program is built on a concept of arts-based research that relates to critical epistemologies, as they have been developed in the context of feminist, queer, postcolonial, ecological, postmarxist and other political and emancipatory projects. Inspired by these struggles, the PhD in Practice program approaches arts-based research as a space for the negotiation of social, political, cultural and economic conflicts. It refers to a history of research in the arts, which has been developed in dialog with an array of different fields, including academia, activism, high art as much as pop and subculture. It thus privileges cultural/artistic productions, which are concerned with a critique of injustice, social hierarchies and exclusions, and it is interested in the development of heterotopic visions as well as activist interventions.

The PhD in Practice program is designed for a duration of four years of study. During this time the participants will develop and implement their projects analytically and experimentally in coordination with the academic and artistic team of co-participants and faculty. Participants learn how to conceive, organize, document, as well as carry out independent and/or collaborative arts-based research in an environment that is dedicated to transdisciplinary and international exchange.

Course work is organized around so-called focus weeks, which take place one week per month during the academic calendar (October to January, March to June). This “low residency” scheme enables participants to take part and pursue their project without having to move permanently to Vienna (as much as this should be seen as an option). During these weeks the participants and the PhD in Practice team meet for tutorials, seminars, lectures, workshops, excursions and other research and study events. The PhD in Practice participants have access to the facilities and resources of the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna and to the institutions and people that form the broader and expanding network of the Academy. Moreover, participants are expected to take an active part in organizing the program, including the conceptualization and organization of workshops, guest lectures, conferences, exhibitions, screenings, etc.

Entry requirements

Requirements for admission to the PhD in Practice program are a degree (Magister, MA or Diplom) from a recognized university or academy, and the submission of the required application material (see below). Applicants with an ongoing artistic or academic career are encouraged to apply.


The application is online only. Please submit all your application material in English! Applications must be uploaded within the call dates.

From experience we know that if people upload their material on the day the application deadline ends, unexpected troubles can make it impossible to finish the application process. We therefore highly recommend that you upload your material early enough to clear potential disturbances.

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 (a single pdf document, 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 Diplom) from a recognized/ accredited University or Academy

The online application form will be available during the call at

If film/video is an important part of your application, please upload them on and enclose the link to your online-application.

Admission process

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. Around June the jury will conduct interviews with the selected group of applicants.

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

Admitted candidates will embark on the PhD in Practice program in October 2019.


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).