On the following page you will find some frequently questions and answers before enrolling doctoral studies, in the middle and at the end of doctoral studies. Please read the FAQ section carefully before contacting any of our staff!
I am a doctoral candidate at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna and would like to have my dissertation or PhD project entered into the database of the Center for Doctoral Studies. How can I achieve this?
What needs to be done in the course of doctoral studies from the beginning to the end?
All phases of doctoral studies are explained in detail on this site.
I am thinking of enrolling doctoral studies at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, but I don't know how to, and I have several questions. What should I do?
We strive to answer any questions of those interested in enrolling one of the doctoral studies at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, which is why we are continually extending our online information. We really want to help you! However, before you personally contact any of our staff with an individual query, please consult our homepage. In most cases, you will be able to find an answer there. In the FAQs section, we have tried to anticipate your questions as far as possible.
Furthermore, the following page contains specific information on all doctoral studies offered (along with the respective study plans).
On our site Study Information you can find a variety of questions that might arise in the course of studying at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna.
I am not sure whether doctoral studies are the right thing. Is there any personal counseling?
This will depend on your questions, but basically we expect you to have read these FAQs carefully before you consult the respective institute for personal counseling.
If you are not sure whether a doctoral program is right for you, the following thoughts might help you make your decision:
- Doctoral theses are scientific papers that provide evidence of the ability to handle scientific issues independently. Did you acquire sufficient knowledge of scientific work during your diploma or master studies, to build upon during your doctoral studies?
- Have you ever written a thesis or final paper? How did you cope?
- You can borrow doctoral theses from the library at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna or other university libraries. Can you imagine writing such a thesis yourself?
- Think about the rough working steps and techniques (research, reading, scientific work, writing) as well as a rough schedule or time frame for your thesis. Can you imagine yourself taking these steps?
- There are also several guidebooks for (potential) doctoral candidates available at e.g. libraries. The platform doktorat.at, for instance, especially recommends two books. Additionally, the Center for Doctoral Studies of the University of Vienna provides reading tips for doctoral candidates.
- Do you know any doctoral candidates or someone who holds a doctor's degree? Even if they did not study the same field as you are planning to, they might be able to help you by telling you about the challenges of doctoral studies in general, and of writing a doctoral thesis in particular.
- How much time and money do you have at your disposal for your doctoral studies? How many hours per week can you devote to them?
The Academy of Fine Arts Vienna offers counseling in the following fields:
If you need information on the content of a doctoral thesis:
Before you decide to enroll a doctoral program, you should have chosen one or two potential supervisors at the Academy of Fine Arts and discussed the content of your doctoral project and thesis with them. Please also consult the FAQ "How do I find a supervisor?"
For all official questions regarding our doctoral programs:
Please consult our Registrar's Office with regard to enrolling, admission or conclusion of your studies, required documents, accreditations, etc.
In case of any problems, conflicts or crises in your creative-artistic work, in your private life, with your co-students, with teaching staff, et cetera:
Please avail yourself of our Psychological Counseling for Students, offered at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna.
I would like to enroll a doctoral program at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. Where can I find information on the programs offered?
The Academy of Fine Arts Vienna offers four doctoral programs: the philosophical doctorate (Dr. phil.), the technical doctorate (Dr. techn.) in the subject Architecture, the scientific doctorate (Dr. rer. nat.) and the PhD in Practice program, which encompasses dissertations and PhDs using arts-based research at the Academy.
How do I choose between the doctoral programs PhD in Practice and Dr. phil.?
The PhD in Practice program pools the arts-based research PhD projects of the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, while the Dr. phil. program investigates the respective theme from a purely scientific perspective (and not from that of arts-based research). These different approaches therefore represent one of the main criteria for choosing one of the doctoral programs. No admission examination is required for the philosophical doctorate; the PhD in Practice program, however, does require candidates to take such an exam. Nevertheless, you will need to fulfill the above admission requirements for either doctoral program. To give you a deeper insight into our doctoral programs, we recommend reading the curricula to be found on the following website for the respective study program, as well as the FAQs of the PhD in Practice homepage.
How do I enroll a doctoral program at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna? Is there an admission exam?
The Academy of Fine Arts Vienna offers four doctoral programs (Dr. phil., Dr. techn., Dr. rer. nat., PhD in Practice). The first three (the philosophical doctorate, the technical doctorate in Architecture, and the scientific doctorate) can be enrolled without any admission exam, although applicants need to fulfill certain admission criteria. These may vary according to the doctoral program chosen. Please find out the exact admission criteria by clicking on this link - especially the study plans also listed on this site.
For the PhD-in-Practice Program, which combines arts-based research PhD projects at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, there is an admission examination. Please find more detailed information on this program and the application procedure in the FAQs of the PhD-in-Practice homepage.
As a doctoral candidate enrolled at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, you are entitled to study here according to the curriculum selected, but you are not entitled to any financial support (scholarships or grants).
Which documents do I need to enroll for a doctoral program at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna? What are the deadlines?
Please find any information on admission and enrollment as well as on the documents required here.
The respective deadlines for admission (so-called Continuing Registration) are provided on the following homepage.
If you have any further questions, please contact our Registrar's Office.
Do I have to enroll personally?
If I hold a degree from a University of Applied Sciences (Fachhochschule) or an MA, can I enroll a doctoral program at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna?
To receive an answer to this question, you will first have to decide on a specific doctoral program. The Academy of Fine Arts Vienna offers four doctoral programs (Dr. phil., Dr. techn., Dr. rer. nat., PhD in Practice). The respective curricula specify the respective admission criteria. In summary, admission to each doctoral program at the Academy of Fine Arts is based on a subject-specific Diploma, Magister or Master's degree. In addition, the admission of graduates from similar studies at approved Austrian or international institutions of post-secondary education is possible. This also applies to graduates of Diploma or Master Studies at a University of Applied Science (Fachhochschule). Such graduates may have to take additional exams before admission. For further information, please study the respective Curricula before consulting the Registrar's Office for further details.
I hold a degree in XY. Does this entitle me to enroll one of the doctoral programs?
I hold a degree issued by a foreign university. Does this entitle me to enroll a doctoral program at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna?
Can I have my study certificates checked for compatibility in advance?
Yes, please send a scan of your documents via email to our Registrar's Office and let us know in which of the doctoral programs you are interested. If the documents were not issued in either German or English, we shall also require a translation.
I come from the state XY and need some information on residence permits and visa in Austria.
The following page will provide you with information on how to obtain a residence permit and visa. Please click here.
What is an apostille?
An apostille is an international means of document legalization. It is used in the legal dealings between those states, which are signatories to the multilateral Hague Convention Number 12 on abolishing the requirement for legalization or diplomatic accreditation of foreign public documents. The Registrar's Office will advise you whether your documents require an apostille for legalization. Please note: your nationality is irrelevant for the apostille, the only thing that matters is the country where your documents were issued. Please find more detailed information on the apostille at the following link.
As each state party to the Hague convention is allowed to stipulate who is permitted to issue the aforesaid apostille and in which form, we advise you to take the following steps: if you are already in Austria, please consult the embassy of the country issuing the respective documents. The embassy can then tell you whether the apostille can be issued directly by the embassy itself or by another authority within the respective country. If you are still in the country issuing your documents, please contact the competent authorities there. You will find an overview of such authorities for each country on the website of the Hague Convention (click on "Authorities" and choose "per State").
Please also note: different countries prescribe different types of document legalization; some countries require the apostille, while others demand a different type of accreditation. As these regulations keep changing due to new international treaties, it is impossible to provide any general information on the subject. The Registrar's Office will, however, gladly inform you of the type of accreditation your documents currently require.
Do I have to be in Vienna for most of my doctoral studies?
How much face time do I have to spend at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna when I am doing my doctoral studies here? Do I have to attend regularly?
This question has to be answered differently for each doctoral program. In the Dr. phil., the PhD in Practice and the Dr. techn. programs, you will, of course, have to attend certain lectures personally, see your supervisors and handle administrative matters, but you will not need to be present all of the time. How much actual face time you are expected to spend at the Academy is a matter you will have to discuss with your supervisor(s). In most cases, doctoral candidates find it possible to work at least part-time alongside their doctoral studies.
This is, however, different for the doctoral program in natural science: doctoral candidates there are required to be present at all times, for the simple reason that, among other things, they will have to help carry out investigations, analyses and experiments at the laboratories. Doctoral candidates enrolled in the natural-scientific program are either employed with the aid of third-party funds, or expected to ensure that they have sufficient financial means at their disposal as they will find it very difficult, if not impossible, to work alongside their studies.
Does enrolling a doctoral program at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna mean that I have a (paid) job / gainful employment here?
No, not normally. In Austria, doctoral candidates do not - different from several other states -automatically have gainful employment. Some doctoral candidates have - usually provided by their supervisors - some kind of job, especially as co-workers on third-party funds projects.
My supervisor is not at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. Can I still enroll a doctoral program here?
I would like to write my doctoral thesis on the topic XY at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, but there is no supervisor qualified for this job content-wise. Can I still do my doctoral studies here?
Where do I find potential supervisors?
The homepage of the Center for Doctoral Studies provides you with a list of potential doctoral and PhD-project supervisors, which also comprises their respective Venia (teaching subjects). Please click here.
How do I find a supervisor?
Before you start looking for a supervisor, you must choose which doctoral program you would like to enroll. The Academy of Fine Arts Vienna offers four doctoral programs (the philosophical doctorate, the technical doctorate in Architecture, the scientific doctorate, and the PhD-in-Practice program, which combines all doctoral projects of arts-based research). Furthermore, before consulting our supervisors you should have a concrete idea of the theme you would like to work on as you should then choose a supervisor who has the best qualifications to support you in writing your doctoral thesis. Ideally, you already know one of the supervisors from your studies and ask them whether they would be ready to supervise your work in the respective field. Should you, however, not know the person you would like to have as your doctoral supervisor, we recommend that you summarize your field in a short abstract and send this by email to the potential supervisor, together with a request for an appointment.
The homepage of the Center for Doctoral Studies provides you with a list of potential doctoral and PhD -project supervisors, which also comprises their respective Venia (teaching subjects). Please click here.
How do I find a topic for my doctoral thesis or PhD project? Is there a list with suggestions? Do I choose the topic myself?
On principle, topics of doctoral theses or PhD projects can be chosen freely. However, there are two restrictions: firstly, the topic should lie within the thematic scope of the respective study program (Dr. phil., Dr. techn., Dr. rer. nat., PhD in Practice). Secondly, the topic must be agreed with a supervisor, whom you should only choose after you have determined your own interest in a chosen topic. Moreover, doctoral candidates have the possibility to write their doctoral thesis in the context of a research project.
What in actual fact is the PhD in Practice program?
In 2010, the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna launched a doctoral program for research in artistic practice. The "PhD-in-Practice" program provides participants with the opportunity to pursue their individual 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).
For FAQs on the PhD-in-Practice program, please click here: http://blogs.akbild.ac.at/phdinpractice/the-program/faqs/
Can arts-based research theses also be submitted for the Dr. phil. program?
No, doctoral candidates enrolled in the Dr. phil. program can only submit purely scientific papers. At the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, papers based on research using artistic methods have been assigned to the PhD in Practice program, which, in contrast to the Dr.phil. program, relies on arts-based research.
In what languages can I write my doctoral thesis?
The language of your thesis will depend on your supervisor. The list of supervisors will tell you who supervises dissertations in what language.
Is there a student representative for doctoral candidates at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna?
The following homepage will provide you with all the information on student representation for doctoral candidates at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. Doctoral candidates of the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna are also cordially invited to the biweekly Come together [PhDok-Pinups], organized by the student representation for doctoral studies!
Do students of the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna have to pay any tuition fees? Are there any grants?
Since the summer term of 2013, all Austrian universities have been charging tuition fees, owing to an amendment of the Austrian Universities Act 2002. Therefore, please check your study fee status in your Academy-Online Account. Please note: The students' union fee (ÖH-Beitrag) is not part of the tuition fee and must be paid by all students each term without exception. Please find more detailed information on the tuition fees to be paid at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna on the following page.
All students of the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna who paid tuition fees in the previous term but have not received a refund from other institutions (e.g. by the study grant office (Studienbeihilfenbehörde)), have the opportunity to apply for a Social Stipend. Please find more detailed information here.
What is the dissertation agreement?
For everyone newly enrolling one of the doctoral programs Dr. phil., Dr. rer. nat. and PhD in Practice (that does not apply to the Dr. techn. program) starting from the winter term 2014, the new curricula apply. This means that, during their first year after admission, doctoral candidates are required to apply for the approval of their dissertation project (or PhD project), and to submit it, together with a dissertation / PhD Project agreement also comprising the respective supervision confirmation, to the competent body responsible for study matters, which is done via the Registrar's Office.
The dissertation or PhD project agreement is concluded between the doctoral candidate and her/his thesis supervisor(s) and is expected to specify the scope of work and the relationship between the supervisor(s) and the respective candidate. This would include, for instance, the number and interval of meetings, deadlines for submitting single chapters, details on courses the candidate is to attend, especially where the curricula allow some leeway, etc. Please find more detailed information on the dissertation agreement in the respective curriculum. You will find it by clicking on your study program here.
Does the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna offer any financial support for doctoral candidates?
The Academy of Fine Arts Vienna offers a variety of grants to students - such as Mobility Scholarships for stays abroad, a Student Assistance Fund for students from so-called third countries (non-EU members), but also research grants for doctoral or PhD candidates, which are advertised every other year. The following link will give you an overview of the scholarships and grants awarded by the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, along with other useful links, e.g. to information on federal grants, grants given by the City Council of Vienna, or on Student Allowance.
Via our Center for Doctoral Studies, two entirely new grants available to doctoral candidates of the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna and the University of Art and Design Linz have been introduced: the Dissertation Completion Fellowship and the Travel Allowances for PhD candidates. Initially, both grants will be offered for the academic years 2014/15 and 2015/16. Please find more detailed information on these two grants, both of which are advertised by our Center for Doctoral Studies, here.
Furthermore, the students' representation of doctoral studies (ÖH) offers project funding for doctoral cadidates for various projects connected with the doctoral thesis.
As a doctoral candidate, I would like to collaborate in a research project. How does this work, and where can I apply? Do I have to be enrolled for this purpose?
Usually, it is the supervisors who offer their candidates the chance of working on research projects. Therefore, doctoral candidates are often already involved in the project during its application phase. Please ask your supervisors whether they are thinking of leading or submitting a project themselves, or whether they know of other projects planned in their respective field. Jobs advertised for research project work can be found on the Academy website at the following link.
Whether you need to be enrolled or not will also depend on how the respective research project is being financed. Depending on the type of grant, you will either have to enroll during application or with the start of the project at the latest, or not at all. If, however, you wish to do a doctoral program at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, you have to be enrolled here. If you are not, you will only be regarded as one of the research project team and paid according to the qualification level of a doctoral candidate.
As a doctoral candidate, I might have the chance of working on a research project, but would like to write my doctoral thesis on a different topic. Is that possible?
Yes, this is basically possible as, whimsically said, working on a research project is just a job like any other. However, you will first need to check if and how this would be possible for you with regard to time and content, and whether both your project leader and your supervisor agree.
How and where do I find accommodation in Vienna?
The following websites will provide you with some information on student accommodation:
- Wohnungsbörse (accommodation service) provided by the ÖH (Students' Union)
- Student homes with online registration (ÖJAB)
- ÖAD Housing
How do I get health insurance?
All regular students who are not insured themselves or with a relative have the option of applying for self-insurance to the Vienna Regional Health Insurance Fund (Wiener Gebietskrankenkasse WGKK). Please find more information by clicking on the following link.
How can I keep up-to-date with regard to current activities and offers of the Center for Doctoral Studies, or be informed about interesting events and conferences, calls, grants, etc.?
At the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, we have a mailing list for doctoral candidates to inform them of any offers, activities and news of the Center for Doctoral Studies, as well as about current events, calls, grants etc. which might be interesting. For this mailing list, we use the Academy email addresses of doctoral students (e.g. email@example.com). To keep up-to-date, please check your Academy email account or have your mails forwarded to a different account! At the same time, you could also use this mailing list to inform your colleagues of relevant information or events, or for requests etc. to do with your doctoral studies. For this purpose, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am a doctoral candidate at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna and would like to get in touch with other doctoral candidates. How can I do so?
If you would like to initiate a cooperation with your doctoral or PhD colleagues - such as a reading circle, a writing group, a research group, regular meetings or the like - you can make use of the PhD Mailing List of the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. Thus, you can contact your colleagues directly. Please send an email to email@example.com.
Doctoral candidates of the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna are also cordially invited to the biweekly Come together [PhDok-Pinups], organized by the student representation for doctoral studies!
I would like to change my thesis / PhD supervisor. Can I?
Until you actually submit your doctoral thesis or PhD project, respectively, at the very end of your doctoral studies, you have the possibility of changing your supervisor. Such changes must, however, be authorized by the respective competent body responsible for study matters. In case of a change of supervisor, a new dissertation agreement must be concluded. Please contact our Registrar's Office.
I would like to change the topic of my doctoral thesis or PhD. Can I?
Until you actually submit your doctoral thesis or PhD project, respectively, at the very end of your doctoral studies, you have the possibility of changing your topic. Such changes must, however, be authorized by the respective competent body responsible for study matters. A change of topic must be added to the existing dissertation agreement or PhD project agreement, respectively, as an amendment. Please contact our Registrar's Office.
PLEASE NOTE: Any changes of the working title of your thesis are also regarded as a change of topic!
What are the doctoral theses and PhDs on which doctoral candidates at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna are currently working?
For an overview of current doctoral theses and PhD projects, please click here.
I am a doctoral candidate at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna and would like to have my dissertation or PhD project entered into the database of the Center for Doctoral Studies. How can I achieve this?
Please enter your data into the form using the following link.
Please do so carefully, and exactly as the form specifies! Otherwise we cannot ensure that your data will be presented correctly on our homepage, or that it will appear there within a short time! Thank you!
Please also bear in mind that it might take a little time to process your entry as the database is updated at irregular intervals only.
I am interested in already finished diploma and doctoral theses of the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. Where can I access them and do my research?
The Theses Data Base of the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna contains all the diploma theses, dissertations and PhDs ever submitted. These papers can be viewed and used for research purposes.
I am writing a doctoral thesis, and I have reached the end of my tether. I need help! Where can I go?
The Academy of Fine Arts Vienna offers psychological counseling for students. We are happy to help you and give you advice! For more information, please click here.
I am a doctoral candidate at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. Does it offer child care?
The Academy of Fine Arts Vienna offers two child-care facilities. Please click here for further information.
Are doctoral candidates of the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna given the opportunity of teaching courses as external lecturers?
Yes, basically they are, but no courses are specifically created for doctoral candidates. If an institute considers you qualified to teach a course that is part of the regular curriculum, you will receive such a lectureship. If you are interested, please send your resume / CV to the respective institute and ask there whether any lectureships are open for the coming academic year. Please keep in mind, though, that your chances of actually getting such a lectureship are not very high as most institutes cooperate with their lecturers long-term. Moreover, lectureships are usually only awarded to experienced teachers.
I would like to use illustrations in my doctoral thesis. Am I allowed to?
Illustrations or images for which you do not own the copyright and/or rights of use can still be used in scientific publications if these images are closely linked to the topic dealt with. In scientific papers, the text part has to outweigh the illustrated part by far. Moreover, you should only insert images that are essential for understanding the text.
I have finished writing my doctoral thesis and would like to submit it. What do I need to know?
Please make sure that you fulfill the administrative requirements, such as filling out the respective forms, in good time - not to do so is a wide-spread mistake and often leads to tiresome delays in the final stages of someone's doctoral studies.
We recommend that you consult our Registrar's Office one term before you actually conclude your doctoral studies and ask for personal advice on the documents you need. You can find all exam and registration deadlines for viva voce/thesis defenses valid for the respective year at Study Information (click on "Calendar - Important Dates") on our website.