PhD in Practice program

PhD in Practice program

Academy of Fine Arts Vienna

Willful Weeds Choir / PhD in Practice (Anette Baldauf, Sílvia das Fadas, Berhanu Ashagrie Deribew, Naomi Rincon Gallardo, Janine Jembere), mumok, Museum moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien, 2019,  Photo: Pat Blashill.

February 1, 2021
PhD in Practice program

Application deadline: March 2, 2021
Academy of Fine Arts Vienna
Schillerplatz 3
1010 Vienna

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 include Saidiya Hartman, Tina Campt, Eve Tuck, Stefano Harney, Sharon Hayes, Nikita Dhawan, and Kapwani Kiwanga.

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 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 that 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 that are concerned with a critique of injustice, social hierarchies and exclusions, and is interested in the development of heterotopic visions as well as activist interventions.

The program is designed for a duration of four years. During this time the participants will develop their projects artistically, theoretically, and analytically in coordination with the academic and artistic team of co-participants and faculty. Participants conceive, organize, document, and carry out independent and/or collaborative arts-based research in a PhD supervision 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). During these weeks the participants and the PhD in Practice team meet for seminars, lectures, excursions and other research and study events. Participants are expected to take an active part in organizing the program, including the conceptualization and organization of workshops, guest lectures, exhibitions, etc.

Available positions
(1) Four PhD positions are available with a 75% employment contract with a duration of four years (payment according to B 1, § 49 Abs. 3 KV, currently 2.228,62 €/month before tax, incl. health benefits). These positions require residency in Vienna.

(2) Additionally, candidates can apply for a PhD position without funding (student-only, low residency scheme, does not require moving to Vienna).

Entry requirements
A degree (Magister, MA or Diplom) from a recognized university/academy, and submission of the required application material. Applicants with an ongoing artistic career are encouraged to apply.

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

The application must contain:
–the completed web application form
–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; 1.5 line spacing; pdf)
–an abstract of the project proposal (1 page max, 1.5 line spacing; pdf)
–a digital portfolio (a single pdf document)
–a scan of the certificate(s) proving that you received a degree (Magister, MA or Diplom) from a recognized/accredited university/academy
–Diploma Supplement (if available) and Transcripts (mandatory) of highest academic degree completed (including length of program and credits/ECTS)

The online application form will be available during the call at

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

Admission process
The admission jury will review all applications and choose those applicants to be invited for an interview. In mid-May 2021 the jury will conduct interviews with the selected applicants. Results will be made public shortly after.

Beginning of studies: October 1, 2021

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Academy of Fine Arts Vienna
February 1, 2021

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