When does the next application process start?
The Academy’s PhD in Practice call for applications for new participants is published once a year, usually in January/February. Applications are generally due end of February/mid of March, and the application process is completed around end of May. Accepted candidates enroll at the Academy and begin their study in the PhD in Practice program at the beginning of the fall term in October of the same year.
How many years does it take to study in the PhD in Practice program?
A minimum of four years.
How many ECTS points do I receive for my participation in a focus week?
You receive 5 ECTS points for every focus week.
How many ECTS points do I need by the end of my study?
You need to collect 80 ECTS via course work. The PhD project will provide you with an additional 160 ECTS, 80 of which are allocated to the arts-based research project and 80 to the dissertation. This means that a total of 240 ECTS points is needed.
What is the working language of the program?
Proficiency in written and spoken English is required, since this is an English language study program. The commission in charge of reviewing and selecting new candidates also considers the candidate’s English language skills when conducting the interview. While the working language of the program is English, the Academy of Fine Arts is a German-speaking environment. German language classes are offered free of charge.
Which academic degree do I get?
The academic degree is a PhD (“Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)“).
Who are the addressees of this program?
People, who are active in the field of fine arts / arts-based research – artists, curators or other cultural workers – and have a well-founded interest in pursuing and expanding their practice.
How do I apply?
Please click here for information on the application procedure.
For more information about the procedure please also have a look inside the PhD in Practice Curriculum: here.
The application has to be in English.
What is the basic requirement to apply?
The basic requirement for every application is a degree (MA, MFA, diploma level) from a recognized/accredited university. If you are not sure whether your degree is accepted, please contact the “Studienabteilung” of the Academy (Studienabteilung@akbild.ac.at). The program is particularly interested in participants who have already acquired experience as practitioners. We generally consider it to be of some advantage if you finished your studies already a while ago and had the chance to work in fields outside of the academic environment in which you studied.
For the application, you are asked to hand in a project proposal, we recommend that this proposal is more than a rough draft. This proposal is the key object of discussion in case you will be invited for an interview by the admission commission.
What to include in the application?
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), including the statement, if you apply for a position with employment contract or for a position without funding (student only)
– 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, 10 MB max).
– a scan of the certificate(s) which proves that you received a degree (Magister, MA or Diplom) from a recognized/ accredited university or academy
– Diploma Supplement (if available) and Transcripts (mandatory) of the highest academic degree completed (including length of program and credits/ECTS) must be provided.
The online application form will be available during the call at https://calls.akbild.ac.at
If film/video is an important part of your application, please upload your material on vimeo.com and enclose the link(s) to your online-application.
For additional documents that are required, please check the current call for applications, which is usually published at the end of a calendar year.
How should the proposal look like? Do I have to include a bibliography and timetable?
There are no hard rules. In some instances it might be helpful to submit a short bibliography (included in the ten pages max. length of the proposal), and you also might want to refer to artists and/or art works that are an important reference for your work. A formal time-table is not necessary, but you have to convince the commission that the project proposed can actually be realized, and finished, in the course of the four year study.
Is it possible to apply with a project, which relies on collaboration?
If the PhD project is based on joint work, each candidate’s contribution is to be clearly identified and assessed independently.
Your collaborator(s) don’t have to participate in the program. You can of course apply together with your collaborator(s), but since there are only few positions available every year, it is unlikely that both of you are being accepted.
Who supervises the participants?
The PhD project is supervised by one or by both professor of the PhD in Practice program. We strongly advise you to take both professors as your supervisors.
If the interdisciplinary nature of the respective PhD project requires a second supervisor from outside the program, a second supervisor can be appointed. This supervisor needs a qualification to supervise doctoral candidates at another recognized Austrian or international institution of post-secondary education. Such second supervisors are to be chosen in accordance with the main supervisor of the PhD project in question. There is a modest amount of funding available for honorariums and travel expenses for supervisors from outside the Academy.
How is the study structured?
Coursework in the PhD in Practice program is organized in focus weeks: October to January and March to June, the PhD in Practice focus weeks take place once a month Tuesday morning to Friday afternoon.
In the third and forth year of their studies, participants of the PhD program focus mainly on completing their PhD project and dissertation. Each term, one focus week specifically addresses the needs of the more advanced candidates of the third and fourth year.
Starting with the second semester PhD candidates participate in the organization of the seminars: Together with other candidates they develop seminars based on their shared interests, look for the appropriate art work, literature as well as pedagogy. A seminar schedule is worked out at the beginning of the semester.
At least once every semester candidates present parts of their work or specific questions that arise from their work in front of the PhD group. Candidates register for the so-called Slot Machine at the beginning of the semester in the so-called Wiki or, if there are slots left, two weeks in advance of each focus week. In addition, candidates discuss their work in individual meetings with one or both of the professors of the PhD in Practice program on a regular basis. This is particularly important for the participants, who are already working on their PhD projects and dissertations. Skype interviews are possible.
Do the selected candidates receive funding?
Three PhD positions are available with a 75 percent employment contract with a duration of four years (payment according to B1, Section 49 Abs. 3KV, currently 2,458 EUR/month before tax, incl. health benefits). These positions require residency in Vienna and participation in further research, teaching and administration in the realm of the PhD-in-Practice program. 
Additionally, two PhD positions are available without funding (student-only, low residency scheme, does not require moving to Vienna).
Interested applicants can apply for two different possible positions. The first involves employment and requires a primary residence in Vienna (see below for details). The second is a non-subsidized position as a student in the Phd in practice program.
Both positions require participation in all PhD in practice activities, as well as on-site participation in classes held once a month, eight times a year in vienna for the first two years of study, or sixteen times.
In both cases, all costs related to the teaching of the program (excursions, exhibitions etc.) are covered by the Academy of Fine Arts.
          1. Application with employment contract
Three PhD positions are available with a 75 percent employment contract with a duration of four years (payment according to B1, Section 49 Abs. 3KV, currently 2,458 EUR/month before tax, incl. health benefits). These positions require residency in Vienna and participation in further research, teaching and administration in the realm of the PhD-in-Practice program. 
University Assistants (prae docs) | PhD in Practice Program 2023
Starting 1 October, 4-years-contract at 75% employment level (30 hours per week)
Job holders pursue their individual arts-based research projects in a collective learning environment with a decidedly transdisciplinary and international bent and are writing a dissertation.
They participate in further research, teaching and administration in the realm of the PhD-in-Practice program.
Employment is bound to a continued enrollment in the PhD-in-Practice-program and appropriate study progress (according to the PhD-in-Practice curriculum).
          2. Application without funding (student only)
Additionally, two PhD positions are available without funding (student-only, low residency scheme, does not require moving to Vienna).
This position does not include any financial support or subsidies.
PhD position holders pursue their individual arts-based research projects and are writing a dissertation in a collective learning environment that has decidedly transdisciplinary and international orientation.
What exactly do I need to hand in at the end of the PhD in Practice program?
The PhD project is supposed to provide the candidate’s independent contribution to arts-based research. It comprises an arts-based research project and a dissertation.
The candidates choose format and/or medium of the arts-based research project.
Most generally, the dissertation is a text that serves as proof of the candidate’s ability to handle research issues independently. It might reflect on the methodology and context of the arts-based research project. The curriculum does not further specify a required length or format of this text.
In the end you have to hand in a documentation of your arts-based research project and the written dissertation. You will get the opportunity to exhibit/present, discuss and defend your arts-based research project on the occasion of the defensio.
To what extent is the study expected to be theoretical-scholarly?
The amount of theoretical work is not standardized but depends on the character and profile of each project. However, expanding one’s theoretical and analytical skills certainly is an important aspect of the program. But here, as always, we recommend that such a development and extension of your art practice should relate convincingly to the line of inquiry of your thesis.
What are the tuition fees?
Tuition fees vary from free tuition to € 726.72 per semester, depending on one’s citizenship. ( https://www.akbild.ac.at/Portal/studium/studieninfos/studienbeitraege) For those who have to pay tuition fees, the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna offers a social stipend in the amount of the paid tuition fees.
All students have to pay a non-refundable Students’ union fee (ÖH-Beitrag) every semester. This fee is currently less than € 20.
Where is the PhD in Practice program located?
The program is located at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, Room DG06, Schillerplatz 3, 1010, Vienna.
Where do I find informations about all doctorate studies at the academy?
Please read here.