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3rd Cycle in the Arts

This is an international database of 3rd cycle awards in the European Higher Arts Education Area, developed within the Creator Doctus project, to identify possible examples of practice in developing and supporting artistic research.

in
the
Arts

Academy of Fine Arts Vienna (AKBILD), Vienna, Austria

Research Policy & Strategy

The Academy of Fine Arts Vienna is dedicated, like all Austrian Universities, to pedagogies which integrate scientific (theoretical) and artistic research into the curricula (“forschungsgeleitete Lehre”). The Academy is actively engaged in the public dissemination of the results of its research through symposia, lectures and publications. Conveying a complex understanding of art to a knowledge-based society is one of the Academy’s defining aims. The strategic role of research has been recognised with the formation of a Vice-Rectorate for Art | Research in 2011, which affords the same status as teaching in the institution’s mission. A department of Art | Research | Support champions national and international research projects, as well as providing structural support for doctoral training. The Center for Doctoral Studies pools already existing activities and develops new offers for both PhD-candidates and their supervisors.

 

Awards Offered

PhD (PhD in practice), Dr.phil., Dr.tech., Dr. rer.nat.

The institution has degree awarding power, no accreditation is needed.

Assessment

Artwork (PhD-project) and documentation of project;

Scholarly Thesis;

Public defense

Doctoral submissions are assessed by 2 appraisers (the supervisor and an external examiner), before proceeding to public defence in front of a jury comprised of the appraisers, at least one other internal and one other external examiner.

PhD students do not require their supervisor’s permission to submit their thesis. The external examiner is appointed by the Vice-Rectorate for Teaching.

Forms of Output

Diverse – exhibitions, workshops, screenings, dissertations, curatorial works, seminars, portfolio, conferences, performance, installations and interventions in public space.

Programme Structure

4 years full-time, “structured doctoral programme”

Students undertake annual reviews (when revisions/adaptations to the research plan agreed). At the end of second year, they present a ‘mini-defence’.

The PhD Programme at the Academy a ‘PhD in Practice’ combines scholarly and artistic research.

The Programme is structured around the acquisition of ECTS credits, 80 ECTS must be gained in seminars and dissertation. Focusweeks are held monthly throughout the academic year (completion is worth 40 ECTS). Students must attend focusweeks in years one and two.

Research is considered to involve the intersection between methodologies, epistemologies and aesthetics: discussions about methodologies are not introduced as a top-down, one-model-fits-all exercise, but through the medium of individual projects.

The entire PhD Programme focuses on the relationship between social movements and the arts, therefore ethics are a key concern for all researchers, and discussed in the context of every project. The Centre for Doctoral Studies (not exclusive to PhD in Practice candidates) host a regular ethics workshop.

Undergraduate & Masters Research

Research methodologies and epistemologies are embedded into all study programmes.

Qualification Framework

National with references to the Florence Principles

Quality Assurance & Enhancement

The 3rd cycle programmes are included in the regular evaluations of the Academy’s teaching activities, which employ focus groups, moderated feedback sessions, pencil/paper evaluations.

The curriculum is monitored constantly by the Curriculum Commission which revises and discusses strategic issues; makes decisions on enhancement and development in consultation with the Rectorate and Senate.

The PhD programme has undergone rigorous, international peer-review.

Supervision

Phd in Practice candidates work with two supervisors, one from the programme, and one from either the programme or outside. Currently 30 PhD candidates are enrolled in the PhD in Practice programme.

Staffing

2 FTE Professors lead the PhD in Practice programme, in addition 1 FTE assistant co-ordinates and also teaches.

Staff regularly meet to discuss best supervisory practice. These meetings are supplemented with workshops on specific topics and individual mentoring. The minimum qualification for staff engaged in supervision is a Venia Docendi (“habilitation”) in the respective field.

The Academy does not differentiate between teaching and research staff.

Student Admissions

The PhD in Practice programme is advertised internationally 2 months in advance of the application deadline. Initial selection is made on the basis of the portfolios, research proposals and CVs submitted. Candidates successful at this stage are invited to interview in person or via Skype. An international jury (Academy Professors, Students, international external experts) make the final decisions.

For other 3rd cycle programmes at the Academy, there is no official selection procedure: students who fulfil the formal requirements may enrol but must secure a supervisor and sign a supervision agreement by the end of first year.

Student Funding

Ca 30% Self-funded, 70% mixed funds

Project funding (research projects, funding programme for arts-based research by national funding agency FWF)

National and International Scholarships (mostly state-funded grants)

In 2018, the Austrian Science Fund granted the PhD-in-practice programme a funding of 1.4 Mio EUR. Two cohorts of 4-5 phd-researchers are funded with this grant (employment contracts for the duration of 4 years).

Private Scholarships

Student Support

The Centre for Doctoral Studies provides general information; competency development (e.g. transferable skills workshops); grants (Travel allowances, dissertation completion fellowships); support for grant and scholarship applications; mentoring, and organizes networking events.

Various opportunities exist in relation to funding for conferences, publications, projects, mentoring, guest lecturers, excursions etc.

Dissertation completion grants provide funding for the last 6 months of the PhD.

Funded candidates are provided with personal workspace and all candidates have access to shared workspace and access to workshop facilities.

Student Experience

The PhD in Practice is designated in the field of Humanities & Cultural Studies in accordance with the Austrian University Act UG 2002 s54 (1) which allows the programme to benefit from a wider range of funding than would be possible if it was designated a PhD in Arts.

Additional Information

The PhD in Practice is designated in the field of Humanities & Cultural Studies in accordance with the Austrian University Act UG 2002 s54 (1) which allows the programme to benefit from a wider range of funding than would be possible if it was designated a PhD in Arts.

Links

3rd Cycle in the Arts

This is an international database of 3rd cycle awards in the European Higher Arts Education Area, developed within the Creator Doctus project, to identify possible examples of practice in developing and supporting artistic research.