Artistic research is a research concept that focuses on the practice of art as an action that generates knowledge and insight. New knowledge can be produced in works of art, partly in terms of their materiality and partly through the technical and theoretical know-how that forms the basis of the work.
Artistic research is a key part of the knowledge base of the institution’s degree programme, forming a significant foundation for methodologies, pedagogy, artistic practices and the further development of skills and competencies within the various artistic fields.
Professors and associate professors at the Schools of Visual Arts have an obligation to engage in artistic research at their relevant schools and through their own artistic practice. Special collaborative projects concerning artistic research will cut across the individual schools.
Unlike artistic research, academic research at the Schools of Visual Arts is always conducted in co-operation with a university where the relevant PhD fellow is enrolled. This means that it is not possible to apply for a PhD fellowship directly from the Schools of Visual Arts.
Research projects can be carried out by artists as well as academics if their applications for research funding is successful. Research projects can be initiated in co-operation with other research institutions, but must always be relevant to the Schools of Visual Arts’ programmes.
The Institute for Art, Writing and Research is responsible for the academic research conducted at the Schools of Visual Arts. The Head of Institute will prepare a research strategy for the Schools of Visual Arts in the near future.
You can find a list of PhD projects associated with the institute here
Research funding and application procedures
The Schools of Visual Arts can apply for research funding from external foundations and public funds for research within the fields of artistic research and for academic research conducted in co-operation with one of Denmark’s universities. In most cases this will be the Department of Arts and Cultural Studies at the University of Copenhagen.
Artistic research is supported by the Danish Ministry of Culture’s funds earmarked for artistic research (kunstnerisk udviklingsvirksomhed). Only employees at institutions of education under the auspices of the Danish Ministry of Culture can apply for these funds. Emphasis is placed on having the project integrated into the teaching provided at the institution.
Funding for PhD and postdoc research and other short-term research projects at the Schools of Visual Arts is secured by applying to private and public foundations. Students submit their own applications and must obtain a statement from the Schools of Visual Arts guaranteeing that a place/workspace will be available to them (“husningstilsagn” – hosting agreement). Application deadlines and procedures for obtaining a hosting agreement are regularly published on the Schools of Visual Arts’ website.
The Institute for Art, Writing and Research (IKSF) accommodates various types of research: Artistic and curatorial research as well as art history research pertaining to a specific artistic practice or to the history of the Schools of Visual Arts.
A PhD project encompasses three practical issues: hosting, enrolment and funding.
Hosting (“husning”) concerns the physical setting of your project – the place where your everyday work takes place. This involves an office space in an artistic and academic setting as well as other aspects of your workday such as teaching. As a PhD fellow with IKSF your host institution is the Schools of Visual Arts.
You enrol with the institution responsible for the research content of your PhD. This is where your primary supervisor works, and this is the institution that determines the requirements for the content and production of your research. It is also the institution that issues your degree. As a result, enrolment terms and conditions are not set up by the Schools of Visual Arts but by the university issuing your degree, e.g. KU, AU, CBS. The relevant university will also assess whether your previous education qualifies you to apply for a PhD scholarship.
The Schools of Visual Arts do not award scholarships, so funding for your PhD project must be found in the form of grants/scholarships from external partners, e.g. foundations such as the Novo Nordisk Foundation. Such partners will usually stipulate a range of additional demands regarding your application, the format of your PhD project period and the insights generated. You should familiarise yourself with these demands beforehand.
If you wish to be hosted by the IKSF you must send a brief one-page abstract to the Institute for Art, Writing and Research ( ) no later than 15 December 2017. Your abstract should describe the content of your project, its relevance and how you intend to address your subject in terms of research. The abstract must be written in English. Include your CV and list of publications and state the university at which you wish to enrol.
The Schools of Visual Arts will assess the individual applications and either refuse them or issue a statement guaranteeing that a place/workspace will be available to them (“husningstilsagn” – hosting agreement).
Applicants who have successfully obtained a hosting agreement must apply to enrol at a university in accordance with the relevant university’s rules regarding deadlines, submission of project descriptions, etc. Applicants will either be refused or receive notification that they will be enrolled at the relevant university. The Schools of Visual Arts are not involved in this part of the process.
Applying for grants/scholarships
Applicants who have received notification that they will be enrolled at a university may apply for grants/scholarships from external foundations in accordance with those foundations’ rules on deadlines, submission of project descriptions, etc.
The grant/scholarship must cover your salary for the full three years of the PhD project and any other expenses associated with your research, including contributions towards administration costs etc. For this reason, all PhD applicants who have received a hosting agreement from the Schools of Visual Arts must draw up a budget to be approved by the IKSF before the applicant’s application is submitted to any external foundations. Once a grant/scholarship has been obtained, contact the Schools of Visual Arts at to finalise planning and arrange the launch of your PhD project.
Please note that applicants should ideally already be engaged in discussions with their potential PhD supervisor even before taking part in the prequalification round, and that many applicants spend one or two years defining their research project and writing their application.
The various foundations have their own criteria determining which types of projects qualify for grants/scholarships. Even though applying for grants is the final stage of the application process, applicants are advised to form an idea of which grant/scholarship they wish to apply for even before they take part in the prequalification round.
Seminar for prospective applicants
The Schools of Visual Arts will host a seminar on how to apply for a PhD fellowship. The seminar will be held on 9 November and comprise the following:
10:00-12:00 General introduction to the PhD application process
13:00-15:00 Application workshop.
Prospective participants must send a one-page abstract to
no later than 2 November. The abstract should describe their project’s content, relevance and how the applicant intends to approach their subject in terms of research.
The seminar takes place at the Institute for Art, Writing and Research/Institut for Kunst, Skrift og Forskning, Peder Skrams Gade 2, Opgang G, 4th floor
The Novo Nordisk Foundation will hold an inspirational meeting on art research projects on 9 October 2017. The meeting will include presentations on your opportunities for obtaining funding and presentations from previous applicants who successfully secured funding. For more, visit: http://novonordiskfonden.dk/da/content/9-oktober-2017-kunstfagligt-inspirationsmoede-2017
Postdoc projects and briefer research projects
Postdoc projects and brief research projects are for those who already hold a PhD degree and wish to continue to do research.
Such research is conducted under the auspices of the Schools of Visual Arts’ Institute for Art, Writing and Research. Funding must be secured from external sources, e.g. the New Carlsberg Foundation or the Novo Nordisk Foundation.
The Schools of Visual Arts must receive applications for hosting agreements for postdoc fellows no later than 15 December 2017 from all applicants who wish to apply for funds from the Novo Nordisk Foundation in January 2018. Send a one-page abstract to the Institute for Art, Writing and Research ( ). Your abstract should describe the content of your project, its relevance and how you intend to address your subject in terms of research. The abstract must be written in English. Include your CV and list of publications.
You can read more about the Institute for Art, Writing and Research here.