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Procedure for applying for PhD and postdoc projects at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts

Hosting agreement – Step 1
If you wish to apply for an NNF-funded PhD position, you must obtain a hosting agreement from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts before applying for funding. What is a hosting agreement? Following an academic assessment, the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts approves a research project as academically sound and relevant. The hosting agreement signifies that: the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts has given their approval for the PhD candidate to have a place in the institution; we will provide the candidate with an office/studio if they obtain funding; and they must teach as part of their academic work.

The application must contain: a project description of 1-2 pages; a 1-page CV; a 1-page list of publications; and, if relevant, visual portfolio of 3 pages in length (1 default page of text consists of 2400 characters including spaces). The applicant must also attach relevant educational diplomas. It is essential that applicants do not exceed these page restrictions. Applications, which do exceed the number of pages, will not be considered. The applicant must also state the university at which they wish to be enrolled and maybe also the person they wish to have as their supervisor.  If you wish to be enrolled at the University of Copenhagen, you must complete and attach the following form: Download form from the University of Copenhagen

The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts emphasises the fact that applicants for a practice-based artistic PhD project must hold an MFA in artistic practice/free art/studio practice/visual art or similar from an art academy, art university or equivalent. Graduates with other backgrounds are very welcome to apply for curatorial or art history scholarships.

Vis-à-vis hosting agreements, please note that, during their course, the PhD candidate must be actively present at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts and contribute to the development of the institution’s research environment, with the exception of periods when they are on relevant research trips and stays abroad. Non-EU applicants should investigate the relevant tax and employment conditions before embarking upon the application process, as we are only able to provide limited guidance on this subject.

Last year, the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts received more than 40 applications for practice-based PhD projects and granted hosting agreements to 8 projects. In recent years, the number of applicants has been on the rise. In the upcoming round of applications, the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts is expecting to grant hosting agreements for 5 projects. Unfortunately, the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts are unable to provide detailed answers if an applicant is not granted a hosting agreement.

Once the applicant is granted a hosting agreement, they can apply to a university for pre-approval.
 
University pre-approval – Step 2
The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts cannot award a PhD, which is why they collaborate with Danish universities. This means that the PhD candidate is appointed by the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, but is enrolled at a university, and that teaching and any other work relating to the project is organised on the basis of collaboration between the two institutions. Though we collaborate chiefly with the Department of Arts and Cultural Studies at the University of Copenhagen and the School of Communication and Culture at Aarhus University, we are interested in an any collaboration an individual application may propose.

Once a candidate has been granted a hosting agreement by the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, they must then be pre-approved by the relevant university. The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts is responsible for sending the candidates who have received a hosting agreement on to the University of Copenhagen (if this is the collaborating university). The university’s own academic body then reviews the application and assesses whether it is academically satisfactory. If the university assesses that the application is satisfactory, the candidate will receive pre-approval from the university. The University of Copenhagen emphasises that candidates who have been awarded a grade of less than 7 for their dissertation cannot be considered for a PhD course.  This does not apply to graduates of the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, since the Academy does not award grades.
Having been granted a hosting agreement and pre-approval, the candidate can finally apply to NNF for funding.
 
Funding – Step 3
Candidates who have obtained both a hosting agreement and pre-approval now use the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts as an academic sounding board. The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts provides an in-depth discussion about the application – its strengths and weaknesses – in order, as best as possible, to extrapolate and communicate the potentials of the project prior to final submission. Following this process of discussion and feedback, it is the individual candidate’s own responsibility to submit the final application to NNF. The application is then reviewed by NNF’s academic committee, which then decides on the projects to be granted funding. In other words, the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts has no influence on the final selection. The successful candidate or candidates who obtain funding from NNF will then be admitted to the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts.
 
Procedure for postdoc applications
Applicants for postdoc scholarships may disregard Step 2 in the above outline, since postdoc fellows do not require collaboration with a degree-awarding university. Instead, when applying for a hosting agreement at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, postdoc applicants simply need to attach their PhD diploma. Applications should be submitted using the PhD applicant link. An application should include: an abstract of 1-2 pages; a 1-page CV and list of publications; and, if relevant, a visual portfolio (maximum 3 pages) (1 default page of text consists of 2400 characters including spaces). The applicant must also attach relevant educational diplomas. As with PhD applicants, the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts assesses whether they can grant hosting agreements to postdoc applicants. If a hosting agreement is granted, the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts then acts as a sounding board for the candidate. Following this, the candidate is personally responsible for the final submission to NNF.