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Doctoral position in Artistic Practice

Diary id: PAR 2017/792
Employment level: time limited employment (temporary)
Location: Valand Academy, Gothenburg
Apply by: 2017-09-01
Apply at this link.

Valand Academy announces the availability of two doctoral positions at the doctoral education (third cycle) in the subject Artistic Practice commencing January 2018.

The Position

Valand Academy seeks two doctoral students engaged with our research culture. Applicants should apply to conduct artistic research (practice-based, practice-led etc.) in one or more of the following research themes:

  • Intersectional Practices – includes work on queer, feminist and decolonial politics and culture, questions of care and social justice;
  • Political imaginaries and structures - includes work on artist-led culture, pedagogical transformations, curating, the curatorial, publishing and publicness, forms of activism, critical intervention and archival practice;
  • Experimental Materialisms – includes work on matter, language, rhetoric, histories, narrativity and storytelling practices.
  • The environmental – includes connections with natural and social science, the humanities, sustainable development, debates on the anthropocene and post-humanism.

The research themes operate within and across artistic practices (Film, Fine Art, Photography, and Literary Composition, Poetry and Prose). The research environment at Valand Academy actively promotes and facilitates the cross-fertilisation of disciplines.

The doctoral position is typically combined with teaching corresponding to 20% of the full-time position (institutional duties). This means a rate of study of 80% and a total period of five years.

The doctoral position demands a high degree of presence in the daily operations of the Valand Academy. A good knowledge of English is a prerequisite as the Valand Academy operates in an international environment.

Valand Academy encourages its teachers and doctoral students to attend the University’s courses in pedagogics unless equivalent knowledge has already been acquired. The courses are conducted within institutional duties.

The Research Culture at Valand

Valand Academy at the University of Gothenburg is a dynamic platform for the artist/author/filmmaker/photographer. We are especially focused on artistic interaction and artist-led cultures within contemporary art, film, literature and photography. Valand Academy is centrally situated in Gothenburg and closely integrated with the cultural life of the city, including collaborations with Göteborgs konsthall, Hasselblad Center, Röda Sten, Göteborg Film Festival, Gothenburg International Biennial for Contemporary Art (GIBCA), Gothenburg’s House of Literature, Gothenburg’s Poetry Festival and many other cultural initiatives.

We have an extensive international network and partners all over the world: including EARN (www.artresearch.eu), PARSE (www.parsejournal.com), SAR (http://www.societyforartisticresearch.org/) and a partnership with BARD CCS (http://www.luma-arles.org/).

The Valand Academy offers a vital research environment, including many internally and externally funded projects in the fields of artist-led culture, social practice, queer-film, contemporary poetry and criticism, as well as photography’s significance in environmental, ecological and climate research.

The doctoral research at Valand Academy

The aim of the doctoral research in artistic practice is for the practitioner to become proficient in a research inquiry that integrates both practice and theory, with a focus on the independent and critical creation of knowledge. The applicant is encouraged to articulate the aim of their research inquiry to question the limits of their field and to expand the field’s dialogue with the social and intellectual conditions in which it is situated.

The doctoral research platform in artistic practice at Valand Academy is transdisciplinary and supervision is available from all units of expertise at Valand (Fine Art, Film, Photography, Literary Composition) as well as other areas of specialism within the university. The doctoral student is a member of one of the subject units and expected to actively participate and collaborate with the Bachelor (first cycle) and Master (second cycle) programmes, as well as between the subject units.


The studies comprise 240 Credits, corresponding to four years of full-time study. The programme consists of a course component of 60 credits and a dissertation component (the presentation of the inquiry) of 180 credits.

The course component is organised through obligatory basic courses, doctoral seminars, and conferences. The content of the course component is an introduction to the principles of research practice and gives the doctoral candidate a deeper, broader theoretical knowledge and competence in research methodology.

The dissertation component covers independent research and practice which is to lead to completion of a doctoral thesis.

The study leads to a Doctor of Philosophy or Doctor of Philosophy in Fine Arts. For more information, please read the respective general syllabus documents:

Artistic Practice leading to a Doctor of Philosophy
Artistic Practice leading to a Doctor of Philosophy in Fine Arts


To be considered for the position, the applicant needs to meet the general entry requirements for doctoral (third-cycle) education in accordance with chapter 7 section 39 of the Swedish Higher Education Ordinance and the specific entry requirements of the general syllabuses (see above).

General entry requirements for doctoral (third-cycle) education are met by those who have: achieved a second-level qualification, completed course requirements of at least 240 credits, of which at least 60 credits were awarded in the second-cycle, or has acquired in some other way the equivalent knowledge either in Sweden or abroad.

Specific requirements in the field of artistic practice are:
• At least 120 credits (or equivalent) in the subject, alternatively another subject or subjects considered to be relevant to the doctoral studies in artistic practice, or equivalent knowledge.
• A documented specialisation of study covering subjects relevant to the field of artistic practice.
• An approved, independent project of at least 30 credits in the subject (essay or several works combined, or are judged to be, the equivalent of 30 credits), alternatively in another subject or subjects relevant to third-cycle studies in artistic practice.
• Genuine artistic experience in the field, including documented interest in reflection, research-related issues and processes.


Regulations for employment as a doctoral student are outlined in ordinance SFS 1998:80. The position of doctoral student can only be provided to those individuals admitted to the third-cycle programme. Selection of candidates is based on their ability to make optimal use of the programme in accordance with the selection criteria given in the subject’s general syllabus (see especially section 4.3 in the general syllabus).

For qualifications and desired merits, see the general syllabuses. The selection process includes interviews.

External funding

Normally, doctoral students in Sweden are employees of the University. It is possible, however, to apply for the doctoral education only, without doctoral employment. Such an applicant must append a funding plan for the entire period of study (four years full-time or eight years part-time maximum). The funding plan should not be based on personal wealth or income, but rather must be based on formal contract of, for example, an employer, scholarship fund, or foundation which funds the doctoral period. Conditions for this alternate funding are given in the University of Gothenburg’s regulations for third-cycle education, section 5, pages 6–8. View document here.

Additional information

The application must include:
• Degrees/academic qualifications and other certificates relevant to the application.
• A CV/compilation of qualifications including professional experience is to be appended, along with a list of publications and degree work, C/D (Bachelor/Master) essays, books, articles etc, for assessment, as well as documentation of work/exhibitions. In certain cases, the assessment committee may request access to the artistic works.
• A project description of a maximum of 6 pages (not including bibliography) in Word or as RTF outlining the applicant’s dissertation project within the framework of the programme. This should cover the project’s aim, content and methods and include a timetable.

Applicants are responsible for ensuring that their application is complete in accordance with the advertisement for the position and application template, and that it is submitted by the closing date. Given that they may be reviewed by international experts, it is preferable for applications and their annexes to be submitted in English. If the application is written in Swedish it might be translated. In the event of any discrepancy between the translated document and the Swedish original, Valand Academy assumes no responsibility for the translation or for direct, indirect or any other forms of damages arising from the translation.

On this link you find more information about the doctoral education at Valand Academy and on the Research School the three departments at the Faculty of Fine, Applied and Performing Arts run together, as well as a page with Frequently asked questions (FAQ) on the application procedure, and a pdf with a guide on how to write a good application: http://akademinvaland.gu.se/english/education/doctoral-studies

More information regarding doctoral (third-cycle) education at the University of Gothenburg, including general rules for doctoral students, is available here.

Online presentation about how to apply

In addition there will be an open public (and online) presentation (in English) on preparing the application for these positions on Thursday July 13th at 15.00 – at Valand Academy and online – streamed live at this link:
To attend online you will need
(i) a good strong internet connection:
(ii) an up to date web browser:
(iii) audio speakers or head phones on your computer
To attend in person you will need to go to Akademin Valand, Vasagatan 50, Gothenburg, front entrance at 14.45 on Thursday 13th of July, the session starts at 15.00, but access to the Academy is limited during summer time, so please come at 14.45 thanks.

Feedback and questions

Previous announcements of doctoral positions at the Academy have attracted 150 applications. In these circumstances it is not possible for us to provide individual feedback to applicants. Therefore we will only provide feedback to those shortlisted for interview, approximately 20. If you will be called for an interview you will be notified Monday 25th September.

Because of the number of expected applications, and because this is a Doctoral Level education, we will only respond to questions from prospective applicants IF the question is not already addressed and answered in the
(ii) Announcement, OR
(ii) the syllabus OR
(iii) the frequently asked questions.

In all cases where we are asked a question that is already addressed in these materials, we will simply refer you back to the announcement, the syllabus and the frequently asked questions.

For any additional questions please contact
Anna Frisk, Senior Administrative Officer, Research & Doctoral Education

Page Manager: Anna Frisk |Last update: 7/13/2017

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