Going forward we will offer guidance for anyone wanting to apply for a practice-based phd as an artist or curator.

Our guidance is focused on the grants by The Novo Nordisk Foundation, but you could use that guidance and the application to apply to other programs (see the list at the bottom).

We offer this because we want to help foster a more diverse field of applicants. A central question for the application is how you negotiate the relationship between theory and practice. The most important thing though, is that you imagine and describe a project, you are genuinely excited about and that this comes through in the application. If that is resolved, various deadlines and administrative tasks, should be easy to solve.

UKKs guidance

David Hilmer Rex is responsible for our guidance. He received a phd from NNF in 2018. Depending on the interest, it will take the form of 1 to 1 meetings or conversations in a larger group. Contact him for more info at +45 30271851, admin@ukk.community or on our online forum.

The application process

1: Describe your project

The most important thing is that you describe a project you are excited about and that it comes through in the text. Imagine you have to describe a three-year experiment, and your task is to give as clear an image of how the experiment will unfold and why it is of interest to you to pursue it. In other words, the task is not to write as if you know what will come of it, because then there won’t be anything to explore. Thus, what do you want to explore? How and why? With whom? What do you imagine the outcome will be? And how can a written part play an interesting role in relation to your experiments and works?

Download a pdf here, to see what the application will need to contain and the length of individual parts.

  • Deadline: January 13, 2022, 2pm. We recommend you start writing the application as early as possible. If you already know you will apply in 2023, then start jotting down ideas already now.

2: Find a supervisor

Your supervisor has to be employed at a danish university. All danish universities is a possibility, as long as they have researchers employed who can supervise phd students. The majority of phds from the NNF program, have either been at Copenhagen or Aarhus University, why they have more experience with housing practice based projects at this time.

The central question is to ask yourself why this particular supervisor? And why this university? What is the relevance to your project? What can you gain from the context and what can you provide it with?

Deadline: This varies from university to university. See deadline for Copenhagen University. If you plan to apply with a different university, we recommend you start the dialogue as early as possible and no later than October 1st.

2.1: Get help to set up your budget

When you have a clear picture of your project, and you have found a supervisor, then ask the administration at the university for help with setting up your budget. See section 1.4 in NNFs application guide.

3: Find a host institution

The host institution is where you will be employed and the majority of your 840 working hours will be placed. The central thing here is to pick a host institution with relevance to your project, and that NNF can accept it. What is the relevance of the host institution to your project?

  • Deadlines: This varies. The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts for example has a deadline November 1st. It is important to state, that if the academy does not wish to host you, you can of course still apply for the NNF grant with a different host institution. We recommend you start the dialogue as early as possible and at the latest October 1st.

Examples of applications

David Hilmer Rex - Artistic Practice and Systems Change

Finished dissertations

Rikke Luther - Concrete Aesthetics: From Universal Rights to Financial Post-Democracy
David Hilmer Rex - Artistic Practice and Systems Change: A Mission-oriented Sector of Art
Eva la Cour - Geo-Aesthetical Discontent: Svalbard, the Guide and Post-Future Essayism
Maria Finn - Images Between the Word and the Film

PhD Programs

Novo Nordisk Foundation
Malmö Art Academy
Konstfack, University of Arts, Crafts and Design, Stockholm
The Faculty of Fine Art, Music and Design (KMD), University of Bergen
Oslo National Academy of Arts
HDK-Valand, The University of Gothenburg