With the transformation of art colleges into universities of the arts in 1998, the academic spectrum of PhD programs was expanded to include topics and practices of arts-based research (also called "arts-based research" or "artistic research"). Since then, doctoral studies at the art universities have attracted a large number of students: at the University of Art and Design Linz alone, there are now more than 100 PhD students conducting their research.
With its PhD program, the University of Art and Design Linz creates a common framework for outstanding research projects from, between and across all the artistic, creative, scientific and technology-oriented departments and disciplines represented at the University of Art.
Accordingly, the topics of the PhD projects cover a wide range: the development of robotic applications in architecture, performative urbanism as a social strategy for exploring village life, telemetric investigation of the migration routes of storks, the treatment of body schemas in queer tango or the critical investigation and artistic treatment of dominant space narratives are just a few examples. Under PhD Students and Graduates you can view topics and brief descriptions of ongoing as well as completed PhD projects.
The PhD program has a minimum duration of six semesters. PhD students work alone or in teams on their projects and are accompanied by one or more supervisors. PhD students have the status of early-stage researchers. The PhD program serves to support and further develop independent artistic and/or scientific work. It creates an experiment and possibility space, in which different forms of knowledge and practices, critical confrontations, innovation as well as original ways of looking at things meet and are brought into exchange. As a matter of principle, research at the University of Art and Design Linz is defined as open-ended; paths of knowledge can change in the process of development, ephemeral moments, unusual paths and diverse practices of testing and discarding can be part of the PhD work. The concrete research project must contribute to knowledge within the fields of reference central to the project through new, independent findings and/or approaches, and must also be communicable and critiqueable at a later point in time. The development of a form (methodology, material, media, as well as the format of the manifestation of the results) corresponding to the project out of the research process is just as important as that of an own language or adequate media in order to document, contextualize and reflect the respective project in a transparent and comprehensible way.