Join the ECAM Graduate School!

The Graduate School is an integral part of ECAM and the FHNW Academy of Art and Design. *****

The ECAM educational program follows HGK FHNW’s understanding of artistic, design and media-based research, which is geared to the principles of generalizable application, originality, justification of methodology, advancement of artistic research and dissemination through publication. In keeping with these educational schemes, it ensures that PhD students will be able to enhance their career perspectives by improving their potential to combine acquired practice with a career in higher education and research, to work as entrepreneurs in the cultural sector, as artists, designers and art mediators.

The PhD program is collaboratively conducted by ECAM and the University of Art and Design in Linz (UADL, Kunstuniversität Linz).

Research at the ECAM Graduate School

The ECAM Graduate School is a cross-disciplinary unit for PhD research. Research conducted at the Graduate School is embedded in one of the three defined research clusters of ECAM. All three clusters are strongly oriented towards advancing the understanding of how knowledge is acquired in the context of art and design.

The research quality standards are defined by four premises of artistic, design and media-based research that contribute to the identity of FHNW Academy of Art and Design Basel and also act as distinguishing evaluation criteria: 1) artistic, design and media-based research is subject to the idea that the research is founded exclusively on a critical artistic, design or media-based process, taking historical research as well as future scenarios into account; 2) research is mediated and assessed on the basis of an artistic work or product and/or a genuine approach of knowledge transfer; 3) research is conducted and mediated on a transdisciplinary and transpersonal basis; 4) cultural production is determined by agency, that is, the capacity to act in any given social model guided by future scenarios and possibilities.

The majority of the doctoral work is carried out at HGK FHNW and profits from the new facilities at the Campus of the Arts, the teaching environments and the work of the research institutes and its members. HGK’s research methodology is the basis for cross-university research in all areas of content, fields of competence and institutional facilities. The research methodology at HGK is coined by an understanding that its activities are of a hybrid nature, in other words, creative experimentation complemented by strong skills of verbal expression and a sound understanding of theoretical discourse.

PhD Supervisors and Mentors ###

The following supervisors of HGK FHNW are members of the ECAM Graduate School teaching staff:

Prof. Dr. Melanie Franke
Prof. Dr. Claudia Mareis
Prof. Chus Martinez
Prof. Michael Renner
Prof. Dr. Nicolaj van der Meulen
Prof. Dr. Jörg Wiesel

List of possible members of the teaching staff at UADL

Each candidate will be supervised by a faculty member of UADL and a supervisor from HGK FHNW with proven abilities in the specific field of research. The doctoral degree is awarded by UADL, with reference being made to the role of the supervisors and HGK in the completion of the PhD thesis.

Supervisors act as mentors, project coordinators and science communicators according to the European Charter for Researchers and the ‘Florence Principles’. In subscribing to best practice in doctoral education, HGK FHNW has established a supervision culture, a programme for the advanced qualification of supervisors and guidelines of conduct. Supervisors are responsible for enhancing a candidate’s awareness of the project’s accountability, monitoring the project’s standard of quality and offering support in the dissemination of research results. UADL/HGK’s mentoring engagement also seeks to enhance the student’s scholarly recognition by providing an appropriate framework in terms of papers, patents and external collaborations.

Practical Information: Call for Application

Call for the ECAM Graduate School at the FHNW Academy of Art and Design in Basel in Cooperation with the University of Art and Design Linz

In November 2017 FHNW Academy of Art and Design is launching a Graduate School offering a PhD programme within the framework of the newly established European Centre of Art, Design, and Media-Based Research (ECAM). The programme centres on three core research clusters: (1) Poetry of the Real, (2) Impact of Culture, (3) Art, Design and Media-Based Research (see

The programme focuses on practice-based PhD research guided by artistic, design-based and media-specific research methods. Proposals will be accepted from graduate students holding an MA or an equivalent degree from all fields of art and design.[1]

The programme runs for three years and is coined by the artistic, design-based and media-specific methods and discourses related to the Graduate School’s three research clusters. The PhD candidates are supervised and guided in their research by professors of the FHNW Academy of Art and Design and the University of Art and Design Linz, and engage in a close exchange with the ECAM Research Centre and its activities (see PhD degrees are awarded according to the statutory provisions of the University of Art and Design Linz and the ECAM Graduate School curriculum.

The first six research openings will be assigned in November 2017. Funding of the PhD project will be negotiated individually. Aspirants are asked to apply by 30 August 2017; applications in English or German should include a CV, copies of diploma and a project outline of at least five and at most ten A4 pages. The outline should include the following points:

  1. Description of the planned artistic, designed-based or media-specific research including information as regards basic research question, its relevance and topicality, project targets and methodology.
  2. Context and current state of research and its relevance for research topics addressed by ECAM.
  3. Status of the candidate’s own artistic, design and scientific work.

Applications (one PDF) to be submitted here:

Admission procedure, 1st round: 15 September 2017; candidates to be notified of result by 17 September 2017.

Admission procedure, 2nd round: Interviews at FHNW Academy of Art and Design in Basel scheduled for 21 – 22 September 2017.

For further information please contact: Dr Linda Ludwig,

[1] By equivalent qualification we mean, for instance, a diploma from the time before achieving a MA degree, or a degree equivalent to a Master’s obtained in a country that does not have the BA/MA system. Each case is assessed individually on the basis of the submitted documents.