The PhD, offered in collaboration with Western Sydney University (WSU), is a three year full-time low-residency programme with an average work commitment of 30 hours per week. You will study wherever you live and work conducting independent research with the support of individual advisory teams and peer critique. Our programme is built around your practice and intensive residencies which offer opportunities to meet other established international artists, curators and writers; participate in presentations, symposia, fora, research seminars and topical workshops, screenings, cultural excursions, talks, peer presentations; and other events including the Transart Triennale and Else Foundation events.




The programme is full-time over three years. You must complete Confirmation of Candidature within your first year. Minimum residency commitment is one per year - you must begin and end your studies with a residency and attend one per year over the duration of your programme (we encourage you to participate in as many residencies as possible). You will present your completed research at your final residency.


Your thesis is a self-directed, creative research-based project (in which writing is a vital contributor) led by your research question/s: a combination of your praxis and thinking where your writing—a thesis of approximately 40,000 words—actively contributes to the creative work, functioning as an integral part of the overall research. It will include analysis and contextualisation but also offer you the opportunity to use words/text as a distinct means of further articulating your creative concerns.

The PhD programme culminates in the submission of your creative research as a public presentation + thesis—both of which should be in a form/format that best articulates and reflects your work and ideas. Early on—and regularly—you should consider and discuss with your advisors questions like: what am I trying to do/find out and how; the most appropriate form my thesis might take to successfully reflect my aims and not undermine my creative process/es?


Transart asks you to create and maintain a process blog (typically with monthly posts) commencing with your proposal that documents your ideas, processes and the progress of your research, and to respond to critique in order to reflect, articulate and digest each interaction. Think of your blog as a research laboratory and journal. We encourage you to devise a format that best suits your own research, making it a vital part of your practice where you experiment with presentation, documentation and articulation. Research milestones and final research project are also documented here. Your blog can be password protected but will be available to your peers, advisors, critics and other invited guests forming an invaluable resource, archive and means of communication for the broader Transart research community.


Transart researchers self-organize themselves around common interests, topics, genres etc. You will hold initial meetings at residencies then continuing offsite (typically the last Sunday of every month when Transart is in session) via Skype (and in person when possible): to present and critique each other's research; discuss readings; share publications or plan events. Given Transart's low-residency global model these groups are extremely useful and many graduates continue meeting to sustain and enrich their praxes, make vital international connections and organise exhibitions and other events in their various localities.


During your final residency you can choose to design and plan a public dissemination of your practice (exhibition, performance, reading, documentation, screening etc) to present your PhD creative research for evaluation and to the Transart community. You will discuss and plan this with your advisors.
Detailed information about the process will be available here (Sept-2018). This should be your first reference point for all you need to know about this process—it explains each step including what to expect, how to proceed and who is responsible for various tasks. You will also find advice about a range of specific topics including: choosing your evaluators, conflict of interest guidelines, formatting and presentation of your thesis, submission, results and reports. It is also useful to review the advice given to evaluators and what they will expect. Note: you are solely responsible for the timing, content, form and presentation of the research that is finally submitted and for certifying its originality.



Summer and Winter residencies are the heart of Transart Institute for Creative Research and critical hubs for events and exchange together with a myriad of exhibitions, screenings, performances, publications, conference, talks and other events that take place in-between by Transart members both collaboratively and individually—see them here. Recent residencies have taken place in Berlin, New York City and Mexico City. Transart is committed to being fluid, responsive and nomadic; to being inclusive and with a wide perspective in order to be a relevant, vital, vibrant and global community.

To back up a bit though, residencies are both milestones and resources, each including presentations in various forms including critique, screenings and performances. Topical and elective workshops take place as well as guest lectures, artist and curator talks, individual meetings with faculty, students, advisors, guest critics, curators and other creative practitioners. Refinement of project plans, alternate routes, revisions, the collecting of resources are all in process throughout each residency so you can leave clear-headed and well supported.


Participants explore concepts and test new ideas and working methods through a series of creative exercises and assignments (realized in media of choice and completed individually or in collaboration). Workshops aim to equip participants with expanded conceptual and aesthetic toolsets; feeling invigorated and inventive about applying the workshop ideas and processes to their respective practices and locales. Workshops are not intended to further technical virtuosity but rather to enhance creativity by exposing you to new approaches and working in various genres. In these sessions it often makes sense for you to work with what you are technically familiar with (in this case you should bring your own tools, materials). Data projectors, sound systems and printers are generally available. You will also participate in elected cultural studies seminars, devised to help contextualise work and find ways to inform projects through research while also articulating new ideas, exploring new ways of thinking and making connections through discussions and critiques. Seminars are chosen from current cultural topics viewed through the lens of media studies, literature, sociology, philosophy, art history, etc. Workshops and seminars are differentiated in terms of output: workshops include creative assignments, projects or exercises and seminars involve critical responses and discussion. In addition, some research training seminars are prescribed by our accrediting institutions.


You will participate in project presentations and critiques with residency faculty, guests and alumni. Formats vary considerably based on input, culture of hosting location, guests, curiosity (as in let's try this) and culture.  Length, audience size and formats will vary to promote versatility and the ability to present in different formats, audiences etc. To warm up, these always begin with very brief introductory presentations to the full group. The goal is for you to benefit from different perspectives on your work. Issues of audience, delivery, content, aesthetics, technique, media, genre, identity, culture and process are discussed, resources are shared. Importantly you will learn to present work effectively in response to specific goals in different cultures and situations.



Experiment with exhibition and performance possibilities as appropriate to the nature of your thesis project. You have the option to self-organize events or present documentation of projects—it is essential that work is disseminated in ways that are relevant and that best express and communicate what your project and praxis are about to the intended audience. This process is integral to the project from the earliest stages of project planning and through constant dialogue with your advisors throughout. During Transart Triennale years you will be invited to participate and apply in response to curatorial calls from participating ELSE Foundation consortium members and their projects. The last Triennale included over 150 artists and many were members of Transart with events in four countries and research and projects continuing for a further two years.

These projects and attendant research are also represented by ELSE Journal ( a publication of the ELSE Foundation). Most recently, Triennale 2016-18 and ELSE Journal Issue 3 2017, available here. These events and those initiated by advisors, students, and guests form a vital, exciting component of the Transart experience. Students, alumni and advisors continue to perform, exhibit, publish, screen and hold critique and discussions groups together long after the residencies. As a new component of the residencies beginning in January 2018 Transart will include fora to foster connections between groups who might not otherwise meet, and to support projects they seed. Led by Transart members these fora will be affiliated to residency sessions by interim events such as symposia or pop-up events, and will be invited by submission based on the topics of research or other creative goals. 


PHD Advisors


Your first advisor will come from Transart. Once you have found your first advisor, we will connect you with our Western Sydney Unuversity advisor liaison who will recommend available, compatible second advisors to you. You need to identify your Transart and WSU advisors prior to applying to the program.


Transart PhD Advisors







You must start with a residency.
We encourage you to apply as early as possible if searching for funding.
Letters of support available upon acceptance.


Entry is by submission of application, portfolio, study/research proposal and interview.
Required: a graduate degree—MFA, MA or equivalent


1.  List degrees
2.  Certified documentation of relevant degrees and transcripts for credits if no degree (certified English translations if applicable)
3.  Evidence of English language proficiency if applicable (IELTS 6.5; TOEFL 82 total; PTE 58 overall)
4.  Evidence of professional research, record or output (exhibitions, publications, performances, etc.)  
5.  Contact details for first academic referee
6.  Contact details for second academic referee
7.  Certified copy of passport  


EXPRESSION OF INTEREST (EOI) - The EOI is the first step in applying to the doctoral programmes. We initially ask for basic information and a draft of your proposal. Once it is submitted, you will be able to discuss and further develop your proposal with the advisors who have agreed to work with you.

1. Upon completion of this form, TT Admissions will contact you to answer any initial questions you might have.

2. Admissions will then forward your proposal to potential TT advisors to determine availability. If you have requested advisor suggestions, TT Admissions will confer with TT Admissions Committee and relevant advisors to determine availability and confirm your interest in speaking to the recommended advisor.

3. TT Admissions will follow up with an invitation to you and a potential advisor to speak by phone/skype and follow up to see how things went and confirm that you are in agreement to work together.

4. Once the TT primary advisor is established, TT Admissions will contact WSU Director Higher Degrees by Research to receive their recommendations for a WSU co-advisor. An arrangement is then made whereby potential TT primary advisor, WSU co-advisor and candidate discuss your project and how you would work together. Admissions will follow up to confirm you are in agreement to work together.

5. You will then complete the WSU application form. You may sign-in in advance to begin your application.

Finally keep the following points in mind: 

  • ensure your research idea, question or problem is stated clearly and persuasively—make sure you are addressing a demonstrable gap in the existing research

  • research who you intend to have as advisors; make sure they are interested in your project and available to work with you; provide them with a copy of your research proposal for comment/input

  • ensure your proposal demonstrates a clear understanding of research methods and approaches that are appropriate

  • ensure that the scope of your research project is reasonable and can be completed in 3 years

  • demonstrate your passion—those assessing your proposal may not be experts in your field so make sure you engage readers with your passion and enthusiasm

  • remember that all good proposals will evolve over the course of your research—this proposal is your application for entry into the programme

  • if accepted into the programme you will be expected to upload a copy of your proposal to your process blog



1. First Name (name as it appears on your passport—please do not enter nicknames—use your legal name only)

2. Last Name (name as it appears on your passport—please do not enter nicknames—use your legal name only)

3. Preferred Name

4/5. E-Mail and alternate E-Mail

6. Phone Number (please include country code)

7. Skype ID

8. Your Website URL (or website URL’s where we can view your work)

9. Curriculum Vitae (attached as PDF)

10. Practice Statement



2-4 pages maximum (attached as PDF). You will edit this down to 1-2 pages in the final WSU application. Please review WSU guidelines here.

Provide relevant images, texts, video or sound files, etc. from your practice or via direct web URL links to past and current work within your PDF.



The following questions are taken from the WSU application and will get you started:

1. The research theme/question: This can change but be sure to include key words that will relate your proposal ideas to relevant potential advisors. Your research title can be up to 20 words. 

2. List the Transart Advisor: who has agreed to work with you. You can find a list of Transart PhD Advisors here.

3. Overview of current research–where is the gap?: Articulate your project from a review of literature and other resources on the topic. Discuss the most important texts/examples, demonstrating your understanding of the research issues and identifying any gaps that your research is intended to address. 

4. Methodology: You do not need to go into specifics here but need to demonstrate that you have given some thought about how you will undertake your research. Anticipate the methods you will use to achieve your project aims. How do you plan on achieving your project aims and what is your rationale this approach? Show that your research project is feasible in the time period (3 years).  

7. Expectations of research results: What do you expect to find out, prove, demonstrate, analyse, test, investigate or examine by undertaking your research? 


Admissions is available for Skype meetings with all applicants who meet the basic requirements outlined in the application process. Alumni, students and faculty are available for consultation prior to commitment to the programme. 


Full time
2018 ANNUAL TUITION 15000 USD (bi-annual 7500 USD)
RESIDENCIES Minimum: 1 per year

2019 Summer intake Fees TBA


6000 USD (or 2000 P/Y)  FEE WAIVERS
Also entitled to:
6000 USD (or 2000 P/Y) 
Australian Candidature Support Funds - Application Form