The PhD is a three-four year full-time (six years part-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 your attendance at 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 Trienniale and seeded projects. You are required to attend at least one residency per year—three over the duration of the programme—giving six months notice of your attendance/non-attendance at the following residency.







A residency of 2-3 weeks to commence the program, with option to attend a second residency in six months. Residencies are held in different cities, always announced one residency in advance. Working with your chosen advisor/s you will identify the goals to achieve in the first 3-6 months of your research and establish a framework that can be used to assess your progress in the early stages of your project. By the end of this first year you will complete the Confirmation of Candidature—a formal and comprehensive process that reviews progress and a plan to completion. This process will typically take place at a residency and is an opportunity to present your research to an independent panel to identify issues and offer feedback for improvements. 


A residency of 2-3 weeks, with option to attend a second residency in six months. Present and develop your creative research/thesis to date. Work with your advisor/s on your research project. 


An optional residency of 2-3 weeks at the six month point and attendance at a final residency to present your research project—this will include a public dissemination of your practice (or documentation of it) accompanied by your written thesis to be evaluated by two independent assessors.


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.


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 exhibition/dissemination of new work + 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; what is most the appropriate form my thesis might take to successfully reflect my aims and not undermine my creative process/es?

peer sessions

Transart Researchers self-organize themselves around common interests, topics, genres etc. You will hold initial meetings at residencies then continuing offsite in-between (typically monthly or by mutual agreement) via Skype (and in person when possible): to share publications and events of interest; present and critique each other's research; discuss readings, programme matters 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. Detailed information about the process will be available here (mid-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.


PHD Advisors


Your first advisor will come from Transart. Once you have found your first advisor, we will connect you with our WSU 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







March 1 - 15

September 15 - December 15 for January admissions
TBA - June 15 for July admissions

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 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  

Research Proposal

A research proposal (1-2 pages) is your opportunity to capture the attention of the reader with an outline of your proposed research project that:

  • defines your research question
  • highlights its significance
  • presents a convincing case for your research to the admissions committee.

The research proposal is divided into the following sections in the online application:

1.  The research theme/question/s—be sure to include key words. Clearly and simply define your research question/s and your approach to answering it/them.
2.  Overview of current research—contextualise your research and make links to existing work in this field. Frame your project from a review of other work on the topic: discuss what you believe to be the most important examples; demonstrate your understanding of the research issues and identify any gaps that your project is intended to address. Finally highlight links between your research and the research strengths of the advisors you list in your application.
3.  Methodologies—how do you anticipate achieving your project aims? What is your rationale for using this approach? You do not need to go into specifics here—rather, demonstrate that you have given thought to how you will undertake your research. Anticipate the methods you will use to achieve the project aims and show that your research project is feasible in the time period (3 years for a F/T PhD, 6 years P/T).
4.  Draft timeline—provide an outline of how you will complete the research within the time frame (3 years F/T or 6 years P/T). This will be subject to change as the projects evolves.
5.  Expectations—what do you expect to find out, prove, demonstrate, analyse at the conclusion of your research? Demonstrate your passion and enthusiasm for your work and ideas.
6. List the two advisors who have agreed to work with you - one from Transart and one from WSU. You may take the initiative to contact Transart advisors directly. Once you have your first advisor you will contact our Programme Coordinator for an introduction to our WSU advisor liaison to secure your second advisor.

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, 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


You will be able commence your application here during the upcoming admissions period.


Video conference (Skype) interview meetings are held with all applicants who meet the basic requirements outlined in the application process. The first meeting is with your chosen Transart advisor and Transart's Programmes Coordinator and the second will be with your Transart and WSU advisors, upon acceptance.  Alumni, students and faculty are available for consultation prior to commitment to the program.