PhD Scholarship in curatorial practices - RMIT University and Arts at CERN

A competitive PhD scholarship with RMIT School of Art, a leader in cross-disciplinary curatorial practices and Arts at CERN, the leading art and science programme promoting dialogue between artists and physicists.

Curating art and physics:

The PhD will be based at RMIT Melbourne, with a minimum of 6 months working with Arts at CERN - the laboratory’s arts programme of CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, in Geneva, Switzerland. CERN in Switzerland in 2019, and visits to CERN and RMIT Barcelona throughout the program. The PhD will be co-supervised between RMIT and CERN and will provide access to CERN laboratories. The unique and challenging nature of this program lies in undertaking practical and academic curatorial research at the leading edge of global scientific research. At CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, physicists and engineers are probing the fundamental structure of the universe. They use the world's largest and most complex scientific instruments to study the basic constituents of matter – the fundamental particles. The instruments used at CERN are purpose-built particle accelerators and detectors, including the Large Hadron Collider. Accelerators boost beams of particles to high energies before the beams are made to collide with each other or with stationary targets. Detectors observe and record the results of these collisions. The process gives the physicists clues about how the particles interact and provides insights into the fundamental laws of nature. Founded in 1954, the CERN laboratory sits astride the Franco-Swiss border near Geneva. It was one of Europe's first joint ventures and now has 22 member states. The Arts at CERN program will provide unique curatorial expertise and competences, especially in the area of cross-disciplinary research and art practice within scientific frameworks and fundamental research environments.

Value and duration

  • Full research tuition fee scholarship for 3 years with possible extension to 3.5 years
  • Stipend valued at a minimum of AUD 31,000 per year (pro-rata), for 3 years with possible extension to 3.5 years
  • Candidates must be prepared to relocate to Switzerland from April 2019 and visit CERN at various times throughout the PhD

Number of scholarships available

Single for 2019


This scholarship is for PhD by Research students only. To be considered for scholarship you must be an Australia citizen.


  • A Master by research
  • A Master by coursework with a significant research component graded as high distinction, or equivalent
  • An Honours degree achieving first class honours
  • A 4 year Bachelor degree achieving a GPA of 4, or equivalent (80% or above)
  • Publications or significant research experience that could be considered equivalent

You must provide evidence of English language proficiency and meet the English language requirement of the research program before the application closing date of the scholarship round.

  • In addition to the above, to be eligible for this scholarship you must:
  • not already hold a PhD or equivalent, if applying for a PhD
  • not already hold a Master by research or equivalent, if applying for a Master by research program.

How to apply

Applicants are required to submit an application for consideration of either a Masters by Research of PhD program.

Full application instructions can be viewed on the School of Graduate Research How to Apply website.

Apply for DR208 PhD (Art) and select one of following three projects:

  • Trans-disciplinarity and the complexities of curatorial research in approaching contemporary arts and physics.
  • Investigating the social, cultural, philosophical and political dimensions of collaboration between artists and physicists, engineers and staff in the context of CERN (the European Organization for Nuclear Research).
  • Curation at the limits – ontology, epistemology, abstraction and representation in physics and art.

Open date

Applications are currently open

Close date

10 December 2018

Terms and conditions

As the holder of this scholarship you:

  • Must commence your studies by 28 February 2019
  • You are not able to defer your studies to another year. If a deferral is required, you must apply again the following year if you are unable to take up your award.



Dr Chris Henschke or

Prof Daniel Palmer