Fully Funded Practice-Based PhD at NCAD/CONNECT

Funded PhD opportunity

The National College of Art & Design (NCAD) as part of CONNECT - the Science Foundation Ireland Research Centre for Future Networks and Communications - is seeking candidates for a funded interdisciplinary practice-based doctoral study programme beginning in September 2023.

The proposed project - which will be located at both NCAD’s Thomas St. campus and at CONNECT Centre in Trinity College Dublin - will be an examination of the varying forms and systems of knowledge that underpin technology research, development and application.

The structured PhD is a four year full time programme designed for emerging and professional artists, whose work moves across multiple arts disciplines.

The successful candidate will receive a stipend of €18,500 per annum.


Building fairer, more sustainable and more trustworthy networks and technologies is not only a technical challenge, but a social one. Cutting-edge technology research requires the inclusion of  broad types of knowledge and knowledge practices in order to engage with and understand the impact of future technologies beyond existing technical metrics. The inclusion of diverse types of knowledge within transdisciplinary research requires an understanding how they can be, and already are, operative in the technology research ecosystem.

The PhD project builds on existing fields such as STS (Science and Technology Studies), Institutional Critique, artist-ethnographic research and epistemology to propose that engineering research is not purely a technical process but also one which is embodied, situated and contextual. It is envisaged that the candidate could approach the project from a wide variety of art practice backgrounds.

The research project will examine the types of knowledge that are active throughout technology research, development and adoption as a necessary precursor to the possibility of a self-reflexive, aware and engaged transdisciplinary research environment.

The project will consider the transdisciplinary research environment of CONNECT as a site of study and take an auto-ethnographic position of researcher/observer within CONNECT, taking CONNECT as research subject whilst also engaging as an active member of the Network Ecologies research teams.

We expect the PhD project to be innovative in form as well as content. Applications will be supported to develop structures and weightings between different elements of their practical and theoretical study, as well as develop new forms to meet the multi-disciplinary reach of their work. 

The design of the structure of the PhD is developed in consultation with supervisors, but will normally include a written element of at least 30,000 words. Students will be required to take at least 15 credits of graduate level courses in one or more of the relevant constituent disciplines of their PhD.

The PhD research will take place within the Department of Sculpture and Expanded Practice at NCAD and as part of CONNECT’s Network Ecologies working group which will act as an ongoing peer-supervision process.

In addition, the PhD researcher will have a formal supervision arrangement through a thesis committee, including Dr Tom O’Dea and appropriate staff from across the partner institutions.

For further details of the PhD programme at NCAD see here.

Key Information

Living allowance (Stipend): €18,500 per annum [tax-exempt scholarship award]*

Start date:  September 2023

Location: The candidate is expected to be based primarily on campus in the National College of Art & Design in Dublin.

Academic Entry Requirements

The candidate is expected to have completed a Masters Degree in a closely related field or can demonstrate equivalent professional achievement and experience.

The study programme is through English and the candidate must demonstrate sufficient English language proficiency.

Shortlisted candidates will be selected for interview during the week beginning July 31st 2023 and further information including academic references will be required at that stage.

How to apply

The application process will be a two-stage process.

In the first instance candidates should apply using this link

Including the following information -

  1. Name
  2. Address
  3. Date of Birth
  4. Nationality
  5. Correspondence Address
  6. Details of previous relevant academic and professional qualifications
  7. Relevant exhibitions, publications and research activities (max 200 words)
  8. Detail of proposed research project.

The applicant should include a research proposal of no more than 1000 words outlining their proposed approach to research describing; aims; objectives; practice and research methodologies, project description and existing knowledge in the field, taking into account the project description described above.  The applicant should also specify what sources and resources will be required (either facilities at NCAD or elsewhere, such as archives, specialist technical facilities, etc.) Your supporting documentation should be combined into a single PDF document. Please use your surname for the file name.


The deadline for email queries passed on 7/7/2023. The questions and answers have been gathered in a 2-page document that can be downloaded here.

Contact Name: Dr. Tom O’Dea

Contact Email: odeat@staff.ncad.ie

Application Deadline: 21/7/2023 at 17:00 (Irish time 24hr format)

* subject to confirmation by CONNECT