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Sinergia project

F.A.Q. read before asking please


Before you ask consult the FAQ

  • Q:Are the positions to start in September 2011 or can it be later ?
  • A:It is previewed from 15th of october on
  • Q:will the phd students only work on external projects making the connection between artists (do you know which artists will work on that yet ?) and scientists or will they have to work on their own productions in this in-between arts and science ? Both ?
  • A:In principle it is both, the first artist who will be contribution to the Lab is Mark Coniglio (Troika Ranch)
  • Q:what is the university department hosting the Phd ?
  • A:The work will be done in a new structure (a research lab located inside the Manufacture HETSR) but the institutional part concerning the PhD will be hosted by EPFL doctoral schools.
  • Q: What is intended for Letter of Interest ?
  • A:overall interest and personal "mission"
  • Q: Do I need a Master degree to access the positions ?
  • A:Yes, or an equivalent, it's a PhD position and you'll have a PhD degree from an EPFL doctoral school. Refer for more informations here http://phd.epfl.ch/page-19488.html and here http://www.en.uni-muenchen.de/scholars/doc_students/doc_programs/index.html
  • Q: What does it means equivalent ?
  • A: In general a Master degree is required, but a Bachelor combined with professional experience (at least 5 years) could be accepted after a case by case examination - so you would have to explain your application with regard to this.
  • Q:I'm not having an answer, did I reach the right place ?
  • A:Are you sure that you checked the FAQ already ? We can understand your impatience, but please consider that we are quite busy answering to your questions and working in the meanwhile.
  • Q: I'm currently employed for 50% is this a problem ?
  • A:The position is a full time one so you would need to be in place as specified in the call.
  • Q:It seems to me quite practical and hands on based do I really need to produce any written document ?
  • A:The PhD will be required to accomplish practical goals and there will be also a written part in the form of a PhD thesys.
  • Q:What is the cost of life in Switzerland ?
  • A:the average price for a room is 500 CHF and the price for a glass of wine is 5 CHF should be enough to survive.
  • Q:Is a later entry date for the position possible ?
  • A: not at the moment but there will hopefully be other opportunities in the future.
  • Q: What is the working language of the project ?
  • A: English
  • Q: I would like to have more information about the three dimensions of research that will be investigated
  • A: The research questions are transversal aspects to be considered during the process of "producing" technology driven by artistic ideas and visions and realised in cooperation between researching artists, scientists and technologists .
  • Q: I have my personal project can I realize within the lab ?
  • A: We are open for different profiles/project orientations but the driving path are the 3 dimensions of the research sketched on the call. It's up to you to focus on topics that are in your interest and that are from your point of view addressing the scope of one of these questions and to develop it in the outline we asked for in the call under the supervision and coordination of the team.
  • Q: I'm taking my Master degree at the end of September, would it be a problem ?
  • A:: If you don't need to have holydays after that and you can start immediately to work in a productive way there is no problem from this side.
  • A: : I already have a PhD in art/science/philosophy but I'm really interested in your position could this be a problem?
  • A: No
  • Q: Is there any exam to access the position ? Is there any application form to fill ?
  • A: No the documents requested in the call will be evaluated and in case needed a phone interview will be schedule and the interesting candidates will be invited for a vis-a-vis interview (everything will be done before the end of September and the job will start from 15th of October).
  • Q: Is there any lodging contribution ?
  • A: No.
  • Q: What is the typical laboratory activity ?
  • A: Moving from the 3 research questions sketched in the call the work will go through the realization of concrete prototypes and though them push toward new reflections depending on your profiles/project orientations. We'll find together something that fits properly your expertise and needs, count on that !
  • Q: Is there any website to refer to ?
  • A: Not yet.
Posted by Alessandro Barchiesi at 11:35
Get the chance to get involved...

We are Hiring ! 




Call: 3-4 PhD-positions in an interdisciplinary project situated between Performing Arts and Sciences

The Swiss National Science Foundation financed Sinergia project “Towards an alliance of the Performing Arts and Sciences”, a cooperation between the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) and La Manufacture – Haute École de Théâtre de Suisse romande (HETSR) together with the partners Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK) and Munich University (LMU), funds from October 2011 on 3-4 PhD-positions (for 3 years at the basis of annual contracts and evaluation).

Project objectives

The project joins the disciplines of Performing Arts, Science and Technology with the aim of creating mutual inspirations that lead to new trajectories for both artistic expression as well as technological experimentation and development. The major focus of the project lies in the transformation of theatrical stage environments under the influences of modern technologies such as robotics, novel acoustic and light technologies, 3(+1)D, interactive design, brain-computer-interface, telematics, body tracking, social networks, etc. New possibilities of stage-conception and devices as well as strategies and ways of making for technical production/realisations will be elaborated and creatively implemented.

Research focus

The project work focuses mainly on three dimensions of research that will be investigated with regard to the concept and the realities of stage performance:

a) Transformation of time and space perception and experience within stage-settings;

b) Intermediality as a dimension for expression and experimentation on stage;

c) Man-machine relations as a field for the exploration of human self-understanding and exposition in living environments impacted by artifacts, mechanisation and virtualization.

Stage, here, is understood as a laboratory for the experimentation on experience and concepts of meaning and expression. It is a space for exploration and a site for observing the present that allows to create and reflect future possibilities of world-making.

Research organisation

The research is organized within a new, artistic-driven laboratory including a black-box situated at la Manufacture (HETSR) and in cooperation with doctoral schools of the EPFL. PhDs from different fields will be working in close collaboration with various EPFL Labs and partner institutions (ZHdK, LMU) as well as external researchers and artistis in the performing arts. Research here means not only scientific research but is based on a broader concept, including artistic research: exploration with the goal to produce knowledge, either theoretical, practical or aesthetic one.

The project aims for the creation of a new type of PhDs at the intersection of arts and sciences. Skills and competences coming from technological research should be shared between the candidates and transformed in a process of intensive exchange with the labs and participating artists. PhD-candidates will be supervised by the partners institutions. The new lab will be reinforced by a team of researchers that cover the technological and scientific as well as the theoretical, conceptual and artistic dimensions of the project.


The ideal PhD candidate combines technological, artistic and reflective competences. She/He should focus on at least one of the research dimensions, as described above. She/he is expected to possess the skills necessary to produce prototypes within the project framework (including hardware prototyping and/or software programming) and theorize about the experiments. Candidates without prototyping experience must show an ability to develop the skills necessary to participate actively in all working dimensions of the project.

Candidates are expected to collaborate at the new laboratory in Lausanne.

Successful candidates will be those who can show an ability to work with artists and scientists and contribute to innovative research at the point where art and sciences meet.

The positions are available for 36 months with a contract renewable every year. Salary and benefits are highly competitive for international standards.

Application process

Candidates are invited to send their applications including a letter of interest, a CV (including a description of artistic/scientific experiences), a statement concerning their research interests (max. 3 pages; referring to the project framework) as well as two letters of recommendation until the 15.8.2011 to the Project Leader Prof. Jeffrey Huang (jeffrey.huang@epfl.ch)

For further Information please contact the project managers Jens Badura (jens.badura@hetsr.ch) or Alex Barchiesi (alex.barchiesi@epfl.ch).


Posted by Alessandro Barchiesi at 11:26