Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture

Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture

The Royal Danish Academy posts vacant PhD scholarship


Closing in 22 days

The PhD scholarship is posted within the Theme of Architecture, Home and Privacy at The Danish National Research Foundation Centre for Privacy Studies, with enrolment at The Royal Danish Academy, Institute of Architecture and Design.

The Centre for Privacy Studies (PRIVACY), funded by the Danish National Research Foundation and based in Copenhagen, advertises one fully funded PhD position in the field of Architectural History. PRIVACY runs 2017-27. It is funded by a grant of 83 Mio DKK (ca. 11.1 million Euro) from the Danish National Research Foundation and based at the University of Copenhagen.

PRIVACY is directed by Professor of Church History Mette Birkedal Bruun with Professor of History of Architecture and Interiors Peter Thule Kristensen as a core scholar (www. It is hosted by the Faculty of Theology, University of Copenhagen, in association with The Royal Danish Academy: Architecture, Design, Conservation, Copenhagen.

The Centrefor Privacy Studies

PRIVACY is dedicated to interdisciplinary and collaborative research into notions of privacy in Early Mod­ern Europe and beyond. The collaborative program is driven by an interdisciplinary vision of an inte­grated approach in which a team of scholars collaborate, challenge and inspire each other in a joint pursuit of notions, terms, experiences, instances and absences of privacy across five themes: beliefs, health, home, law and urban space. Shared re­sponsibility across academic hierarchies is a token of PRIVACY's vision for interactive research education.

The aim of PRIVACY is to develop 1) systematized historical knowledge of dynamics that shape, induce or curb privacy in society; 2) an interdisciplinary method equipped to grasp such dynamics; and 3) a strong and vibrant international research environment dedicated to high-profile historical research and equipped to incite a much broader investigation of privacy.

PRIVACY's scholarly potency stems from its site-based interdisciplinary analysis. Across distinct historical cases the research team trawl a broad array of Early Modern material: letters, laws, political manuals, newspapers, sermons, visual representations, architectural drawings, buildings, diaries, contracts, community records and material remains etc. for notions of privacy, analyzing the deployment of words, deriving from the Latin privatus ( in privato , privy, Privat- ( per­son / andacht etc.), privaut é etc.) as well as boundaries drawn in relation to, e.g., confidentiality, security, family, body, self and physical space.

For further description of the research program, please visit the research section of the project homepage.

Research areas

PRIVACY launches a systematic, scholarly fusion of the areas of architecture, theology, law and history. The research program brings together five themes, Beliefs, Health, Home, Law and Urban Space, including five sets of scholarly skills and approaches to privacy. The PhD scholarship should mainly focus on one of the themes, namely ‘Home':

At PRIVACY, the Home can include research into urban plans, buildings, interiors, furniture, and objects, that frame privacy, creating secrecy and shelter. In the early modern period chapels and cabinets stage prayer, study and intimacy, and are amplified by interiors and furnishing; alcove beds and privies (toilets) wall off bodily needs; rural retreat offset urban life. Some of these elements change shape and meaning over time, and the PhD project could focus on both the impact in terms of privacy and the design perspective with point of departure in both early modern and more contemporary cases.

Qualifications required : Knowledge of design processes, architectural history and theories, patronage, pat­terns of use, materiality, and tectonics.

The other four themes at Centre for Privacy Studies are:

Beliefs : Early modern believers understood material and mental retreat as a site for pious focus: privacy is often presented as place particularly fit for prayer and insight but also as something that evades control and therefore prompts suspicion. The private sphere of believers was an ideal and a threat to the public order, leading to efforts to regulate this sphere by means of church discipline.

Qualifications required : Knowledge of religious doctrines, practices and institutions in one of the early modern confessions, ability to work with different genres, media and forms of archival material. Willingness to move beyond disciplinary boundaries, to broaden geographical scopes and to engage, e.g., with early modern colonialism in missionary settlements.

Health : In the early modern period, illness and health challenged the boundaries of public concern and private life. Treating disease at an individual level demanded knowing intimate information, but rules of confidentiality had to be negotiated case-by-case and between opposing social pressures. At the same time, epidemics made people's bodies a matter of public scrutiny.

Qualifications required: Knowledge of history of medicine or cultural history of health and healing, ability to work with primary sources, willingness to broaden geographical scopes and apply transregional perspectives.

Law : Early Modern jurists negotiate public and private interest in different contexts and instances such as property, contracts, inheritance, marriage and sexual conduct, honour and reputation, legal procedure as well as the relationship between rulers and subjects. Privacy is often associated with secrecy or clandestinity and either repressed or protected depending on circumstances and actors involved.

Qualifications required : Knowledge of legal science and legal procedure, laws, charters, legal treatises, court decisions their usage and changes.

Urban Space : Early modern cities set the stage for negotiating material and cultural boundaries for privacy, in spaces within buildings, in the streets and in relation to sites outside the walls. In response to surveillance, the social use of space can be a breeding ground for both the infringement of everyday life and the need for privacy.

Qualifications required : Knowledge of interlinked material, cultural, social or political dynamics of early modern cities, spatial aspects of everyday practices, and ability to work with both regulating documents and primary sources that remains from inhabitants from across the social strata.


Applicants must have an MA degree in Architecture, design, or related disciplines. Knowledge of Early Modern culture is important, but the project can also be expanded and include for example contemporary cases. Just as central is, however, readiness to engage in interdisciplinary col­laboration on a broad array of different sources and work towards an integrated methodology for historical privacy studies.

The University of Copenhagen and The Royal Danish Academy welcome applications from suitably qualified candidates regardless of age, gender, race, religion or ethnic background.

Recruitment seminars

An online recruitment seminar will take place 22 September 13-15 CEST. The seminar involves an introduction to The Royal Danish Academy and to PRIVACY and its research programme as well as a presentation of expectations regarding the application. There will be time for questions and exchanges. It is not possible to attend anonymously. For more information and registration, please see Centre for Privacy Studies' homepage here: https: // architecture-phd-scholarship-at-privacy/

Job Description

PhD students at PRIVACY are required to be present at the centre for the duration of their employment. They will participate in weekly meetings, field trips and workshops and be invited to contribute to joint publications where appro­priate.

The PhD students will be employed and enrolled at The Royal Danish Academy: Architecture, Design, Conservation.

The Royal Danish Academy: Architecture, Design, Conservation, Copenhagen. The Royal Danish Academy was founded in 1754 and hosts three leading educations in archi­tecture, design and conservation. The Academy has more than 1100 architecture and design students distributed across four institutes each with one or two bachelor pro­grammes and two to four master programmes in architecture and/or design. This PhD is enrolled at Institute of Architecture and Design, which hosts both architecture and design students, and which applies artistic methods and research to develop architecture in a human scale and design in a spatial context (see: https: // If relevant, the PhD student will assist on the master programme Spatial Design at Institute of Architecture and Design.

The Faculty of Theology, University of Copenhagen. The faculty is non- confessional and dates from 1479. Its research covers Biblical Studies, Church History and Systematic Theology as well as Quranic Studies, Jewish Studies, and African Studies. The faculty is home to a few high-profile international interdisciplinary research projects. PRIVACY is associated with the Department of Church History which has a strong Early Modern research focus.

Terms of employment

Enrolment takes place with a view to obtaining a PhD degree and leads to salaried fulltime employment for a period of three years in accordance with the agreement between the Danish Ministry of Finance and the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations, AC, protocol on graduate fellowships (annex 5). The salary consists of a seniority-based base salary and a non-pensionable allowance.

The PhD program is structured under the provisions of Ministerial Order on the PhD Program at the Universities and Certain Higher Artistic Educational Institutions (PhD Order) no. 1039 of 27 August 2013 issued by the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Higher Education regarding PhD programs and PhD degrees.

If you have completed a degree abroad, it will be assessed by the Danish Agency for International Education before employment can take place. Practical information can be found at https:// institutions/recognition-and-transparency/recognition-guide.

Application requirements

There are no application forms. Applications must be written in Danish or English.

Applications are submitted electronically and must include:

  • A reflection on the stated architectural aims of the project in the form of proposed theoretical orientations, comparison to existing research, preliminary syllabus, and a proposal of the principal methods to be employed in project development (max. 5 regular standard pages).
  • CV.
  • Documentation of educational merits, other qualifications, and previous activities.
  • A list of published papers/publications (if applicable).
  • A list of anticipated publications and dissemination venues for the project.
  • A portfolio of previous works and studies completed.
  • Please submit applications following the link below no later than 20 October 2023 at 12.00 noon CET.

    For questions regarding research, please contact Centre Director, Professor Mette Birkedal Bruun ([email protected]), or Core Scholar, Professor Peter Thule Kristensen ([email protected]); for questions about Institute of Architecture and Design, please contact Head of Institute of Architecture and Design Mathilde Serup (; for practical questions about the application requirements, please contact Ditte Dahl by e-mail at [email protected].

    Anyone who meets the requirement of an academic degree at a graduate level is encouraged to apply for the scholarship regardless of age, gender, race, religion, or ethnicity.

    Job details


    The Royal Danish Academy posts vacant PhD scholarship


    Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture




    September 14, 2023

    Application deadline

    October 20, 2023

    Job type



    Architecture and Design,Arts and Culture,History,Social Science