Residency application guidelines

Further information

SymbioticA is a laboratory that facilitates artistic research residencies enabling artists and researchers to engage in wet biology practices within a biological science department.

  1. Residency program
  2. Selection criteria
  3. Applications
  4. Deadlines
  5. Duration 
  6. Artforms and research areas
  7. Budget

SymbioticA residency program

Our physical location within the School of Human Sciences exposes artists and researchers to the culture and practice of science providing a hothouse for developing new skills and knowledge for its residents. Residents practice lab work and are given training in scientific and technical knowledge related to the area of research the resident wishes to pursue.

As a part of The University of Western Australia we also offer residents a wealth of resource equipment, knowledge and expertise. Residents have worked in collaboration with academics and technicians in the biological and social sciences, arts and humanities, engineering and agriculture departments.


SymbioticA provides working space, access to resources, libraries and other laboratories within UWA, introductions to UWA staff and WA organisations relevant to your project. However, much of what you do as resident must be self-directed.

Potentials for collaboration

Once your application has been accepted, SymbioticA begins making connections with potential collaborators for your project. 

Look at the School of Human Sciences and UWA sites to familiarise yourself with the expertise within the University to ensure your research project is possible at UWA. You can undertake an online search for special research interests.

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Selection criteria

Applications are selected based on:

  • quality of concept
  • quality of past work
  • innovative nature of the project
  • SymbioticA's ability to contribute to the project.

Specialists and SymbioticA residents are called on should their expertise be required in the assessment process.

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Before submitting applications please read all the information below regarding costs and process.

SymbioticA encourages potential residents to discuss project ideas prior to submitting an application. If your application is accepted we can provide a letter of support for your funding purposes.

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Applications are accepted all year round.

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A residency at SymbioticA should be for a period of at least three months and can be up to one year.

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Artforms and research areas

While not claiming exclusivity or superiority of any one approach to artistic engagement with the life sciences, SymbioticA favours researchers who can utilise its unique resources. Having access to scientific laboratories and tools, SymbioticA is in an exceptional position to offer these resources for artistic research.

The uniqueness of the hands-on approach to biologically-based art is in that it produces actual manifestations of contestable ideas. In a society so saturated with, and desensitised to visual representations shown in all kinds of media, this kind of art actually deals with the direct, and sometimes visceral, presentation of processes and outcomes of life manipulation.

For information on previous projects look at the past and present residents section.

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For the ongoing funding of laboratory activities, SymbioticA currently charges a $200AUD(+GST) per week bench fee. In addition, expensive laboratory consumables must be budgeted for.


While we support your project with as much in kind support as we can, SymbioticA cannot subsidise your project in any financial capacity. We request that you ensure you have adequate funds to cover your project and your own living expenses during the residency.

You should apply to funding bodies only after your application has been accepted. SymbioticA will then be able to assist you regarding the preparation of your budget.

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