ASCUS Residencies

Our residencies provide opportunities for artists to spend time doing creative research and developing new work in a scientific context. We strongly support collaborative and open approaches from both artists and scientists, facilitating the exchange of practices and providing the time and space for new conversations and ideas to emerge. Through artists and scientists sharing the same space, there emerges the opportunity for new approaches, ways of thinking and exchange knowledge and methodologies with each other. We facilitate residencies in labs, museums, universities, research centres, at scientific conferences or at festivals.

What is an art-science residency?
What will ASCUS provide?
Objectives and Benefits
Why do scientists work with artists?
Why do artists work with scientists?

What is an art-science residency?

Art-Science residencies are designed to give an artist the time and space to interact with the researcher and their research, where they are free to ask questions, observe and immerse themselves within a scientific research environment. In our residencies we provide the time and support for the artists to produce a range of project outputs depending on the nature of their practice and the most appropriate way to share this work with audiences. These outputs can include; talks and events, online promotion via our website and social media platforms, as well as exhibitions and workshops with our established partners and in ASCUS Lab – the UK’s largest publicly accessible lab for art & science.

What will ASCUS provide?

ASCUS will provide the recruitment, co-ordination, management, curation, support, monitoring and evaluation expertise needed to deliver a successful project that will engage public audiences in innovative and meaningful ways. Artists predominantly work independently in a different economical context to that of academic research, therefore it is invaluable for the sustainability of art-science practice, to provide paid opportunities for creative practitioners to work alongside researchers in this interdisciplinary context.



  • Give the artists and scientists the opportunity to build meaningful relationships during the development stages of creative work within this scientific context and in the context of the artists’ own artistic practice
  • Bring these two disciplines together to unlock the potential to new approaches and ways of thinking on current science research and contemporary art practices
  • Create opportunities for artists to share their ideas and open up conversation about creative practices to new audiences
  • Offer the opportunity for scientists working in the challenging field of scientific research to express their goals, successes and challenges


  • Provide opportunities for the general public to access creative activities that are informed by current scientific research
  • Create discussion and debate about collaborative and interdisciplinary practices
  • Create dialogue and discussion between working professionals about different creative approaches
  • Raise awareness of, and access to current and cutting edge scientific research and creative practices
  • Present new ideas and fresh perspectives for both art and science to new audiences


Why do scientists work with artists?

Art-science residencies provide professors, researchers and scientists the opportunity to consider their field as the artist might. By playing host to an artist they are inviting fresh perspective to their research. Residencies can be seasonal, ongoing, or tied to a particular event. It is a great opportunity to open up research to wider audiences. Previously ASCUS has set-up residencies to fulfil a public engagement component of a scientific grant proposal.

‘The support ASCUS provided was very important in ensuring a coherent approach, good communications and providing a wider context for both the residency and the ensuing work. ASCUS were crucial in organising and supporting the exhibitions as well as organising discussion events and publicising and promoting the work. Their expertise enabled the programme to be successfully implemented and they provided the context for engaging a wider audience with the work. They were extremely supportive to us as artists, which was very much appreciated.’

Jo Hodges – CIIE Micro-residency artist


Why do artists work with scientists?

Art-science residencies give an artist the time to produce new work within an interdisciplinary environment. It is an opportunity for them to share their practice with new audiences and to be exposed to new methodologies and approaches employed with in scientific research.This is an inspirational environment with potential for future partnerships with the hosting organisation and platforms to showcase new work.

‘I think working with the artists has been very dynamic. I’ve found looking at our own work and the questions we ask in new ways to be exciting – and in some ways, has allowed us to rediscover the adventure and curiosity in what drew us to our own research questions in the first place. The artists have asked very thought-provoking and intelligent questions, and many we didn’t have an answer for, because it’s simply not known. It’s a reminder that there’s a lot to be done – but that we’re also continually helping venture into this unknown.’

Liam Brierley – CIIE Scientist

Atopic Experiences with Artist Beverley Hood

by Beverley Hood, Atopic Art Micro-Residency Artist, June 2017 I’ve been working at the Brown Lab at Ninewells, since mid January 2017. It’s been such a welcoming place, with staff that are curious about how artists work, even though, I think at first somewhat unsure about what artists actually do. I’ve spent most of my time in the Brown Lab …

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Cultures of Housekeeping

by Gordon Douglas, Atopic Art Micro-Residency Artist, May 2017 Over the last three months, I have become fascinated with the organisational structures at Ninewells Hospital that help to organise communication, annotation and performance. As a practitioner, I’m already invested in researching the kinds of invisible infrastructure that govern our performance and actions in everyday life, so am feeling very inspired …

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Atopic Art Micro-Residency | Art, Science and Introductions…

Our Atopic Art Micro-Residency started out with introductions and conversations on the train as we travelled northwards across the Firth of Forth with artists Beverley Hood and Gordon Douglas for the beginning of this new residency at Professor Sara Brown’s skin genetic research laboratory, at the University of Dundee. We navigated our way across Dundee City finally reaching our destination …

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Atopic Art Micro-Residency Artists announced

We are delighted to announce that Beverley Hood and Gordon Douglas have been appointed for our new Atopic Art Micro-Residency and commission project with Prof Sara Brown. We very much look forward to working with them both over the course of the project. You can read more about both artists here   Read more here about how the Atopic Art …

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Interview with Prof Sara Brown

Earlier this year we met with Professor Sara Brown, who we have partnered with for our Atopic Art project. We wanted to speak to her about how her research is progressing and why she is interested in working with artists. Sara spoke about the ups and downs researchers face doing the work that they do, ‘Some people think labs are …

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CIIE micro-residency

Our four micro-residency artists have embarked on a three month collaborative journey with scientists from the University of Edinburgh’s Centre for Immunity, Infection and Evolution and you can keep up to date with their progress here. The artists will be preparing to exhibit their work to the general public within a group exhibition in Summerhall as part of the Edinburgh …

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CIIE micro-residency Artists announced

Mark Doyle Mark Doyle is a mixed-media artist living and working in Edinburgh. Graduating from Edinburgh College of Art in 2005, he received a degree in drawing and painting, as well as a number of awards, such as the Andrew Grant Bequest and the George Jackson Hutchison Memorial Prize. Recent projects include collaborating with emerging Scottish writers and poets and …

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Ethnograms micro-residency kicks off

We’re pleased to be working in partnership with Anthropologists from the University of Edinburgh to deliver the Ethnograms micro-residency, leading to a £5,000 artists commission.

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Hunting for Answers

27 April – 2 May 2014 Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences, Hamnett Wing, 161 Cathedral Street, Glasgow We’re proud to present the fruits of our ASCUS Micro-Residency with the Chamberlain Lab at the University of Strathclyde. Hunting for Answers is the culmination of an ASCUS Micro-Residency of ten artists alongside a group of researchers from Strathclyde Institute of …

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Strathclyde Micro-Residency

The Chamberlain group micro-residency gave ten artists access to research labs at the University of Strathclyde in February and March 2014. The artists selected spent four days working closely with research scientists and learning about their work on Huntington’s Disease by observing and recreating experiments in the lab. The art work created as part of the residency culminating in a …

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