Art & Science Residency ‘A Call to the Sea’

Fully funded three-month international residency for collaborative projects between visual artists, scientists, and the local community aimed at rethinking zoologic museum collections.


For artists and collectives formed by artists and scientists or experts in other relevant fields. Applications will only be accepted in English.


The ‘A Call to the Sea’ residency programme supports collaborative art and sciences projects and takes place in one of the oldest aquariums in the World – the Vasco da Gama Aquarium, focusing on themes of more-than-human geographies.

We seek proposals that stimulate critical thinking about zoologic museum collections, delve into collaboration and communication with non-human species, reweave multispecies histories, address more-than-anthropocentric problems, and bring forth the less visible water narratives and intelligence beyond human perception.

This initiative, promoted by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and the Oeiras Municipality, is part of the “Bauhaus of the Seas Sails” pilot project, funded by the Horizon Europe Programme.

Eligibility requirements 

  • This open call is for artists and collectives formed by artists and scientists or experts in other relevant fields; 
  • We seek Art & Science led projects only, that create works in visual arts, art & science, artificial intelligence, cross-disciplinarity, community practices and locally grounded;
  • Each artist / collective can only submit one application;  
  • Residency projects and public presentations must be executed until 14 December 2024;  
  • Candidates must be over 18 years old;
  • Fluency in English, and preferably also in Portuguese;  
  • National and international artists can apply, in their individual or collective capacity; 

The submitted project should span three months and be carried out between July 1st and December 1st, 2024. While the exact starting date will be determined upon successful acceptance into the program, applicants must specify their preferred work schedule and approach in the application form.

Expected outcomes 

During the residency period in 2024 the selected project is expected to:  

  • Develop an art project. Free format and based in scientific, interdisciplinary and collaborative research-based process;
  • Participate in at least one educational or collaborative activity for the local community, public talks about the project, and public presentations at the end of residency; 
  • Submit online a final report of the research;
  • Provide the process documentation;
  • Participate, in 2025, in a public event (e.g. talk, workshop) at Festival da Ciência (21 to 25 May).

Grant conditions 

  • Financial support of 10.000€ that should cover fees, expenses and production.
  • Access to dedicated workspaces with tools and materials for your project development, which include: studio space at Vasco da Gama Aquarium, Life Science and Technology Research Laboratories, Specialized Libraries and Archives, The Zoological Collection, including Rei D. Carlos I’s journals, maps, and scientific observations.
  • Guidance and support provided by experienced professionals in relevant fields for your project, namely support from teams at Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary-TBA21 and biologists from Gulbenkian Science Institute and Vasco da Gama Aquarium
  • Access to natural sites throughout Mar da Palha (Tagus River) and nearby coastal areas; 
  • Support from other institutions, such as IPMA – Instituto Português do Mar e da Atmosfera and ITQB – Instituto de Tecnologia Química e Biológica;  
  • Networking opportunities. 

How to apply? 

Register to apply;   

Before submitting the application form, check all the eligibility criteria. We advise you to read the Call Conditions and the Frequently Asked Questions;  

Applications can only be submitted once all the mandatory fields of the form have been completed and uploaded the required documentation in English as PDF files according to the Call Condition:

  • CV (max. 2-pages A4)
  • Cover letter (max. 500 words);
  • Project proposal (max. 4-pages A4)
  • Portfolio (max. 10-pages A4)

At the end, click on the “apply” button. To prevent difficulties in submitting applications, avoid submitting your application in the last few days before the deadline. 

Please note that not all residency and research locations are accessible to reduced mobility. For inquiries about accessibility and other topics, please contact us through this form.

Member of the Jury

The panel of juries consists of two independent members, Thiago Jesus and Margarida Mendes, along with representatives from various partner organisations, including the Oeiras Municipality, Instituto Superior Técnico, Vasco da Gama Aquarium, TBA21 Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary, and CAM – Centro de Arte Moderna Gulbenkian.

Updated on 20 may 2024

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