Open Call Details


Open from 
11th May 2015, 9:00am IST to 5th June 2015, 6:00pm IST
Results by 
3rd July

TRAUMA is an international, open-call exhibition and events programme at Science Gallery Dublin that will explore biological, psychological, societal, and cultural trauma.

A sudden, violent, stressful and disturbing event, often a physical injury, trauma can be short-lived or long-lasting with impacts that range from deeply personal to universal. Artistic reflections on trauma are amongst the oldest human creations, yet they examine the same topic as cutting-edge neuroscience. At this fuzzy boundary between brain and body, pain and survival, memory and self, individual and collective, trauma comes in many forms.

How does trauma affect the brain, the body, the national psyche, or all three? How do buildings and artworks record the traumas of our past? How do we bounce back after a trauma, and how is our understanding of trauma’s effects changing?

We’re looking for artists, scientists, doctors and designers to propose exhibits, artworks, and projects that connect with the emotional upheaval of trauma on a physical, biological and psychological level.

TRAUMA will also coincide with the centenary commemorations of the 1916 Easter rising, and raise questions about how society as a whole experiences trauma, how cities can show scars, and how social fabric can fray, tear, and ultimately be reinvented. At a unique time of commemoration, TRAUMA will offer a deeper understanding of the way we — as organisms, individuals and even nations —  experience pain, loss, injury, and ultimately recovery

Topics we’re interested in:

  • Injuries, medical interventions and methods for healing the human body
  • Conflict, PTSD and the psychological affects of war
  • Military conflicts, civil war, peace and reconciliation
  • Predator threat, and the ‘fight or flight’ response
  • Torture and the ‘ticking time bomb’ justification
  • Empathy, prejudice and sympathy to other people’s trauma
  • Memorials, re-enactments and remembrance of historical trauma
  • Buildings, bullet holes and boarded-up windows
  • Cultural revolution trauma and transgenerational transfer
  • Sexual violence and recovery
  • Artificial empathy (do robots fall in love?), and the three laws of robotics
  • How we heal, both mentally and physically, from trauma
  • The traumatised brain
  • Prevention of, and protection from, trauma
  • Trigger warnings

What makes a good Science Gallery Dublin open call proposal?

We are especially looking for projects that match Science Gallery Dublin’s three core aims: to Connect, Participate, and Surprise. Some tips for strong proposals:

  • We love works that invite the visitor to participate, create and discuss
  • Great projects bring together art and science in a creative way. We generally avoid paintings about science or science that is evaluating art.
  • Relevance to our core audience of 15-25 year olds is a factor in curatorial decisions.
  • Defying categories is good (“it’s kind of a hybrid sculpture, event, installation-puzzle, with a crowdsourced edible citizen-science archive, plus a performance component that will influence our design for a speculative organism…”)
  • Works can be playful or serious — most themes have room for both
  • 2D is nice, but 3D is usually nicer.  We don’t have a lot of wall space for screens, prints and the like, so we often opt for the actual object instead of just a picture of it
  • A true connection to the theme is a must — avoid shoehorning an unrelated work
  • Collaborations are great! Are you a cryptographer working with a cellist? Maybe you’re a comic book illustrator artist thinking of submitting a proposal with an immunologist? If you’re a marine geologist looking for a cheesemonger to work with, we might know just the person — just get in touch!


We are looking for up to 25 works for the TRAUMA exhibition. TRAUMA proposals will be funded up to a maximum budget of €3000 (please note this is a maximum, not a target). Two outstanding original works may be commissioned with a higher budget of up to €8000. Please note that these are maximum amounts, not targets. We are happy to write letters of support for applicants seeking funding from elsewhere.​

Confirmed Curators

  • Shane O’Mara, Professor of Experimental Brain Research at Trinity College Dublin
  • Caitriona Leahy, Assistant Professor of German at Trinity College Dublin
  • Daniel Glaser, Director of Science Gallery London at King’s College London
  • Ian Brunswick, Interim Director of Science Gallery Dublin at Trinity College Dublin


Sounds as a fascinating and amazing research/exhibition. I was wondering if I could also apply with a more performative/audable art work or does it needs to be fine-art / design? Cheers! Emma

Hi Emma,

Yes you can absolutely apply with performative/ aural work. We welcome submissions from all art and science disciplines!


hi, the concept is really fascinating.
I create digital pictures. Pictures with low resolutions. I have a strong belief that photography can heal the psychological trauma.looking forward for this project.
i am from India. Can i participate in this project.

Thank you.

Hi Sudipta, we welcome submissions from all countries and parts of the world! We look forward to your submission.

Hi we have an immersive participatory sci-art project developed with neuroscientists that is very relevant to this open call however we would like to know if there is a budget available for traveling, installing and running a technology based installation? Thanks 

Hello - yes there will be a budget available for applicants to cover fees, equipment, travel and shipping, etc, similar to previous open calls (historically these have often had a maximum of around €2500-€3500 per project, though lower budgets will be considered favorably). Full details of budget will be posted before the open call launches on May 11th.  

Would there be a budget available to transport/install and run a participatory immersive science-art installation on this theme that uses new technology incorporating EEG....? How can I find out more about possible funding? Thx

Hi There,

We consider all applications, the best thing to do would be to outline all associated costs in your budget for consideration.


hi, may i just ask you to clarify if there will be a separate call for the flipside or are you seeking proposals for that too as part of this call, many thanks

TRAUMA may have a minor focus on the 'flipside' of TRAUMA depending on the proposals we get. And while there may be some aspect of post-trauma recovery, the focus will likely be on trauma itself rather than healing.


I have a question about submitting work samples.  I'm eager to share work samples regarding my project, but as far as I can see, there's no field for submitting any work samples in the form of audio, photo, or video.  

There is a field for video submission, but it seems this is really just to provide a video explaining the project, rather than demonstrating previous work.

Can you clarify if I should avoid submitting a "work sample" in the video field?

Can you let me know if there are other ways to submit a work sample video/photo/audio file for the open call?

Yes, you can of course submit web links to work samples in your project description, thanks for your submission.

Hi, I have recent body of work which was generated by the trauma and stress of forced (financial) emigration, which had physical and emotional effects.  It takes a 2D format (but flexible hanging) and is in itself the product of and the "therapy" for trauma.  Does it sound like something you might be considering? Thanks and best

Hi There, we consider all applications submitted to us and would be delighted for you to submit your work for consideration. Thanks.

You talk about making the work relevant to the 15-25 age group. Does this mean it would be unlikely that a proposal to show work about a traumatic event that took place in 1966 (the Aberfan disaster) would be chosen? 

Hi There, the 15-25 age group is our primary target audience and therefore in putting together exhibitions it is always in the back of our minds in relation to programming so it really depends on the work itself. If you look at exhibitions like BLOOD which we had on before Christmas you'll see there were a number of adult themes and exhibits also. Hope that answers your question. Thanks.

In the case of exhibitions / installation / physical research, would they be installed throughout the period of the season 20th November to 21st February, or will there be smaller 'timeslots' running consecutively?

Hi There, exhibits/selected artworks would be installed and on display for the entire duration of the exhibtion from 20th November - 21st February. Thanks.

Dear Science gallery,

A question about the budget & technical requirements.   Do you have any equipment we could use to show the installation. (like screens, projectors, speakers, ...) or do the artist need to provide everything themselves (and thus budget rental of this equipment).

How specific and detailed does the budget need to be?




Hi There, we have an amount of tech in house however it is best to also budget for these items, even approximately. While we do have equipment in house it can be limited however once applications have been submitted if we have any queries or need to discuss further we can do so then! Thanks.


This concept really interests me. My work deals with these themes that are stated here. I recently just exhibited 3 works dealing with this concept at my student exhibition in Limerick. I sourced all the material myself and have the equipment to exhibit or propose these works again. My question to you would be in this case do you have to submit a budget in the proposal if all my equipment is already sourced?

Hi There, if there are no associated costs with your piece then I would suggest just saying that there are no additional costs as you have all of the equipment sourced and list the equipment that you have. It's worth breaking down a budget though to include things like transport and any printing etc. Hope that answers your question. Thanks.


I would like to know specific details in terms of budget. In the case of a video, were I will be collecting the material and editing on my own time and equipment, can an artist fee be included as part of the budget? also, would rental of display equipment need to be included in the budget or is that automatically provided by the science gallery (again, in my case, screen, headphones plus player for whatever data format I choose to save the material in)?


Hi There, yes including an artist fee is good. Bear in mind that we also pay VAT separately on top of all fees. Science Gallery have an amount of technical and display equipment however it's best to list these just incase although as much as possible we try to look after the display. I hope that answers your question. Cheers.

Is it possible to make more than one application?


Hi There, yes making more than one application is no problem at all!

I'm just learning about this open call now. I see it's due tomorrow at 4pm. What time zone is that 4pm? Each of our own time zones?

Hi There, we go by Irish time, so that's GMT.

How do I see the list of selected for the exhibition TRAUMA ?

Hi There, all artists who submitted will be responded to by July 3rd with a decision from our curators. The list of those selected will not be published until the opening of the exhibition in November. Thanks for your query.