PhD Courses in Denmark

Introduction to the micro-phenomenological interview

Graduate School, Arts at Aarhus University

What is going on when an idea comes to us? When suddenly a childhood memory rushes back? When we enter a forest, listen to a piece of music, remember the taste of our favourite dish, spell a name or read a psalm? These phenomena constitute the very texture of our existence, yet are difficult to assess and describe in a scientific way. Micro-phenomenology,developed under the supervision of Francisco Varela, is an interview and analysis method designed to become aware, that is attend to, articulate and systematically map out these and other types of subjective experience. As a research tool, it allows to obtain and compare detailed process descriptions of short (ideally seconds to minutes long) moments of such lived experience. For this purpose, the method relies on a precisely described style of interviewing, a rigorous preprocessing evaluating the reliability of report and an elaborate analysis tool set to map out individual and derive generic structures of the experience type explored.


The course is aimed at introducing and training the micro-phenomenological interview as an element of research practise. You will be taught how to use this method to collect fine-grained descriptions of the lived experience associated with a given sensorial, emotional or cognitive process, or with a specific expertise, so you can gather a corpus of accurate data that are relevant for your research project. 


Petitmengin, C. Describing one’s subjective experience in the second person: An interview method for the science of consciousness. Phenom Cogn Sci 5, 229–269 (2006).

Target group:

This course is relevant for PhDs in all stages of their research.

Importantly: Due to its focus on concrete research practise this course has an overlap, but is in large parts complementary with, the official micro-phenomenological interview training of Claire Petitmengin. It is therefore useful for total new beginners aiming to get a hands-on impression of the method but also prior attendants of Claire Petitmengin that need further training and guidance about how to use the method in their specific research topics and plans. Individuals interested in obtaining the official certification in Micro-Phenomenology should contact Katrin Heimann for further information.




The training consists of a four-day workshop on the method by Katrin Heimann from x to x , 6 hours per day in class, plus 20 hours of self-guided preparation/reflection/assignments (ca. 6 hours before the course week, 8 hours during the course week and 6 hours after the course week).

- On day one the interview principles will be introduced and trained
- On day two participants learn to develop an experimental design acquiring data for their own research project and test it
- On day three participant will record an interview, get introduced to the principle of transcriptions and train the skill on the acquired data
- On day four participants will be introduced to the pre-processing steps of data and evaluate their interview (transcript) on their basis. Further analysis steps and the assignment will be outlined.
- After the course, participants are asked to comment on their transcribed interview according to the evaluation principles learned and hand in this document that will be revised by Katrin Heimann. 


Campus Aarhus, TBA

Application deadline:

Please sign via the link no later than 1 December 2023.