What is ARIAS’ role in finding a PhD in the Arts position?

In 2018, ARIAS ran a first pilot ‘advisory round’ for researchers interested in a PhD in the Arts (an info-evening, a proposals speed-date session, a pre-feedback moment, a review committee and written feedback on 10 proposals). In 2019, ARIAS will not host an ‘advisory round,’ but aims to do two things:


1. Collaboration with other Dutch HBO institutions (gathered in the so-called national lectorenplatform K=O) to start a national peer-group and pre-PhD program for artists interested in pursuing a PhD in the Arts connected to a Dutch institution. First meeting in Spring 2019.

2. To inform interested potential candidates about the possibilities in and conditions for pursuing (different kinds of) PhD trajectories within the network of the 5 ARIAS institutions and to assist potential candidates in connecting to potential supervisors in the ARIAS network.


What different trajectories for pre-PhD’s, PhD’s and PhD’s in the Arts exist within the ARIAS network?


At this stage, ARIAS does not have its ‘own’ PhD-trajectory, but is a gateway to direct artists/researchers interested in obtaining a practice-based PhD to the right people and information about regulations for the 5 institutions in our network.


PhD in the Arts

Since 2017, it has become possible at the University of Amsterdam to obtain a ‘PhD in the arts’ degree, which asks the candidate to write a full PhD dissertation (max. 70.000 words, with exceptions) but also to produce an “artistic achievement” (see Promotiereglement UvA). In order to be accepted as a PhD in the Arts candidate at the UvA, you have to be accepted by one of the research schools or centers of the University of Amsterdam (the faculty of Humanities has 7 research schools and centers, for example). To do so, you have to hand in a PhD-proposal following the rules of the school you are applying to, and you have to find a ‘promotor’ (supervisor) willing to supervise you. A candidate for a PhD in the Arts needs to have obtained a Masters degree, but an exception to this can be made (a procedure explained in the promotiereglement).

The UvA’s Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis has made a step-by-step list of the process of searching and obtaining a PhD position for their school, which starts by examining potential supervisors from the UvA faculty and sending a first short draft of your proposal (max. 1000 words). See:


ARIAS assists potential PhDs in finding and contacting potential supervision for a ‘PhD in the Arts’ at the University of Amsterdam and to find additional supervision from a researcher at an art school or university of applied sciences (AHK, Rietveld, HvA). At the moment, the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is in the process of examining the possibilities of a practice-based component as part of the PhD-regulations. ARIAS also gives assistance to candidates for a PhD at the VU with a practice-based component.


Other PhD-trajectories or pre-PhD trajectories within or affiliated to the ARIAS network


THIRD! 3rd Cycle Research Group at the AHK
DAS Graduate School initiates a 3rd Cycle Research Group to facilitate artists interested in pursuing post graduate education. Each year, THIRD aims to organize a cohort of a small number of artists exploring research opportunities at the PhD or PhD equivalent level. Currently, there are very few programs in Europe catering to performing arts research in higher education. The aim of the THIRD! is to prepare, coach and facilitate individual choreographers and theater makers in articulating a long-term research project for enrolment in a university PhD or Research Fellowship program. Though DAS Graduate School cannot bestow a terminal degree of PhD yet, we intend to support performing artists who wish to expand their knowledge(s) by supplementing PhD candidatures in the Netherlands and abroad.


docARTES is an international inter-university doctoral programme for practice-based research in musical arts, designed for musician-researchers. The conservatorium of Amsterdam (part of AHK) participates in docARTES.


Creator Doctus (Rietveld Academie)
The title Creator Doctus (CrD) is set up by the Gerrit Rietveld Academie as a new three-year research trajectory within the so-called ‘third cycle’ of higher education. The trajectory will result in a series of artworks, rather than a written dissertation. These answer research questions formulated by the artists within the context of framework provided by a commissioning partner. At the end of the three years the results are presented to an evaluation committee, the involved partners and the public. If judged sufficient the artist will be awarded the title Creator Doctus (CrD). The title will serve to help promote the degree of profession and skill of the artist. To obtain European recognition the title is developed in collaboration with several European partners. (Please note there is no current call for new candidates).




Funding is hard to find for artistic research. So far most artistic research PhD’s in the Netherlands have been funded by the candidates themselves (‘external PhD candidates’) or by non-Dutch funding bodies. After acceptance of your proposal by fitting supervisors and a research school at the VU or the UvA, these universities can accept you as an external candidate. Depending on the particular research school of which you are part, this usually means that you will have to pay no tuition (or are exempted from tuition) and that you get access to a workstation, the libraries, and the programs of the research schools. The central organisation for funding scientific research in the Netherlands (NWO) is setting up more funding possibilities for artistic research, but at present, this is not yet effectuated.


How to get accepted as a PhD in the Arts candidate, how to find supervision from an academic promotor and a supervisor at an art school?

In 2019, ARIAS will not host a ‘PhD advisory round’ but will assist potential candidates on an individual basis.  if you have further questions after reading the information on the ARIAS website.


Pre-PhD phase

In order to develop ideas for a possible PhD in the arts research and to draft a potentially successful PhD proposal it helps to find (peer-)coaching. At this point, there is no national or Amsterdam pre-PhD in the Arts trajectory. There are however, several communities/colloquiums within ARIAS of researchers that could be interesting to explore and to find peers (see below). At the VU and the UvA, Research Master students can often take a special course in designing a successful PhD-proposal. At THIRD!, selected candidates pursue a two-year trajectory in learning about and possibly preparing for PhD-trajectories (not limited to the Netherlands, but globally). At the HvA, teachers potentially interested in pursuing a PhD trajectory can apply to become part of a (funded) pre-PhD trajectory, exploring possible topics and developing a PhD-proposal.


ASCA theory seminar, UvA
Artistic Research Research Group, (ARRG),UvA
DOCARTES colloquium, (partly at Conservatorium, AHK)
Re-Scape colloquium, VU
Making Things Public research seminar, Rietveld

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Why is PhD in the Arts important for ARIAS?

PhD in the Arts

Amsterdam Research Institute of the Arts and Sciences

PhD in the Arts

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