In 2018, ARIAS runs a first pilot procedure for researchers interested in a PhD in the Arts.


What is a PhD trajectory within ARIAS?


At this stage, ARIAS does not have its ‘own’ PhD-trajectory, but is a gateway to direct artists/researchers interested in obtaining a PhD in art research to the right people and information about regulations for the 5 institutions in our network. ARIAS supports potential PhDs in finding supervision at the University (VU or UvA) AND at an art school or professional school (AHK, Rietveld, HvA). New regulations at the UvA and VU make it possible to obtain a ‘PhD in the arts’ degree or a degree that allows a practice-based component as integral part of the degree. This degree is awarded on the basis of a dissertation together with an artistic production (performance, exhibition, composition, series of work, etc.). Within the ARIAS network other third cycle formats are being developed, but at the moment still in an initial phase (for example, the Rietveld Creator Doctus program).


How to get accepted, find supervision?


In order to assist candidates to find supervision and to start a PhD-trajectory within the ARIAS network, we ask aspiring PhD-candidates to write a complete research proposal (2500 words) for a PhD in the arts and to add a portfolio. These proposals will be assessed by a review committee, consisting of senior researchers of all five ARIAS institutions, on: originality, consistency, feasibility and relation to the expertise within the ARIAS network. To receive the proposal format, please email After handing in your complete proposal (1 April), you will receive an answer (1 May), which may be one of the following:

  1. The review committee thinks your proposal is good. You get advise on possible supervisors to approach, or to intensify the contact with possible supervisors you have already been talking to within the ARIAS network. Please take note: ARIAS only advises. A possible supervisor will still make her/his own decision to accept a candidate or refuse supervision. Once the candidate has been accepted she/he will start the procedure of being an official PhD-candidate through a research school at the UvA / VU. Together with the supervisor possible co-supervisors from the university and/or an art school will be selected.
  2.  Your proposal is not yet developed enough. The review committee thinks it has potential, and is willing to give advice on how to turn it into a full proposal. This process of assisting you with writing a proposal is considered a pre-program for a PhD in the Arts trajectory.
  3.  Your proposal is insufficient or does not fit with the expertise of researchers within the ARIAS network.

Deadline PhD-proposal and portfolio: 1 April 2018
Reaction from advisory committee: 1 May 2018




Funding is hard to find for art research. So far most artistic research PhD’s in the Netherlands have been funded by the candidates themselves or by non-Dutch funding bodies. Without funding the ARIAS network accepts you as an external candidate. That means that you will have to pay no tuition and that you get access to a workstation, the libraries, and the programs of the research schools. The central organization 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.



PhD-trajectories that are only partly within the ARIAS network


Some candidates already have supervision from someone from a university or art school elsewhere in the Netherlands or abroad. These candidates are welcome to share their research with the ARIAS network, to partake in research seminars and debates, but their research proposal cannot be assessed by the review committee.


Links to affiliated PhD-trajectories or pre-PhD


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. In 2016 THIRD organises a cohort of 
7 artists exploring research opportunities at the PhD or PhD equivalent level. Currently, there are very few programmes in Europe catering to performing arts research in higher education. The aim of the THIRD! is to prepare, coach and facilitate individual choreographers and theatermakers in articulating a long-term research project for enrolment in a university PhD or Research Fellowship programme. 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, in this case the Van Abbemuseum. 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).


Links to colloquiums of special interest to PhDs in the arts within the ARIAS network


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


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ARIAS aims to facilitate the start of new PhD projects in the arts, making use of the expertise within the ARIAS network. ARIAS helps interested potential candidates to find possible supervisors (both from the arts, and from the university) within the ARIAS network, as well as inform them on application processes and funding opportunities.

PhD in the Arts

Amsterdam Research Institute of the Arts and Sciences

PhD in the Arts

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