Universiteit Leiden

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Centre for the Arts in Society

PhD Programme

LUCAS offers education, guidance, and development opportunities to PhD candidates researching the relationships between the arts and society, in fields aligned with one of our three research clusters. We are strongly committed to high-quality, innovative research conducted with integrity. The Institute houses over one hundred PhD candidates researching a wide variety of topics.

The LUCAS PhD Programme is hosted within the Graduate School of Humanities, which also includes PhD candidates from other Humanities disciplines, such as history, philosophy and linguistics.

The framework of the LUCAS PhD Programme consists of the Leiden University PhD Regulations and PhD Guidelines, and their implementation on the level of the Institute as outlined in the LUCAS PhD Guidelines. Please consult these documents for information on topics such as admission, requirements, supervision and facilities.  

Our Research Clusters

PhD Candidates are hosted within one of three research clusters of LUCAS:

The academic activities organised within these research clusters enable PhDs to interact with researchers working in same or related fields, including LUCAS faculty, affiliated researchers, other PhD candidates, members of national research schools, and international scholars.

Types of LUCAS PhDs

LUCAS hosts three types of PhD candidates: employed PhD candidates, contract PhD candidates, and external PhD candidates. More information on these types can be found on the website of the Graduate School of Humanities; an overview of the rights and obligations of the various types of PhD candidates at LUCAS can be found in the appendix of the LUCAS PhD Guidelines.

Admission Procedures

To become a PhD candidate at LUCAS, you first need to be admitted to the Graduate School of Humanities. On the procedures, please consult the Admissions pages of the Graduate School, as well as the LUCAS PhD Guidelines.

Planning, monitoring and evaluation

Every PhD candidate draws up a Training and Supervision Plan (TSP; in Dutch: Opleidings- en Begeleidingsplan, OBP) with their supervisors within three months after the start of their project. This TSP contains agreements relating to the design and planning of the project, the form and frequency of supervision, evaluation procedures, and training. Formats for the TSP can be found on the right-hand side of this page.

During the trajectory, PhDs have regular supervision meetings, as well as annual evaluations with their supervisors and with a member of the LUCAS Management Team. A formal evaluation takes place after the first part of the PhD trajectory in order to decide on the continuation of the project. At this ‘go/no go moment’, the supervisors evaluate progress, assess the outlook of the rest of the PhD’s project, and decide on the continuation of the project.

PhD progress is monitored via the online system LUCRIS/Converis GSM, where the PhD registers the dates of progress meetings and uploads the TSP as well as attendance certificates for courses taken.

PhD training

All PhD candidates who started their project in 2019 or later take a mandatory course on academic integrity, preferably in their first year. This course is offered regularly by the Graduate School of Humanities; check the course page for upcoming dates and registration.

Employed and contract PhDs are required to take 280 hours of training during their trajectory, including LUCAS’ own PhD training programme, the Graduate Programme. The Graduate Programme (GP) consists of a two-year cycle of thematic seminar sessions tutored by senior academics as well as other professionals, both from LUCAS and from outside the Institute. The GP focuses on academic values and research skills, as well as post-PhD career development. The full cycle comprises around 17 sessions spread over two years, and counts for 40 hours of training in total (this includes the training on academic integrity). Attendance of the full programme is compulsory for employed and contract PhDs, and PhDs are advised to follow the programme in the first two years of their trajectory, to ensure they build crucial skills for their research. External PhDs are also strongly encouraged to participate in these sessions. Dates, locations, and topics can be found in the GP schedule and are communicated via email and Blackboard. Participation is free of charge for LUCAS PhDs.

LUCAS also organises PhD presentation sessions. These provide a platform for PhDs to practice presentation skills, and to have a substantive discussion about their work with the LUCAS PhD community. Attendance is voluntary, yet highly recommended for all PhDs.

LUCAS PhD Community

As a PhD, there are many ways to participate in the academic life of the Institute and the University. We strongly encourage you to do this, as it will greatly enrich your PhD period. LUCAS has a vibrant PhD community, which organizes several initiatives. All PhDs are warmly invited to join, either as participant or as organiser.

Every two years, LUCAS PhDs organise the LUCAS Graduate Conference, a thematic conference attracting PhD speakers from all over the world as well as keynotes by well-known senior academics. A committee of four to five PhDs works together over the course of 1.5 year to formulate the call for papers, select speakers and chairs, and take care of the practical organisation.

The proceedings of the Graduate Conference are published in the open access, double-blind peer-reviewed Journal of the LUCAS Graduate Conference. The editorial board consists of LUCAS PhD candidates and a senior staff member, who collaborate to put together an edition of the journal.

The Leiden Arts in Society blog is run by LUCAS PhDs and provides a platform for PhD candidates and senior researchers affiliated with the Institute, as well as guest writers from the wider academic community. The blog aims to reflect the variety of academic disciplines that come together in LUCAS, and welcomes blogposts that reflect on languages, literature, art and / or cultures, and the interaction between them.

LUCAS PhD Council

The PhD Council represents the interests of all LUCAS PhDs: employed, contract, and external. It consists of five members who are appointed by the Academic Director for a period of two years.

The Council meets bimonthly with members of the LUCAS Management Team to discuss matters concerning the admission, training, and supervision of PhDs in the Institute. It holds an annual general meeting for all LUCAS PhDs, and can be approached at any time with questions and concerns.

The Council’s chair is part of the Institute’s Advisory Board, and the Council as a whole meets regularly with other PhD Councils in the Faculty of Humanities. It keeps in contact with PhDoc, which represents PhDs and Postdocs in the University Council.

The LUCAS PhD Council also organises social activities, such as the monthly PhD lunches and the yearly PhD dinner. Current PhD Council members are:

LUCAS and the LUCAS PhD Council offer all new PhDs a buddy within the institute. A buddy is an experienced PhD candidate familiar with Leiden University who will help new PhDs to find their way around Leiden and/or the Dutch academic system and PhD life in general. They have some understanding of the inner structure of the academic world and know about social events designed for PhDs. Please send the PhD Council an e-mail if you would like to know more about having or becoming a buddy.

You can contact the PhD council at phdcouncillucas@hum.leidenuniv.nl.

PhD Counsellor and Confidential Advisor

PhDs are further supported by a dedicated PhD counsellor and a confidential advisor. In the unfortunate event of PhD-related problems – for instance in the relationship with your supervisor or co-supervisor, with your immediate superior, colleagues, or other PhD candidates – you can turn to the PhD Counsellor or to the confidential adviser for PhD candidates.

The confidential adviser for PhD candidates of the Faculty of Humanities is currently dr. Rosalien van der Poel. See here for more information.

LUCAS has a PhD Counsellor, a staff member who is embedded in the Institute, who is easily approachable, and who is there if you are in need of a confidential talk, of advice or a helping hand. The LUCAS PhD Counsellor is currently dr. Madeleine Kasten.

The University also has a confidential adviser for issues relating to academic integrity; for information on academic integrity, the confidential adviser and the complaints committee, see here.

LUCAS PhD council

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