Universiteit Leiden

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Centre for the Arts in Society

PhD Programme

LUCAS offers education, guidance, and skill development opportunities to PhD candidates researching the relationships between the arts in society in topics and fields aligned with one of our three research clusters. We are strongly committed to high-quality, innovative research conducted with integrity, as outlined by Leiden University’s Graduate School of Humanities.

The supportive supervision by our senior Institute members and the expectations we have of our PhD candidates are guided by LUCAS’s Practical Guidelines and the University’s Doctorate Regulations and PhD Guidelines. Opportunities to participate in and contribute to the Institute, University, and public communities are provided through a number of initiatives.

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, and 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.

Employed PhD Candidates

These PhDs hold paid positions for four years. Positions are officially advertised on the University's Vacancies website; eligibility requirements and application procedures are provided therein. These PhDs may be expected to undertake training, teaching, or other activities as part of their positions. Employed PhD candidates are provided with a shared office at the Institute.

Contract PhD Candidates

These PhDs have external scholarships, fellowships, or grants from their countries of origin to cover the costs of living and conducting research, and do not otherwise receive funds from LUCAS or Leiden University. They, too, are expected to complete their dissertations within four years. Contract PhD candidates are provided with a shared office at the Institute.

External PhD Candidates

These PhDs are wholly responsible for their own funding throughout their time as LUCAS members; they do not receive funds from LUCAS or Leiden University. Like the other two types of PhD candidate, they are expected to complete their dissertations within a reasonable time period of time. They have access to shared flexible workspaces at the Institute.

For more detail on these types of PhD, visit the Graduate School of Humanities’ Prospective PhD candidates.

Admission Procedures

Admission to LUCAS as one of the three types of PhD candidates follows the guidelines of the Graduate School of Humanities. Admissions adhere to the following general trajectories.

Employed PhD Candidates

Applications for paid positions are submitted in response to an advertisement on Leiden University’s Vacancies website and other online channels. They become available through external research funding (e.g. from NWO or EU grants) with the University acting as grant-holding institution and employer. Alternatively, positions are made available through special projects at LUCAS, the Faculty of Humanities, or Leiden University level. A third option is that funding is awarded directly to the PhD applicant through the NWO’s ‘PhDs in the Humanities’.

Contract PhD Candidates

These PhDs have been awarded external scholarships, fellowships, or grants in their country of origin which enables them to conduct PhD research at LUCAS. If you have applied for personal funding elsewhere and wish to carry out your research at LUCAS and graduate from Leiden University’s Faculty of Humanities, you must:

  • Find a full professor at LUCAS, and an additional faculty member with a doctorate, who are willing and able to supervise your dissertation throughout your PhD (see ‘How to find a supervisor’).
  • Once you have found supervisors, apply for admission to the Graduate School of Humanities by completing the Application Form (see ‘Admission to the Graduate School’.
  • If your grant is awarded, you should inform your supervisors and the Graduate School Office.

For full rules and requirements, please visit the Graduate School of Humanities’ Prospective PhD candidates.

External PhD Candidates

These PhDs receive their funding from sources other than Leiden University or PhD grants; they are wholly responsible for their own funding throughout their time as a member of LUCAS. If you wish to carry out your research at LUCAS and graduate from Leiden University’s Faculty of Humanities, you must:

  • Find a full professor at LUCAS, and an additional Faculty member with a doctorate, who are willing and able to supervise your dissertation throughout your PhD. Please send an introductory email to your potential supervisors.
  • If approved by your potential supervisors to continue the application process, submit a more detailed research proposal containing the following details:
    • Short curriculum vitae
    • Title of research
    • Field of research: Where is your proposed research situated in the field of research, and what will it add to the existing research?
    • Detailed research proposal (max. 400-600 words) formulating the basic research question, research methodology, and research materials
    • Planning: an estimated time schedule for each year of your dissertation process
    • Finances: any foreseen costs (i.e. a general budget for trips and/or living abroad, special software, photographic material, etc.)

If your proposal is accepted by your potential supervisors, they will write short statements declaring their willingness to supervise your research. These statements are added as supplements to the Graduate School’s Application Form.

For full rules and requirements, please visit the Graduate School of Humanities’ Prospective PhD candidates.

Bonuses for PhDs

LUCAS is pleased to offer completion incentives to eligible candidates at the final stages of their PhDs.

Employed and Contract PhD Candidates

PhDs who gain approval of their dissertations from their promotor and supervisor no later than six months after the end of their appointment are eligible for a €750 bonus to be spent on promotional costs such as dissertation printing.

External PhD Candidates

LUCAS pledges up to €1000 to Contract and External PhD candidates who have successfully completed and defended their dissertations as reimbursement of promotional costs such as dissertation printing.

All PhD Candidates

All Leiden University PhDs are required to supply four printed copies of their completed and defended dissertation, plus a digital version, to the Leiden University Library for the 'Leids Repositorium' (click here for the procedure). The University Library provides a reimbursement of €500 for printing costs (see Research and Publishing for additional information).

Graduate Programme

LUCAS organizes a Graduate Programme for our PhD candidates. It 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 Programme focuses on academic values and PhD research skills, as well as career development and potential career paths to consider after finishing your PhD.

Employed and Contract PhDs are required to participate in at least ten different sessions throughout their appointment; four or more should be attended in the first year to ensure PhDs build crucial skills to embark on their research. Session attendance will be registered by LUCAS, and participation in the Graduate Programme will be discussed during the PhDs annual evaluations. External PhDs are also strongly encouraged to participate in these sessions. Dates, locations, and topics are communicated via email and Blackboard.

LUCAS also organizes 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.

PhD Counsellor and Confidential Advisor

PhDs are further supported by LUCAS’s PhD Counsellor and the Faculty of Humanities Confidential Advisor for PhD Candidates. If as a PhD candidate you experience problems in your relationship with your supervisor or co-supervisor, colleagues, or other PhD candidates, you can turn to the LUCAS PhD Counsellor or the Faculty’s Confidential Advisor for PhD Candidates. You can directly approach the Confidential Advisor if you do not wish to (first) consult your PhD Counsellor about your issue(s). LUCAS’s PhD counsellor is Madeleine Kasten, and the Confidential Advisor for PhDs is Rosalien van der Poel.

LUCAS PhD Community

The fulfilment and success of PhD candidates, both during their time at LUCAS and in their future careers, is important to us and to Leiden University. Therefore, resources, training, opportunities to share research and network, and services to help you develop key competencies are offered to PhD candidates.

The 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 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 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, and is in close contact with the LUCAS Management Team with regards the Graduate Programme.

Current PhD Council members are:

  • Céline Zaepffel, Chair
  • Nynke Feenstra
  • Amaranth Feuth
  • Lisanne Jansen
  • Renske Janssen

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

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