PhDArts, a collaboration between Leiden University Academy of Creative and Performing Arts (ACPA) and the Royal Academy of Art, The Hague (KABK), is a high-level international doctorate programme in visual art and design. PhDArts functions as a platform for artists who regard theoretical reflection and artistic practice as intrinsically related and complementary.

A unique programme in the Netherlands, PhDArts creates new possibilities for art and its practitioners through questioning and breaking down existing boundaries between art theory and art practice.

PhD candidates follow individual research trajectories, guided by a team of supervisors. Besides this, the PhD candidates participate in a doctoral study programme, which consists of lectures, seminars, trainings and workshops. Together with supervisors, staff members and guest teachers, the doctoral candidates form an inspiring and challenging research environment.


  • Applicants must have a Master’s of Arts degree or proof of study at a comparable level.
  • The first condition for acceptance into the programme is a high level of artistry.
  • Secondly, each applicant should present a clear research theme, as well as a research plan. In addition, the discursive context of the research should be clearly described.
  • The PhDArts doctorate is a long- term research commitment that generally encompasses four years.
  • Researchers are expected to be in the vanguard of their fields of research.
  • The research should contribute to knowledge about art/design, as well as to the international discourse in the field of research.

For the full set of requirements, please see the PhDArts website.

Application deadlines

The yearly application deadline for PhDArts is 1 March.
Accepted applicants can join the programme in September of each year.

Application procedure