phd.schoolofarts [at]
Paleizenstraat 70,
1030 Brussel

Doctorate in the Arts

By enabling and stimulating doctoral research, LUCA School of Arts attracts competent and enthused artists and designers who help to develop and strengthen high-level research and education in LUCA’s core areas of study: music and drama, audiovisual arts, visual arts and design. LUCA collaborates with the University of Leuven for its doctoral programme in the arts. Our PhD students are enrolled at KU Leuven, which officially awards the degree of PhD. Our supervisors are connected to both institutions. As stipulated in the doctoral regulation, the PhD in the Arts consists of a thesis as well as (a) creation(s) in arts or design. Both parts are considered equal and as an unity. Together they show evidence of the ability to create new knowledge. The thesis and the presentation of the creations in arts or design must allow the examination committee to assess the quality of the doctoral research. There are no general rules regarding the form and content except of the quality requirements.

Doctoral committee

The members of the doctoral committee in the Arts are: Leen EngelenLut PilJeroen D’hoeSteven DevleminckJos De BackerBart GeertsAnneleen MasscheleinRolf HughesCarine Wouters and Veerle Van der Sluys (chairman).


Application procedure

The deadline for submitting new PhD applications is September 11, 2023.

Eligible candidates will be invited to discuss their project at the next meeting of the doctoral committee in the arts on October 11, 2023.

Interested in doing a doctorate in the arts at LUCA Faculty of the Arts? The first step is that you need to find a supervisor who is willing to support your research project. You must have contacted your future supervisor before you can start applying for admission (see list of possible supervisors below).

Once you have found a supervisor, please follow this procedure to gain admission to enroll as a doctoral student:


  • The supervisor fills out this online form:
  • You then receive an invitation to fill out additional information and upload certain documents in the online application tool
    • A scan of your master's degree(s)
    • A research proposal using the template below
    • A letter of advice of the head of your research unit
    • Your CV
    • Your portfolio (if relevant)

The uploaded documents must be in pdf format (max. 20MB). Please use links in your portfolio to refer to larger files (eg. videos).

  • The supervisor then receives an invitation to give their advice and academic approval or disapproval in the online application tool.
  • The next step depends on your nationality (EER/non-EER) and master's degree (Flemish/non-Flemish) (see step 2).


  • The supervisor's academic advice (approval/disapproval) is sent to the Faculty's doctoral administration.
  • The doctoral committee of LUCA School of Arts evaluates the proposal and invites you to the next meeting of the doctoral committee to discuss the research project.
  • If the application is approved by the doctoral committee, you will be invited to enroll as a doctoral student at KU Leuven.


  • All information and uploaded documents from the online application tool are sent to International Admissions.
  • International Admissions prepares an advice about the quality of your track record (diplomas, grades).
  • This advice and the supervisor's academic advice is sent to the Faculty's doctoral administration.
  • The doctoral committee of LUCA School of Arts evaluates the proposal and invites you to the next meeting of the doctoral committee to discuss the research project.
  • If the application is approved by the doctoral committee, you will be invited to enroll as a doctoral student at KU Leuven.

If you have any questions regarding the application procedure please contact

The regulation for the PhD in the Arts can be found here.

Doctoral programme

Accordingly to the doctoral regulations, the compulsory components of the doctoral program are:

1.  Writing at least one scientific publication at an international level or a similar achievement at an international level.

  • By a publication at international level is meant: a peer-reviewed contribution (journal article, contribution to a book, conference proceedings, patent, design) about his/her own research and written in the language of the discipline. The contribution is aimed at an international audience. In order to be able to successfully complete the doctoral programme, the contribution must be published or be accepted for publication;
  • By a similar achievement at an international level is meant: a Creation in the Arts or Design resulting from one’s own research and presented to an international audience by means of the appropriate medium. The Creation in the Arts or Design is archived in Lirias.

2.   Giving at least two seminars, either about your own research, or on a more general theme;

3.   Giving at least one oral or poster presentation at an international scientific conference;

4.   Following at least one seminar series or course component specifically organised for PhD researchers: participation in 4 seminars organized by one’s own supervisor, research unit or research cluster as well as 3 seminars organized outside of one’s own research cluster or research unit. A doctoral student may submit a motivated proposal for an alternative seminar series or course component for the doctoral committee’s approval, provided this proposal is supported by the supervisor;

5.   Following the course component ‘Scientific integrity for starting PhDs’ during the first year of the doctoral program;

6.   Submitting annual progress reports on your research


Lecturers of LUCA School of Arts with the title “Special Guest Lecturer in the Arts”  or with a ZAP mandate at KULeuven can be a supervisor of a PhD in the Arts. All other lecturers of LUCA School of Arts can act as co-supervisor.

Dr. Tom Beghin

  • Research topics: Eighteenth-century and early-nineteenth century music, Technologically Inspired Performance (TIP), Historically Informed Performance (HIP) and Beethoven’s rhetoric, pianism, and pianos
  • Research unit: Music & Drama

Dr. Greet Billet

  • Research topics: Contemporary art, Light as an artistic medium/Artistic practice, In situ installations and Digital and analogue development in Art
  • Research unit: Intermedia

Dr. Sandy Claes

  • Research topics: Interactive Storytelling, Human-computer-interaction, Information-visualization, Media Design and Design Research
  • Research unit: Intermedia

Dr. Jos De Backer

  • Research topics: clinical improvisation, music therapeutic processes and psychiatry
  • Research unit: Music & Drama

Dr. Thomas De Baets     

  • Research topics: professional development of music educators, processes of educational innovation in music education, practitioner research in music education and musical communication
  • Research unit: Music & Drama

Dr. Liesbeth Decan

  • Research topics: photography, theory of photography, contemporary art, conceptual art, art in Belgium and humor
  • Research unit: Intermedia

Dr. Peter De Graeve

  • Research topics: art history, aesthetics, political theory, painting, drama, hermeneutics and classical culture
  • Research unit: Image

Dr. Steven Devleminck

  • Research topics: digital media and art, cartography, artistic mapping and information design
  • Research unit: Intermedia

Dr. Laurens Dhaenens

  • Research topics: Global/ Worldly Art Histories, Exhibition Studies/ Curatorship and Digital Humanities
  • Research unit: Intermedia

Dr. Jeroen D'hoe

  • Research topics: musical composition, interdisciplinary research and creations, integration of artistic practice, research and education, interaction of musical analysis and performance practice, musicology and pop music
  • Research unit: Music & Drama

Dr. Leen Engelen

  • Research topics: visual media (stereoscopy, lantern projections, postcards, panorama paintings and film), history of film, media history, cultural heritage, audio-visual heritage, First World War, archive, historical and media archaeological approaches, ephemeral arts, memory and remembrance
  • Research unit: Inter-Actions

Dr. Katrien Foubert

  • Research topics: Social interaction, Music therapy improvisation analysis and Therapeutic processes of change
  • Research unit: Music & Drama

Dr. Bart Geerts

  • Research topics: medium experiment, spatial models of (re)presentation, drawing as a medium for reflection, contemporary painting and the painterly, the work of art as object for and of interaction and rhetoric of artistic research
  • Research unit: Inter-Actions

Dr. Niels Hendriks

  • Research topics: Participatory design and Codesign, Inclusive design, Design for health, Design for people with neurocognitive disorders, dementia or Alzheimer, Design for disability and Systemic design approaches
  • Research unit: Inter-Actions

Dr. Frank Maet

  • Research topics: technology and/as art, technology and ethics, art and science, art and other media, post-artistic theory, philosophy of artistic research, philosophy in relation to the practice of art and design and philosophy of contemporary culture
  • Research unit: Image

Dr. Steven Malliet

  • Research topics: design of meaningful game and interaction rules, relationship between image and music in audiovisual media and creation of digital and virtual environments
  • Research unit: Inter-Actions

Dr. Annelies Monseré

  • Research topics: Definitions of Art, Cultural exclusion, Experimental music, Metaphilosophy, Canonization in Art History, Philosophical and Artistic Methodologies
  • Research unit: Image

Dr. Wendy Morris

  • Research topics: animation, constructions of Whiteness, letters in contemporary art writing, walking in artistic practice, marginalized histories, broken world botany and migration histories
  • Research unit: Intermedia

Dr. Volkmar Mühleis

  • Research topics: regenerative aesthetics, haptic aesthetics, reverse perspective, responsive and transformative phenomenology and phenomenology of pop culture
  • Research unit: Image

Dr. Jan Peeters

  • Research topics: practice of fine art and experimental film, intermediality, word-image-interaction, poetry film and (auto)fiction
  • Research unit: Image

Dr. Lut Pil

  • Research topics: contemporary art, design, textile, clay and ceramics, glass and art of the 19th century
  • Research unit: Image

Dr. Pieter Schuermans

  • Research topics: Musical Composition, Interdisciplinary in the arts, Musical construction and perception of time and Synergy of creating and performing in contemporary music
  • Research unit: Music & Drama

Dr. Nicola Setari

  • Research topics: contemporary art, visual culture and media studies, with a focus on iconoclasm in contemporary culture
  • Research unit: Intermedia

Dr. Piet Swerts

  • Research topics: composition, orchestration, piano and analysis
  • Research unit: Music & Drama

Dr. Veerle Van der Sluys

  • Research topics: interplay design and science/technology, network visualisation, playful design and interaction design
  • Research unit: Inter-Actions

Dr. Roel Vande Winkel

  • Research topics: cinema, media history, film & television studies, cultural heritage, arts in wartime
  • Research unit: Intermedia

Dr. Carl Van Eyndhoven

  • Emeritus. Doesn't accept new PhD candidates
  • Research topics: historically informed performance practice, carillon, mechanical music instruments
    versteek-books and intavolation
  • Research unit: Music & Drama

Dr. Isolde Vanhee

  • Research topics: cinema and the visual arts, painting, experimental film, slow cinema, essay film, artistic authorship, genre, the ordinary, narrative, myth, fiction, writing, script, criticism, ethics / aesthetics, word / image and imagination / reflection
  • Research unit: Image

Dr. Tom Van Imschoot

  • Research topics: literary studies, art theory, interpretation studies, phenomenology, aesthetics, ethics, writing, reading, the essay, poetics, criticism, word-image-interaction, verbal reflexivity, the artistic process, attention and affect studies, fascination, intuition, illusion, metamorphosis, epiphany, the imaginary, corporeality, romanticism, self-evidence, (auto)fiction and shared reality
  • Research unit: Image

Dr. Nancy Vansieleghem

  • Research Topics: art-education, pedagogy of arts, pedagogy of the camera, pedagogy of the digital screen, pedagogy of the art-school/art-studio), pedagogy of childhood, speculative science, cabinets of curiosity, the art of noticing, equality, affection, exposure and attention
  • Research unit: Image

Dr. Virgilio Vasconcelos

  • Research topics: Critical Reflection of and through animation, Decoloniality in Animation and Heterotopias and asymmetries of power inscribed in and by digital objects
  • Research unit: Inter-Actions

Dr. Anja Veirman

  • Research topics: textile as mediator and (textile) processes of making, embodied knowledge and bio-centric knowledge systems, pluriform ontological/epistemological perspectives beyond binary, anthropocentric and hierarchical frameworks, co-creation as dialogical ethnography and maker practice, non-linear time perspectives and transhistorical narratives/design/creation
  • Research unit: Image and Intermedia

Dr. Esther Venrooij

  • Research topics: Audio topography, Spatial experiences (visual, auditory, sensorimotor, tactile and conceptual) and Spatial narrativity
  • Research unit: Image

Dr. Kristof Vrancken

  • Research topics: Interdisciplinary Explorations in Photography, The Intersection of Art, Science, and Technology in a Social Context, and Deep-Ecology: The NonHuman Turn
  • Research unit: Inter-Actions

Handbook for PhD applicants, researchers and supervisors in the Arts