Training specifics

Information on the components of the training of a PhD candidate

The training of the PhD candidate includes a number of mandatory components which are taken collectively with other PhD candidates. The most important ones are the LUCAS PhD-programme and the practical educational courses. Educational courses are organised for aios only, since other PhD candidates don’t have teaching obligations. They are, however, allowed to give an occasional lecture.

LUCAS PhD-programme

The LUCAS PhD-programme is open to all LUCAS PhDs. It is aimed at the acquisition and exchange of research insights and skills.
Read more about the programme and the dates here.

Educational course

The educational course prepares internal PhD candidates to fulfil teaching obligations. Internal PhD candidates are expected to attend either a few meetings in which basic pedagogical and didactical instructions are discussed or an ICLON course. Subsequently, they observe the actions of a senior teacher during a specific BA-course. This experienced colleague acts as the mentor of the PhD candidate and encourages him or her to assess their teaching skills critically. PhD candidates are invited to teach a few classes themselves when the opportunity seems appropriate. In the second and third year of their term, internal PhD candidates independently provide courses for first-year students.

NB. Under the following conditions aios are allowed to follow a BKO course instead of the Introduction to teaching course.
a. They already have some teaching experience, and
b. They are well on track with their research.
Since the BKO course takes up more time than the Introduction to teaching course, aios need explicit permission from their supervisor and the director of LUCAS. 
Ingrid Janssen, secretary of the BKO committee, can tell you how your teaching experience relates to obtaining the BKO certificate (email:

The PhD candidates are obliged to take a few courses concerning career counseling and research management.

Finally, supervisors may consider it necessary to let PhD candidates take additional courses, for instance in academic writing or academic English, or specialized courses related to the topic of their dissertation. Research trips abroad and conference participation may also be considered crucial to the quality of the research and the timely completion of the PhD project.
Plans for research trips and conference participation need to be stated in the 'education and supervision plan'. The trip’s relevance to the dissertation needs to be demonstrated and the supervisor needs to give his or her consent.

Compulsory components taken on a collective basis

Schematically the four years training programme is as follows:   

Year 1  
1st semester
Introductory course for new PhD candidates

2nd semester
Practical educational course (ICLON or LUCAS course)

Year 2
1st or 2nd semester
Research management workshop 

Year 3
1st semester
Two career counselling modules 

Year 1-4
All semesters
LUCAS PhD programme

Compulsory components taken on an individual basis

These components concern courses offered by the relevant research school or by a university institution. They commonly pertain to participation in research seminars, workshops, master classes and conferences. Their study load varies and to a great extent depends on the needs of the PhD candidate and the wishes of the supervisor. The PhD candidate and the supervisor  decide upon the phasing of these courses.
Relevant national research schools in the field of art history and cultural studies are:

Onderzoekschool Klassieke Oudheid Studies OIKOS (classical studies)

Onderzoekschool Mediëvistiek (OZSMED) (medieval studies)

Huizinga Instituut (cultural studies)

Netherlands Institute for Cultural Analysis (NICA) (cultural analysis)

Netherlands Research School of Gender Studies (NOG) (gender studies)

Onderzoekschool Kunstgeschiedenis (OSK) (art history)

Onderzoekschool Literatuurwetenschap (OSL) (literature)

Netherlands Graduate Research School of Science, Technology and Modern Culture (WTMC)

Research School for Media Studies (RMes) (media studies)

Optional components taken on an individual basis

These components may comprise one or several of the following options:
• Academic English course
• Academic writing course
• Workshop on writing grant proposal
• Presentation skills course

These options generally apply to courses of limited duration (one or two days).

Overview courses

Stay abroad

A stay abroad is closely related to the nature and scope of the  research needed  in preparation for the dissertation. It may vary in duration from several weeks to  a year and may be planned at different stages of the PhD project.

General guideline

No more than 15% of the time allotted to the PhD candidate may be taken up by teaching activities (providing and following courses). This implies that 85% of the available time is invested in research and writing. On the part of LUCAS all effort will be directed at the production of a high-quality dissertation provided that the project will be finished within the time limits set. In order to remain on schedule PhD candidates are stimulated to enter the writing phase of their project at the earliest stage possible. This aspect of the PhD trajectory in particular will be evaluated during the discussion of the progress report and the yearly performance and development interview.

Last Modified: 14-12-2015