PhD research programme in the Arts and Humanities

The Neue Galerie Luzern–Swiss Academic Association (NGL–SAA) together with the Planetary Collegium, University of Plymouth, UK, has created a new PhD program.


Embedded in the quality of the educational work achieved by the Planetary Collegium, University of Plymouth, and the objective to promote knowledge of and deep engagement with all aspects of the arts, society and culture, the PhD program attracts scholars from these different fields of cultural practice:

–Curators, art educators, artists, scientists, cultural activists, cultural intermediaries, change agents, designers, and policy-makers in an international context
–Cultural workers who work as academic experts in science and governance, and related areas of philosophy, sociology, geography, cartography, policy analysis and law, as well as stakeholders from the public cultural sector or art and media institutions
–Artists and mediators who are directly involved in composing, designing, imagining, interpreting, or manipulating signs and symbols in order to create music, television programmes, films, art, clothing, graphic designs, images, and other forms of texts
–Researchers in the arts and social sciences, cultural practitioners from public, profit-oriented or non-profit cultural institutions, networks, galleries, museums and theatres, the performing arts, architecture, and educational institutions
–Researchers who are interested in the production, spatialisation and dissemination of knowledge which includes ecological, ethical as well as practical philosophical approaches to the risks and opportunities that science and technology entail.

There are currently 57 part-time M.Phil/PhD students enrolled with the Planetary Collegium and Plymouth University—34 students have received a PhD from the University of Plymouth with the Planetary Collegium since its inception in 1994. Together they constitute a community of vibrant thinkers, researchers and writers. You will start your doctoral work with the goal of engaging in a meaningful discourse with like-minded students in order to deepen your knowledge. As a doctoral candidate you will complete your degree in approximately four years. In order to support you in that progress, we help you to develop your thesis. You will be awarded the doctoral title by the University of Plymouth.

The NGL programme practices a style of research that relies on dialogue and discussion. The knowledge you bring into the PhD program will be refined in nine Composite Sessions of ten days each over three years on Mt. Rigi near Lucerne and in St. Moritz.

Advisory board
Dr. Mark Banks, The Open University, Milton Keynes
Dr. Bob Bishop, President and Founder, ICES Foundation, Geneva
Dr. Fritjof Capra, Center for Ecoliteracy, Berkeley
Stuart Hameroff, M.D., Center for Consciousness Studies, University of Arizona
John Horgan, Center for Science Writings at Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken
PD Dr. Christina Ljungberg, University of Zurich
Dr. Angela McRobbie, Goldsmiths College, University of London
Dr. Uli Sigg, Sigg Collection, Switzerland
Margaret Wertheim, Institute for Figuring, Los Angeles

Admission policy
Applicants eligible for admission to the program meet the following requirements stipulated in the Planetary Collegium’s regulations:

–mid-career artists, educators, cultural intermediaries and scientists whose work and curriculum have a distinctive, transdisciplinary inquiry-based focus
–relevant professional and research experience
–an articulate personal statement
–the ability to submit a written thesis proposal demonstrating the capability of undertaking scientific research
–excellent English language skills (written and oral)

PD Dr. Christina Ljungberg and Dr. René Stettler conduct the three yearly Composite Sessions. They develop and administer the session programmes, the progression and welfare of the students, and the supervision as required by the University of Plymouth. Second Supervisors are appointed by the University of Plymouth.

Application, fees, and general information
Dr. Christina Ljungberg or Dr. René Stettler will be happy to have a conversation with you via Skype prior to application.

University of Plymouth, UK; Planetary Collegium, UK

By Lena Felde

Lena is the Treasurer of Cultura21 Germany. She is studying Cultural Sciences (Mag. Art.) at Leuphana University Lüneburg, Germany.

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