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The Maastricht Experimental Research In and through the Arts Network (MERIAN) invites artists and academics to engage in collaborative research in between making and thinking.

As a MERIAN PhD candidate you mobilize the powers and fragilities of artistic and scientific practices to engage in research that is problem-based and methodologically innovative, and which focusses on interdisciplinary topics that can fruitfully be explored across the arts and academia.

Maastricht style of artistic research

The Maastricht style of artistic research is not equivalent to artists doing academic research, or vice versa. Instead, MERIAN believes the values of artistic research emerge from (and through) specific empirical and analytical practices. MERIAN starts from the premise that these artistic research practices necessarily involve exchanges between art and academia, between artists and scholars, between making and thinking. MERIAN embraces multiple differences and similarities. It encourages making border crossings and learning across boundaries as a fundamental part of its institutional arrangement. Instead of positioning artistic research within academia or claiming it principally for the arts, MERIAN is a collaboratory: a shared initiative through and through.

Distinctive in the Netherlands, MERIAN fundamentally does not belong primarily with one artistic or academic discipline but builds on heterogeneity. Artistic research conducted in the context of MERIAN thus goes beyond individual artistic practice or the disciplinary confines of academic research. It arises from – and is reflexive about – basic questions about how research is to be done, where, what for, and for whom.

As a PhD candidate, you will do artistic research in the Maastricht style. During your research, you will innovate your own research methodologies to fit the issues your research addresses and will relate critically to the local institutional and geographical context of your research. You may also do some teaching that is relevant to your artistic research practice within the educational programs of the MERIAN partners. In collaboration with your supervisors, you will devise your own educational program to support your research, drawing largely from existing courses on offer within the MERIAN partners.

MERIAN exists in and through the collaboration amongst its institutional partners. Responsibilities, facilities, costs, and outcomes are shared between the partnering institutions based on relevant expertise. The supervision of PhD candidates is also shared among the participating institutions and MERIAN works with a rotating system for its practical coordination.

The supervision team will be a collaboration between academic and artistic expertise from two of the MERIAN partners. At Zuyd University of Applied Sciences you will be supervised by a member of the Research Center for Arts, Autonomy and the Public Sphere. From Maastricht University, you will be supervised by Dr. Christoph Rausch at University College Maastricht and the Maastricht Centre for Arts and Culture, Conservation and Heritage (MACCH). Additional external supervisors are possible.

Research domains

Your artistic research project should be related to the research programs and themes of the supervising institutions:

Possible disparate themes to relate your artistic research project to are:

  • The crisis of expertise and trust in knowledge production
  • Embodied experiments in revaluing (gendered/marginalized) knowledge practices
  • Methodological innovation through practicing and cultivating techniques of estrangement, agnosticism, and engagement
  • Artistic research as collaborative practices with audiences, amateurs, and professionals
  • The production of artistic value and practices of valuation, including economic and financial value(s) and the assetization/financialization of art

Time schedule

  • 1 October 2022 – closing date submission of applications
  • Winter 2022/23 – funded 3-month preparation (pre-trajectory) *
  • March 2023 – Go/No go moment for candidate *
  • May 2023 – Start PhD trajectory *

*Except for the deadline for the application (1 October 2022), all dates are tentative. The MERIAN steering committee will plan this together with the applicant.


Artists and academics with a relevant (Research) Master degree. That is, artistic researchers with an affinity for exploratory and collaborative methods with a significant artistic research portfolio, showcasing both your academic and artistic expertise. Your artistic research practice should be related to one of the artistic (inter)disciplines taught at Zuyd University of Applied Sciences (see the websites mentioned above for the represented artistic fields at Maastricht Institute of Arts, Conservatorium Maastricht and Institute of Performing Arts). It should also be related to the (inter)disciplines represented at UCM and/or MACCH (also see above for the websites).

Conditions of employment

From the applications, MERIAN will select one prospective candidate to be offered a funded pre-trajectory of three months spent as a resident at one of the MERIAN partners (1 fte). During this pre-trajectory, you will work together with your prospective supervisors and the MERIAN steering committee to finalize and embed your research proposal, as well as to seek additional funding for your project (if necessary). Following the pre-trajectory, and after a positive review of your elaborated proposal by the MERIAN steering committee, your contract as a PhD candidate will be for a period of eight years (0,5 fte).

The salary for 1.0 fte ranges between €2.541-€3.247, according to the PhD-candidate salary scale of the CAO. On top of this, there is an 8% holiday bonus and an 8.3% year-end allowance.

Diversity and Inclusivity

MERIAN is committed to promoting and nurturing a diverse and inclusive research community. We believe that diversity in our staff and student population contributes to the quality of research and education, and strive to enable this through inclusive policies and innovative projects led by teams of staff and students. We encourage you to apply for this position regardless of your background or identity.

The terms of employment of Maastricht University are set out in the Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities (CAO). Furthermore, local UM provisions also apply. For more information look at the website > About UM > Working at UM.

For more information, please see visit the vacancy page on Academic Transfer or email us at