MERIAN PhD in the Arts approved by the UM College of Deans

After several years of preparation with central contributions from many FASoS colleagues, the MERIAN PhD in the Arts is finally becoming a reality.

The UM College of Deans recently approved changes to the UM PhD Regulation in order to allow for a PhD in the Arts. This important step means UM is formally prepared to host PhDs in the Arts.

MERIAN (the Maastricht Experimental Research In and through the Arts Network) is a network collaboration between Zuyd Hogeschool, Maastricht University and the Jan Van Eyck Academy. At UM, FASoS and UCM have been driving the collaboration, with important contributions from the research centres Maastricht Centre for the Innovation of Classical Music and Maastricht Centre for Arts and Culture, Conservation and Heritage. The FASoS Faculty Board has been central in sponsoring the initiative, and our dean Sophie Vanhoonacker and associate dean of research Thomas Conzelmann have successfully advocated for the project amongst their UM colleagues. UM rector Rianne Letschert enthusiastically supports the initiative.

MERIAN builds on existing expertise from Maastricht research and education networks. It has resulted in the development of a distinct Maastricht style of ‘research in and through the arts’. The Maastricht style is problem-based, focusing on interdisciplinary topics that can fruitfully be explored across the disciplines of the arts and the sciences. MERIAN will invite established artists and academics to engage in collaborative research in between making and thinking. Its unique approach aims to provide an alternative for candidates who wish to draw upon tools from both science and arts practices in methodologically innovative, rigorous research on topics related to societal challenges apparent in the Maastricht environment and the Euregion. Many FASoS colleagues have been involved in developing MERIAN, and will be glad to know that their efforts are now bearing fruit. We hope to call upon some of you to supervise a small number of MERIAN PhDs already in the near future.

As of now, this news is shared amongst the internal partners only, so please do not discuss it outside the faculty just yet. A formal press release will be forthcoming shortly.

If you want further information about MERIAN, please contact Nora Vaage at

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