Become a Researcher

How to start a PhD in the Arts at KCB/VUB?

If you have a Master’s degree (in the Arts) and are a performing musician or composer/arranger, you can start your own (artistic) doctoral trajectory. KCB then functions as a research environment and has four resident professors who can act as academic supervisor for your doctorate (Jan Michiels, Kristin Van den Buys, Maarten Stragier, Matthias Heyman). For the PhD of Arts, there is a collaboration with the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB). VUB also awards the diplomas. The Brussels Arts Platform organises these programmes.

To start a PhD of Arts at KCB, you must go through a selection procedure that consists of three rounds:

1.    For a first artistic screening (next deadline: 15 March 2024), the following documents must be submitted online: a CV, a list of important concerts, recordings and music awards, and two to three audio files demonstrating your artistic quality. Composers should also submit two to three compositions (scores and, if available, recordings).

2.    Following a positive advice, the candidate will have to submit a fully worked-out research proposal (including state-of-the-art, methodology, planning, output, integration in KCB). The deadline for this is 1 September of the current year.

3.    If the jury selects the candidate on the basis of their research proposal, they must give a live presentation to a jury in December of the same year. This presentation consists of an oral presentation of your research proposal as well as the (live) performance of music related to the subject of your research. Exceptions or alternatives (e.g., in the case of composers) can be discussed.

Admission to a doctorate in the Arts does not mean that this doctorate will also be funded by KCB. Trobador, the KCB research committee, advices every year in June which doctoral projects will be funded for a 30% mandate as a research assistant with a term of three times two years. These mandates then start the following October.

The next deadline for the artistic screening is March 15, 2024. The above-mentioned documents and files should be submitted online. Those who are admitted to the second round, will be invited to submit a research dossier with as deadline 1 September 2023. For all questions on doctoral research, please contact Inge Pieters, coordinator of Brussels Arts Platform.


Project Research

KCB stimulates and supports project research. This type of research is only available to KCB staff (education and research) and subject to conditions.

Each application for a research project or mandate (including personal consumables) must be submitted using the correct form and within the set deadline in order to be admissible. All admissible applications are then evaluated and ranked by a reading committee consisting external evaluators. The reading committee submits this ranking to Trobador, which formulates an advice to be submitted to the Raad van de School of Arts, which makes the ultimate decision. The results are communicated in the course of June and the mandate can be started from September. The requested consumables can be used during the following academic year (September – August).

To be admissible, all applications for consumables for the organisation for research activities must be made using the correct form and within the set deadline. All admissible applications will then be evaluated within Trobador and the results will be communicated in the course of May in order to be included in the following year’s KCB planning. The requested consumables can be used during the following academic year (September – August).

There are various types of research projects which will be announced by call (through an internal online form).