Follow Us



3rd Cycle in the Arts

This is an international database of 3rd cycle awards in the European Higher Arts Education Area, developed within the Creator Doctus project (2018-2021), to identify possible examples of practice in developing and supporting artistic research.


erg – école de recherche graphique, Brussels, Belgium

Research Policy & Strategy

erg – école de recherche graphique promotes an interdisciplinary dynamic, with regard to the meeting of both artistic and scientific disciplines.

Since its creation in 1972, in its mission statement ‘erg’ has defined itself as a research school where the activation of modes and spaces of production enables students to learn while developing a practice. Within its pedagogy ‘erg’ pays particular attention to the critical conditions of productions pertaining to the existence of each individual students’ projects. The purpose of the curriculum is to support a form of resistance and epistemological disobedience to the norms and codes of history. An art practice articulated around the possibility of critical thought necessarily places its references and its objects within a geopolitical context.

Awards Offered

PhD in the fields of Art and Science of Art

(validated through the ULB, UCL etc., as appropriate to project)


Thesis comprising practice-based/practice-led submissions supported by dissertation

Viva – PhD defence (private and public)

Annual progress reports

The defence of the thesis involves both a closed session (private defence) and a public session (public defence). The defence of the work presented takes place in front of a doctoral jury comprising the doctoral committee with invited specialists and external examiners.

The jury (jury de these) is composed of three members of the academic staff, three members proposed by the university and external examiners.

Examination is conducted in accordance with the university’s Doctoral Regulations.

Forms of Output

The thesis comprises both practice based and written submissions as follows:


  • performance/dance
  • exhibition
  • film/animation
  • food art

Creative written submissions

  • fiction writing
  • publication (online and print)

Academic written submission

  • dissertation

Programme Structure

PhDs require 4 years of study with 1 year’s extension if required.

Funded PhDs are followed in either full-time or part-time modes of study.

Some PhDs are less formally structured, such study may be described as mode neutral.

With regard to research training, there are several formats upon which each student may define a specific methodology of research appropriate to their project. For example, the memoires on the level of BA3 and MA2, as well as collective projects, such as that of ARG (AnimationResearchGroup), a two-year project around the Paul-Otlet-archives financed by the A/R funds for artistic research; or of GREYZONE ZEBRA collective, a project carried out by former and actual students plus external members –artists, filmmakers, researchers – in collaboration with WIELS, Contour and Lubumbashi Biennale such as a.o. Universities Paris8.

Therefore, diverse artistic research strategies split into separated practices both practice-led and academically situated within the architectural framework of the research.


Undergraduate & Masters Research

Inter- or trans-disciplinary approaches, guaranteed by the way students and teachers interact and literally move across various disciplines: video, painting, photography, sculpture, drawing, installation-performance, digital arts, typography, graphic design, visual and graphic communication, illustration, comics, animation.

In the Bachelor’s program, these interactions take place in pluri-disciplinary workshops organized as clusters: Art, Narration and Media.

In the Master’s program, four programs are proposed: Art Practice, Critical Tools (Art and Simultaneous Contexts), Narrative and Experimentation (Speculative Narration), Politics and Experimentation in Graphic Design (Editorial Design, erg-edit, Politics of the Multiple / Practices of Graphic Design and Scientific Complexity).

Students also have the opportunity to familiarize themselves with other practices through in-school internships, during workshops organized by the teachers with external guests and open to multiple orientations, or through the use of various learning sites (video editing room, super 8 lab, sound lab, print lab, and so on).

Qualification Framework


Quality Assurance & Enhancement

Subject to the regulations of the validating university/institution.



Students work with 2 supervisors (promoters – normally one internal supervisor and one external supervisor) depending on the nature of the project.



All staff are research active (100%).

Student Admissions

Candidates must make a formal application, including a description of the project which the applicant must have approved by two potential supervisors. It is the responsibility of the candidate to secure the agreement of the potential supervisors prior to interview.

There are currently 12 PhD students.

Student Funding

FNRS is a strong source for funding and most of the students are funded by one of the national central research institutions. A few PhDs are internationally funded, (mostly as third parties in the process) and normally where international universities (like Babeș Romania- Bolyai University or Universitat de Barcelona, Spain, a.o.) are integrated in the specific construction of a project. In singular cases there is also a more complex funding structure made up out of several small and medium production- and research- funds.

Student Support

Doctoral students are administratively attached to the faculty of affiliation of the Director of Studies. In consultation with the doctoral student, an accompanying committee composes the programme of the doctoral training which will have to be followed within the Doctoral School in Art and Art Sciences, in accordance with the internal guidelines of the university (e.g. ULB) and the general rules of the Doctoral School of Art in Science of Art, details under the aegis of the FNRS by different partner universities in consultation with the ESA.

In addition, the accompanying committee meets at least once per year to evaluate the progress of the candidate’s work. On the basis of this evaluation, the committee submits a report to the competent body within the faculty of affiliation and to the management of the ESA an opinion on reinstatement. According to the procedures defined by the competent body within the connecting faculty, the doctoral student will have to complete the intermediate test which aims to evaluate the state of the progress of the work and to ensure that it leads to the presentation of a thesis of doctoral degree.

The doctoral student proposes a written report showing proof of progress of the research work, accompanied either by a documentation of the artistic work, or, of a presentation of this work (exhibition, projection, etc.).

During the meeting with the committee, the doctoral student orally presents the work carried out and the projects envisaged for the rest of the doctorate. The committee discusses these two points with the doctoral student. The Chair of the Accompanying Committee will inform the management of /ERG and the body competent within the faculty of attachment of the organisational arrangements for the event, as well as its result. Authorization for reinstatement in doctoral studies is conditional on success of the entire test, in its practical and theoretical dimensions.


3rd Cycle in the Arts

This is an international database of 3rd cycle awards in the European Higher Arts Education Area, developed within the Creator Doctus project (2018-2021), to identify possible examples of practice in developing and supporting artistic research.