Ph.D. Programme

The Neue Galerie Luzern – Swiss Academic Association (NGL – SAA) together with the Planetary Collegium, University of Plymouth, UK, has created a new Ph.D. Programme. NGL – SAA is an academic association and network founded and initiated by the Neue Galerie Luzern. With three people currently on the Board (Dr. René Stettler; Simon Berther, Founder of the Museum St. Moritz; Dr. rer. nat. Ulrich Claessen, Director Research & Development, Maxon Motor AG, a Swiss-based leading provider of precision drives such as those that drive NASA’s 2004 Mars Exploration Rovers), the NGL – SAA promotes and realises cultural, scientific and future-oriented projects.

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 Ph.D. Programme attracts scholars from these different fields of cultural practice:

o Curators, art educators, artists, scientists, cultural activists, cultural intermediaries, change agents, designers, and policy-makers in an international context.

o 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.

o 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.

o Researchers in the arts and social sciences, cultural practitioners from public, profit-oriented or non-profit cultural institutions, cultural networks, galleries, museums and theatres, the performing arts, architecture, and educational institutions.

The Ph.D. Programme offers you different advantages. It is not only the natural and quiet environment in the Swiss Alps that you will benefit from as a student and researcher. But it is also the intellectual support and hands-on writing advice that we offer you during your studies in this prestigious programme. The 9 Composite Sessions of 10 days each over three years on Mt. Rigi near Lucerne and in St. Moritz comprise individual research and participation in the doctoral study programme. Students will be awarded the doctoral title by the University of Plymouth after 4 years of study.

Advisory Board

Dr. Mark Banks, The Open University, Milton Keynes
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 Programme 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 skills in the English language (written and oral)

The Ph.D. Programme is committed to consider a broad diversity of disciplines in the Arts, the Humanities and the Sciences. Applications are accepted any time during the year.


PD Dr. Christina Ljungberg and Dr. René Stettler conduct the yearly three 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.


NGL – SAA Neue Galerie Luzern – Swiss Academic Association, P. O. Box 3501, CH-6002 Lucerne – Switzerland; Correspondence: P. O. Box 330, CH-6356 Rigi Kaltbad – Switzerland, Tel.: +41 (0) 41 370 38 18; E-Mail: 

Applications, Fees and General Information 


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