DAS Graduate School initiates a 3rd Cycle Group to facilitate artists interested in pursuing post graduate education. In 2016 THIRD! organises for the first time a cohort of 
7 artists exploring research opportunities at the PhD or PhD equivalent level. Currently, there are very few programmes in Europe catering to performing arts research in higher education. The aim of the THIRD! is to prepare, coach and facilitate individual choreographers and theatermakers in articulating a long-term research project for enrolment in a university PhD or Research Fellowship programme. Though DAS Graduate School cannot bestow a terminal degree of PhD yet, we intend to support performing artists who wish to expand their knowledge(s) by supplementing PhD candidatures in the Netherlands and abroad. 
The THIRD! approach to 3rd Cycle research in the performing arts is unique. With expertise in the expanded fields of theater, choreography and performance, we hope to complement the resources of the university in nourishing the 3-4 year research trajectories of each individual in our group. We plan to do this by:

- developing a viable research plan for each cohort member
- finding a primary supervisor at an institution that best suits the artist’s project
- selecting an appropriate supervision team
- hosting quarterly cohort meetings to further exchange between peers
- affording individual supervision from the perspective of performing arts practice