Research at PhD-level in the field of conservation and restoration – like the academic discipline as a whole – is a relatively young phenomenon that is still under development. The European Qualifications Framework (EQF) published by the European Confederation of Conservator-Restorers’ Organisations (E.C.C.O.) describes a PhD in conservation as being level 8. See the E.C.C.O. website where this document can be downloaded in several languages.
Furthermore, the European Network for Conservation-Restoration Education (ENCoRE) described in an early document – the 2001 Clarification Paper – about doctoral studies in conservation and restoration encompassing basic research, applied research, experimental development, or a combination of these. Conservation and restoration developments and deterioration processes may form a topic of research, just as subjects may be drawn from the fields of theory, philosophy and history of conservation. The 2001 Clarification Paper can be viewed here.
The specific domain of conservation and restoration research is related and applied to a real conservation problem that originates with the object. PhD-research should ideally contribute towards the establishment and growth of the conservation research discipline. Many staff members are currently undertaking their PhD studies in conservation and restoration of cultural heritage. Please have a look at both current and past PhD projects starting from 2005, the year in which the Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Heritage programme was founded at the University of Amsterdam.