Dissertation writing week

14 Oct. – 21 Oct. 2023 – dr. Heleen van Luijn = fully booked

18 May – 25 May 2024 – dr. Frank Leoné

We have developed our dissertation writing week for PhD students for focused and inspiring work. Aimed at accelerating progress of your thesis in a short period of time, the program is adjusted to your needs with tailor made coaching on your writing. Rediscover that writing a PhD thesis can move forward smoothly and is fun.

Daily structure of PhD writing week

  • Each day of this thesis writing week has a clear structure offering you the serenity and space to write productively and inspired.
  • We begin the day with yoga and meditation (optional) so you can start writing with a relaxed body and a fresh, sharp mind.
  • After breakfast, you will briefly discuss your goal for that day and check the need for a coaching session.
  • You can write during the rest of the day as long as required, maximum tailored to your own work rhythm.
  • During breaks and meals you can meet other participants and share your experiences.

Integral approach of PhD coaching

Our integral approach of individual coaching is tailored to your needs in two fields: in the field of writing and in the field of personal processes to stimulate your writing process.

Coaching consists of daily individual goal-setting and regular individual coaching sessions on your writing during the week. You will receive tailor-made feedback on specific issues, for instance: how to improve the quality of your dissertation and writing, how to solve any (writing) obstacles, and how to improve your daily working method.
Upon arrival there will be an intake and in conclusion you will receive specific recommendations to continue the writing process fruitfully at home.

We don’t provide academic writing courses, but offer individual coaching in the way you expect from a supervisor: we read your texts carefully and critically, help you with the structure, logics, style, and stimulate you to present your findings optimally. We provide coaching in every stage of your PhD research, from presenting the first data to writing the discussion, conclusion and introduction.

Don’t be surprised when you’ll regain the joy in writing and, like many PhD students before you, leave with more written pages than you expected, new insights, inspiration and energy, sun tanned skin and a big smile of fulfillment.

Our writing weeks have been already highly successful for candidates from both the alpha, gamma and beta sciences (including medical sciences).


• Promote qualitative and quantitative output.
• Increasing the writing skills and thus the coherence and readability of the dissertation.
• Develop the following writing skills:
– Structuring the text, seeing the larger context and building the text accordingly.
– Creating textual flow, ensuring that the text is legible at all levels.
– Adding personality and emotion. Convince the reader of the urgency and relevance of the text
– Learning to write from the reader’s perspective.
– Efficiency in conveying the message, concise and correct.
• Contribute to innovation through new inspiration and creative angles.
• (Re)finding job satisfaction and pleasure in writing.

Daily Program

The structure is flexible and can be adjusted to your needs.
7.30-8.15 Morning yoga and meditation (optional)
8.30-9.15 Breakfast
9.15-9.30 Daily goal setting + setting an appointment for a personal coaching session (±3 in total)
9.30-11.00 Writing session 1
11.00-11.15 Coffee break
11.15-13.15 Writing session 2
13.15-14.00 Lunch
14.00-15.00 Relaxation time (optional)
15.00-16.00 Writing session 3
16.00-16.15 Coffee break
16.15-17.15 Writing session 4
17.15-19.00 Time for exercise and unwinding – reading
19.00 -20.30 Dinner
after 21.00u Free time / presentations/ watching a movie


Facilitator  dr. Frank Leoné. He holds a PhD in cognitive neuroscience. His writing experience includes fields as broad as neuroscience, artificial intelligence, psychology, philosophy, and law, as well as extensive experience writing for grants and advisory work. He now heads Marbelous Minds, a company which is dedicated to make learning more fun and effective.

Facilitator dr. Heleen van Luijn studied Psychology of Culture and Religion and Philosophy at Radboud University in Nijmegen. She has been working for more than 35 years as a researcher, teacher and manager at different Dutch universities and research institutes. She worked for Tilburg University, University Amsterdam (VU), the Royal Academy for Sciences (KNAW), the Social and Cultural Planning Office (SCP) and the Roosevelt Academy. She was also a research fellow at the department of Social Medicine of Harvard University. During her career she supervised many students, researchers and PhDs. In 2012 she founded the Dutch Institute for Research and PhD Supervision.

Facilitation by zoom in our open retreats

During our other open retreat weeks, we offer the possibility for PhD students and academics to receive one-to-one writing support sessions by Zoom or Skype. These sessions are provided by Dr. Catherine Brys, a qualified and experienced academic writing coach. For more info click here.

Some reviews of participants

For more reviews click here.

‘The writing retreat in Artisa was a wonderful experience! Due to the coachingI made huge progress with my workThe coaching methods are very effective and motivating’. Maarit Malin, University of Helsinki

‘Exceptional coaching. Frank is thorough and intuitive. His coaching is excellent and his feedback really makes you think deeply. I ended up restructuring my analytical framework thanks to him pushing me to think how to make it clearer. I’m very grateful for his inputs.’ Karla Zimpel-Leal, University of East Anglia, UK

‘I don’t want to sound overly dramatic, but my stay at ARTISA has been like 2 weeks in paradise. I have never experienced this combination of really relaxing and getting so much work done. The coaching was warm, respectful, to the point and really read and gave feedback to every comma I put on paper during the retreat. It was really helpful to have a set of trained eyes look over what I had written.’ Vera Schölmerich, Assistant Professor, Erasmus University College, Erasmus University Rotterdam.

‘I was always encouraged to put my ideas forward and gained really useful, productive feedback from having my work looked through. I was helped with both planning my structure, and forming the direction of my main article. I can honestly say that throughout my time in education, from being at school to being a post-graduate, I have never had anyone give me such detailed and valuable feedback.’ C. Marshall

‘I spent a week at Artisa working on my thesis. With a clear daily structure, personal feedback on your work, a beautiful environment, nice conversations and delicious meals, you created a great and stimulating atmosphere to work in. It was a pleasure and felt like a privilege to be there. I would really like to come back some time. Thank you again and keep up the good work!’ S. van Esch

‘I am trying to keep the spirit and lessons of the retreat as fresh as possible back in the Netherlands. Was such a boost to my writing productivity to be there for two weeks! And it also gave me the space to find more clarity about my overall thesis project. Have already recommended it to many…’ D. Alineja


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