HOW TO
Improve PhD Supervision

1.5-day online course

Overview

This course supports supervisors in reflecting on and improving supervision of their PhD candidates. If you supervise PhD students and feel that the relationship could be improved in its efficiency, time-management and expectations, you are an ideal candidate for this course. Participants exchange experiences with colleagues and learn about the main problems in undertaking a PhD project from the point of view of the PhD student. You get suggestions and tools to optimise the quality of your supervision. You are given advice on the decisive early steps of the relationship between supervisor and PhD student, the supervisory process, and tools for evaluating and further developing your supervisory skills.

During the course you test the application of these tools in practical exercises. At the end of the course, you have a variety of instruments at hand that you can apply directly for improving supervision of your PhD candidates.

What you learn

  • International developments in PhD education
  • Biggest problems of PhD students
  • Time to completion
  • Challenges of supervisors
  • Good practices in supervision
  • Developing supervisory styles
  • Enhancing the supervisor-student-relationship
  • Clarifying expectations
  • Setting up supervisory agreements
  • Organising productive supervisory meetings
  • Monitoring student progress
  • Self-and peer-assessment

Level

Academic staff who supervise PhD students

ECTS

0.5

Participants

max. 20

Duration

1.5 days (9 am – 5 pm, 9 am - 1 pm)

Instructor

Dr. Bärbel Tress

Mode

Live online

Get Started Yourself

How We Helped Others With
Supervising PhD Students

“The course provides a very good hands-on guidance to improve supervision. Very structured introduction into the topic/problem and detailed presentation of tools.”

Senior Researcher

KIT/IMK-IFU, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany

“The presentation was top notch, the host being obviously an expert in the field, very clear in her explanation, extremely patient with participants, ready to explain again if a participant asked for it. The delivery, slides, exercise, and the entire concept were masterful.”

Junior professor/Group leader

European University of the Seas/Kiel University, Germany

“The structured discussion with colleagues was very beneficial. The realisation by most participants that they don’t only face their own issues or concerns, but that their colleagues have similar issues with their PhD candidates.”

Postdoc Researcher

Alfred-Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research, Germany

“This course has helped me with many tools (charts, tables) and how to be closer to my PhD students. I will definitely take advantage of the information from the course to supervise my students better from now on.”

Junior professor/Group leader

Kiel University, Germany

“As a leader of a research group I have handed out the supervision assessment forms Bärbel gave us to everyone. Here’s the feedback I received from one PhD candidate: “This is such a thoughtful and kind initiative to ask your students for an assessment of their supervision, I have never heard of someone doing that. Thank you so much for being such a great supervisor!” :D“

Group leader

European University of the Seas/Kiel University, Germany

“Very helpful advice! Lots of practical suggestions that I can try out with my PhD students.”

Postdoc Researcher

University of Oldenburg, Germany

“I enjoyed learning how to develop individual supervision styles, and to hear about other supervisors’ experiences.”

Senior Researcher

ZALF Müncheberg, Germany

“I was really surprised with all the information given in one day and a half. It was very helpful. The group exercises were also very good to immediately practice some of the suggestions that we received.”

Junior professor/Group leader

European University of the Seas/Kiel University, Germany

“Great course – we discussed many tools which one can use to improve supervision. No one says you have to do this or that – it’s all your choice. In the end, it’s our PhD students who will benefit and for us it’ll make supervision more manageable and structured.”

Postdoc Researcher

University of Oldenburg, Germany

“I liked the breadth of topics covered. The different types of exercises. Diversity in the tools used for teaching meant we were all engaged all of the time! Well done!”

Researcher

Alfred-Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research, Germany

“I found it great that we transferred each tool to our own PhD students. We even practiced supervisory sessions and collegial feedback, which I may not have tried otherwise, but found it very helpful.”

Postdoc Researcher

ZALF Müncheberg, Germany

“I enjoyed learning how to develop individual supervision styles, and to hear about other supervisors’ experiences, which in turn influenced me to think about how to develop my own style in such a way it could most benefit my students.”

Postdoc Researcher

KIT/IMK-IFU, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany