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ARTS: Doctoral supervision for Doctoral Supervisors


The aim of this course is to expand and consolidate supervision strategies and methods for supervisors of PhD students at the Graduate School of Arts.

The course also aims at furthering the sharing of experiences among university supervisors within their faculty to enhance the co-development of local practices and collegial support.

Learning outcome

After the course, the participants will be able to:

  • determine their own approach to supervision as part of aligning expectations with the PhD-students in accordance with current regulations and the outcomes of their project
  • identify and deal with typical challenges in supervision, such as balancing between the support and the control function, between the product and the process dimension, and between the private and the professional domain, in a supervision relationship
  • provide appropriate feedback to promote PhD-students’ writing processes
  • employ communicative techniques to enhance supervision outcomes and promote PhD-students’ independence
  • receive and give collegial feedback as part of developing own and others' supervisory skills
  • utilize their professional community as a resource in their supervision practice


The course involves the participants’ existing experiences as well as current research. It aims at strengthening participants’ supervisory skills within following areas:

  1. Content, text-based competencies
    These involve clarifying academic requirements to written products and supporting writing processes by providing and enabling the enactment of constructive feedback.
  2. Relational and process-oriented competencies
    These involve establishing trusting relationships and negotiating and revisiting expectations
  3. Communicative competencies
    These involve conversational techniques that stimulate PhD-students’ independent thinking and promote reflexivity. 
  4. Community building competencies
    These involve the co-development of local practices and collegial support through sharing experiences with supervision and engaging in reflexive conversations on issues related to supervision.

Course programme

The course consists of an online module and two seminar days with corresponding preparatory activities. The seminar days will take place conjointly with colleagues from Aarhus BSS.

Online self-paced module, opens 23 August 2024

This part introduces participants to the field of doctoral supervision including awareness of legal and organisational dimensions. It also includes preparation tasks for the upcoming seminar day.

Seminar day 1: Tools & practices in PhD-supervision

10 October 2024 from 9.00-15.30.

This part covers the essential elements of PhD-supervision and brings experienced and inexperienced supervisors up to date on the developments and research in the area.

Individual/ Peer work

Between seminar day 1 and seminar day 2 of the course the supervisor will do a peer observation and/or an interview with a senior PhD-supervisor about his or her experiences with supervision.
The learning from the peer observation and/or the interview will be used on seminar day 2 to initiate discussions

Seminar day 2

21 November 2024 from 9.00-15.30.

This part focuses mainly on processual aspects of supervision, including time management, collegial supervision skills and community building and will also draw on issues that have come up in the interviews.

The course is sequenced as follows

  1. Online self-paced module / PhD-supervision (online, 6 hrs.)
  2. Seminar day 2/ PhD-supervision (campus, 6,5 hrs.)
  3. Practice between seminar day 2 and seminar day 3 (peer work, 5 hrs.)
  4. Seminar day 3/ consolidating local practices (campus, 6,5 hrs.)

The total workload is estimated to 24 hours.

To pass the course, you must participate in all the course elements and seminar days, and complete the required tasks.

All participants must be involved with a current PhD-supervision to provide a context for the practical assignments, and it is expected that they document their competence development in their professional portfolio. 

An overview and instructions regarding the required tasks will be available on Brightspace about 1 working month before the course starts.


Autumn 2024

  • 10 October 2024 from 09:00 to 15:30 
    Aarhus University, building 1910, room 228 
  • 21 November 2024 from 09:00 to 15:30
    Aarhus University, building 1910, room 228 

    Registration deadline: 2 August 2024 23:59 
    Sign up here 


  • Target group: New PhD supervisors
  • Prerequisites for participation: That you are currently involved with supervision or co-supervision of a PhD student.
  • Format: Blended – 1 online module + 2 campus seminar days
  • Duration: 24 hoursincluding the online module and assignments before and between the seminar days on campus.
  • Language: English
  • No. of participants: Max. 10
  • Course certificate: upon satisfactory completion


Dorina Gnaur

Special Consultant

Administrative contact