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NAT and TECH: Foundational course in PhD supervision


The objective of the course is to expand participants’ strategies and methods in supervision. 

Learning outcome

  • Align supervision with the rules and regulations for the PhD education including expectations for research integrity
  • Have tools to align expectations for supervision with students
  • Have tools and strategies to develop students’ skills and independence in writing
  • Have communication tools that ensure progression in supervisory meetings and enhance students’ independent thinking
  • Be able to identify and manage conflicts and crises that may appear during a PhD education


The course is highly practical in content through the discussion and testing of methods and tools in supervision. Session 1 covers the most essential elements of PhD supervision and brings experienced and inexperienced supervisors up to date on developments and research in the area. It has three main elements:

  1. the optimal use of (and alignment with) the rules and regulations of a PhD education,
  2. managing the process of supervision (e.g. aligning expectations, handling cultural differences, ensuring academic development, managing crises and conflicts) and
  3. communication skills (e.g. questioning techniques). Session 2 - 4 provide focused training in supervision of writing, recruitment and supervision for the part A exam and thesis defense. Highly experienced supervisors may choose to participate in session 1 and 2 only. Session 3 and 4 are particularly useful for faculty that are new to research supervision in the context of Aarhus University. Session 1 is a prerequisite for session 2-4.

Read more about the four sessions

Recent participants of the teacher training course for assistant professors at AU should note that the present course has a small overlap with module 3 on supervision in the this course.

The course is for PhD supervisors at Natural or Technical Sciences.

The course runs over four weeks and consists of:

  • Session 1: PhD supervision: rules, relations and communication (8 hrs)
  • Session 2: Supervision of writing (2 hrs, optional)
  • Session 3: The supervisor role in recruitment (2 hrs, optional)
  • Session 4: The supervisor role in assessment (2 hrs, optional)

  Session 2-4 (but NOT session 1) can be with online participation.    

The course in PhD supervision at Faculty of Natural Sciences and Faculty of Technical Sciences are in English and are provided by Centre for Educational Development, Graduate School of Natural Sciences and Graduate School of Technical Sciences, Aarhus University.

For time, full course description and registration please see the course calendar at Graduate School of Natural Sciences and Graduate School of Technical Sciences.


The course consists of four meeting days:

  • 20 April 2022 09:00 - 17:00
  • 27 April 2022 14:00 - 16:00
  • 04 May 2022 14:00 - 16:00
  • 11 May 2022 14:00 - 16:00

For time, full course description and registration please see the course calendar at Graduate School of Natural Sciences and Graduate School of Technical Sciences.


  • Language: English
  • Catering: lunch and coffees are served in session 1.     
  • Span: foundational course: 1x8 hrs + 3x2 hrs (optional). 1-2 hrs preparation for session 1.    
  • No. of participants: max. 20
  • Course certificate: upon satisfactory completion