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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

On completion of the course, participants will have tools and strategies to:

  • identify, negotiate and adapt to individual student needs for supervision throughout the education
  • facilitate student integration to the research community
  • engage and manage a team of supervisors and/or collaborators of a PhD studentship
  • use peers to evaluate and develop own supervisory practice - and support them in doing the same


The course runs over two full days and with physical presence only. It is highly practical in content through the discussion and testing of methods and tools in supervision. Day 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). Day 2 provides 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 day 1 only. Day 2 is particularly useful for faculty that are new to research supervision in the context of Aarhus University. Participation on day 1 is a prerequisite for day 2.

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 teacher training course.


Autumn 2024

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


  • Target group: PhD Supervisors
  • Language: English
  • Catering: lunch and coffees are served in session 1.     
  • Span: foundational course: 2x7.5 hrs. 1-2 hrs preparation for day 1.        
  • No. of participants: max. 20
  • Course certificate: upon satisfactory completion  


Thilde Møller Risgaard

Course Administrator Health Administrative Centre - Health PhD Administration