Aarhus Universitets segl

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:

  • describe 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
  • clarify genre requirements for disciplinary scholarly writing
  • 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 builds on 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, supporting writing processes by providing prioritized, constructive, specific, concrete and criteria-based 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; listening skills and the ability to meta-communicate on the why and how of the chosen approach to supervision.
  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.

Online self-paced module: Opens in Brightspace on 16 August 2023

The ONLINE module will contain some activities that will prepare for meeting on seminar day 1.

There will be two tasks to be completed before seminar day 2:

  1. A peer observation and/ or an interview with a senior PhD-supervisor from your department/ section.
  2. Based on this, you must produce a brief written reflection and submit it to the course facilitators. This will prepare you for sharing your experience on seminar day 2 of the course.

Further instructions, as well as observation and interview guide will be provided on Brightspace.

Course programme

The course consists of four parts. The first part is an online self-paced module, to be completed before joining the rest of the course.

 Online self-paced module

This part introduces to the field of doctoral supervision including awareness of legal and organisational dimensions. It also includes preparation tasks for seminar day 1.

Seminar day 1: Tools & practices in PhD-supervision

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

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 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 1 month before the course start.


Course dates

Fall 2023

Aarhus University, Aarhus, building 1910, room 228

  • Seminar day 1: 12 October, 9:00-15:30
  • Seminar day 2: 29 November, 9:00-15:30

Registration deadline: 15 June 2023

Sign up for the course 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


Administrative contact