Aarhus University Seal / Aarhus Universitets segl

Foundational course in PhD supervision (June 2021)

Target group

All main supervisors and co-supervisors of PhD students at Faculty of Natural Sciences and Faculty of Technical Sciences (permanent and temporary staff).

To expand participants’ strategies and methods in supervision. 

The course runs over four weeks and consists of:

  1. Session, 1 June at 9-17: PhD supervision: rules, relations and communication (8 hrs)
  2. Session, 8 June at 14-16: Supervision of writing (2 hrs, optional) -  For participants outside Aarhus, it is possible to attend online.
  3. Session, 15 June at 14-16: The supervisor role in recruitment (2 hrs, optional) -  For participants outside Aarhus, it is possible to attend online.
  4. Session, 22 June at 14-16: The supervisor role in assessment (2 hrs, optional) -  For participants outside Aarhus, it is possible to attend online.

Content and delivery
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.

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.

After the course, the participants will:

  • understand rules and regulations for the PhD education including expectations for supervision on 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


Participants are asked to contribute two small pieces of writing in advance of the course (maximum 1 hour of preparation time).

Sign up here


Tove H Jørgensen, Associate Professor, Department of Biology (course leader)

David Egholm Lundbek, Professor, Vice-dean and Head of Graduate School.

Rikke J. Ljungman, PhD-partner

Marit-Solveig Seidenkrantz, Professor, Advisor on responsible conduct of research, Department of Geoscience


Maximum 20 participants (first-come-first-served)


Lunch and coffees are provided during session 1.

20222 / i43