Supervision is a two-way process. Clear and frequent communication, management of expectations, and giving and receiving feedback are crucial components. Instrumental in this are the right attitude and behaviour of both supervisors and PhD candidates. The GSLS aims to support you in supervision, by providing an interactive training course on our view on what good supervision entails.
In the absence of a clear ‘job description’ for PhD supervisors, it is difficult to know what is required and expected from everyone involved. Currently, Utrecht University is working on a policy for PhD supervision to bring about transparency. This will make it easier for supervisors to focus on their responsibilities, and to encourage PhD candidates to take initiative and ask for support. While waiting for the policy, the Graduate School of Life Sciences has adopted the ‘Golden rules for PhD supervision’ of Leiden University. Because these guidelines are about expectations, attitudes and behaviours of both the supervisor and PhD candidate, we refer to it as Effective supervisor-PhD interaction: a two-way process. It is balanced for supervisor and supervisee. By setting these guidelines and offering training to develop these skills, we aim to help you establish a professional work relationship with your PhD candidates.
You can find the document here (pdf).