13 September 2019 from 12:30 to 16:30

Supervising PhD Candidates at the Graduate School of Life Sciences (in Dutch)

Course description

In a nutshell, the course aims to expand the repertoire of PhD supervisors, enabling them to offer supervision more efficiently and effectively. This involves enabling their PhD candidates to work towards the goals of their doctorates in a targeted way, taking into account the limited time available for supervision as well as the rules, regulations and guidelines of the Graduate School of Life Sciences (GS-LS).

Target group

This (new) course is primarily aimed at relatively new (co-)supervisors of PhD candidates of the GS-LS, although more experienced supervisors are also welcome. Some experience with supervising PhD candidates is required, in order to be able to reflect on your own supervising behaviour during the course. This course will be given in Dutch.

What you will learn

The programme covers a range of basic subjects. The level of detail will partly depend on the needs of participants (based on the analysis of strengths and weaknesses conducted in advance). The definitive programme (for each session) will be compiled before the start of the course.

Basic subjects:

  • Organisation & Regulations of the Graduate School of Life Sciences
  • Selection of PhD candidates
  • Clarifying the mutual expectations of PhD candidates and supervisors, partly in relation to the implicit standards and guidelines for obtaining a doctorate and the associated supervision.
  • Goal oriented supervision: giving balanced feedback, adjusted to learning needs, type of PhD candidate and research phase. 
  • (Intercultural) communication skills 
  • Progress assessments: content and procedure 
  • Recognizing risks and warning signals

The course will focus on placing supervisors' experience from their own day-to-day practice in the context of theory and exploring its implications. The following assignments provide some idea of how this will work:

  • Developing a supervision plan (how to work towards specific learning objectives in a targeted way)
  • Developing scenarios for difficult situations that regularly occur
  • Formulating concrete plans (SMART) and implementing and evaluating these.

Supervisors' own day-to-day practice will be used as the basis. This will be achieved in part by means of the following:

  • At the intake: conducting an analysis of strengths/weaknesses in terms of quality of the PhD candidate and the supervisor
  • Engaging in discussion with PhD candidates (about mutual expectations)
  • Discussions and role-plays
  • Analysing a recording of one of the participants' supervisory meetings
  • Peer-feedback (based on a problem put forward by one of the supervisors)

After finishing the course, each participant can opt for three individual coaching sessions with an experienced coach.


Dr. Jessica Hegeman, Educational Consultancy & Teacher Development (O&T), Utrecht University. 
Course meeting ‘intercultural communication’: Janneke Dubbelboer (Janneke Dubbelboer Communicatie). 
Coaching: Ellen Wiersema, UMC Academy.

Max. number of participants


Course dates

Day Date Start End
Friday September 13  12:30   16:30  
Friday October 11 13:30 16:30
Friday November 1 13:30 16:30
Friday November 15 13:30 17:30
Friday December 13 13:30 16:30

Please note: To get most out of this course for your own professionalization and to ensure continuity of the group process it is required that you attend at least 4 out of 5 meetings.

Course fee

The PhD Course Centre provides this course free of charge to (co-)supervisors from the Graduate School of Life Sciences.


You may cancel your application free of charge up to four weeks before the start of the course. If you cancel your application within four weeks before the start or if you do not meet the attendance requirements of the course, you(r department/research group) will be charged a no-show fee (€600 for this course). Unfortunately we cannot make any exceptions to this policy.


Start date and time
13 September 2019 12:30
End date and time
13 September 2019 16:30
Entrance fee
Free of charge for (co-)supervisors of the Graduate School of Life Sciences.
More information
PhD Course Centre